Well no one will ever be able to accuse Hollywood for not going ‘green’ with the amount of recycling that has been going on lately. Once again, BabbleOn witnessed a classic, campy gem forcefully thrust into the modern, 3-D era with predictably miserable results. This incarnation ends up being less clash and more ‘crash’, with a loud thud.
The plot more or less follows the original writings and movie from the 80’s. Perseus is on a quest to save the city of Argos from the legendary Krakken by way of defeating a various cadre of ancient beasts. In this version, Perseus is a reluctant hero (as expected from Sam Worthington’s other characters) but somehow is transformed into a sword wielding and combat flipping warrior upon the news that he is the bastard son of Zeus. Argos is saved (Oh, spoiler alert!) and Perseus rides off or rather flies off into the sunset on the back of a peguses. There is so much wrong with this film that I almost don’t want to waste my digital ink- but here goes.
Although the story is familiar and predictable, it’s not really the problem here. Director Louis Leterrier (Transporter 2, The Incredible Hulk) does nothing to build any tension or suspense. They explain the plot at the very beginning and it follows through exactly with not one ounce of creativity. This was like playing a generic adventure video game- but not as fun. The action was clumsy and all too familiar from other recent action films. Leterrier brings nothing new to this genre that the original version didn’t do better.
Even with capable actors like Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes, they are given poor dialogue and nothing to do but skulk and pontificate. Interaction and chemistry is bland and only serves to get from one action scene to the next. Perseus’ merry men are a collection of 2-D cannon fodder which he can careless (as do the audience) when they are lost. Sam Worthington,…oh Sam Worthington. How do you land in your third big film without having to actually ‘act’ is beyond me. Worthington is like a mirror, he simply reflects the tone, mood, and action of his environment. He seems incapable of generating anything original and is basically a puppet in the hands of others. He is an avatar for Directors to play out their fantasies all the while producing mediocre results.
Biggest problem is Clash is the special effects. The creature design is not only uninspired but the CGi is lifeless and dull. I was really surprised at the lack of realism that was accepted for this film. The big build up was for Medusa’s sinister reveal. When our hero finally faces her, she looked like she stepped out of a SyFy channel ‘movie of the week’. Great for SyFy but bad for any big budgeted movie. The creatures didn’t look like they inhabited the same space as the actors. It was pitiful. The Krakken could have been a truly climatic moment, but because of over exposure from the trailer it barely raised an eyebrow. I think I would have prefered the artificial and sticatto movement of Ray Harryhausen’s stop motion effects from the 80’s than this superficial and sophomoric CGI. Because of the success of Avatar, 3-D was also tacked on and it looked it. Since it wasn’t shot in 3-D the effect was annoying and pointless. What Cameron did so masterfully, an army of directors will ruin in the coming years.
Again, Hollywood managed to desecrate yet another icon of my youth. There is no sign of letting up with A-Team and Tron around the corner. We can always hope. In the meantime, rent the original Clash of the Titans and get a good laugh. Laughing is always better than crying, which is what you will get if you see this modern version. Dear Hollywood, please stop worring about the environment. Drop the ‘green’ and be more wasteful when it comes to new movies. I promise you that no one, even the envionmentalist, will complain.