It takes about 15 minutes to realize that the remake of CLASH OF THE TITANS is an irredeemable loss. Unfortunately, there is still another 105 minutes or so to endure until the ordeal is over. Where the original, no masterpiece to be sure, had a cheesy sort of charm, this offers only the irritation of ineptitude. Colossal ineptitude. Considering that there is a Gorgon, flying horses, and a bevy of giant scorpions on display, it is all the more remarkable to that the whole is so monumentally unimpressive. Even the CGI that replaces the work of Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion animation lacks the personality with which he imbued his creations, and the 3-D does nothing to mitigate that.
The filmmakers have played fast and loose with the myth of Perseus that they purport to tell, and their decisions do nothing to improve the story. Having, for example, mystical beings made of wood alongside actors giving wooden performances only serves to draw attention to the latter. Liam Neeson as Zeus, king of the Olympan gods is easily outacted by his very shiny and anachronistic Renaissance armor, Ralph Fiennes as his resentful brother, Hades, lord of the dead, approaches the role by doing a bad impression of Marley’s ghost while seeming to only barely remember his lines in time to say them. Sam Worthington as Perseus spends the film looking lost and confused, which is a fair approximation of what the audience is feeling. He discovers that he is a demi-god, son of Zeus when he arrives shipwrecked in Argos and the strangers there somehow know is parentage just by looking at him. They don’t however, know better than to offend the gods with vain comparisons, and Perseus is just in time to witness just that as Cassiopeia (Polly Walker, looking alarmingly like Stiffler’s mother in AMERICAN PIE) declares her daughter, Andromeda (Alexa Davalos) to be more beautiful that Aphrodite. Divine retribution ensues, but with enough time to allow Perseus and a squad of Argosians to go on a quest to prevent Andromeda from becoming Kraken fodder. The Kraken, a gargantuan undersea beast, being the Titan of the title, though there is only the one of them.
The quest involves trekking across landscapes that change precipitously from semi-tropical to desert to volcanic while Perseus, until now a fisherman, becomes a master of swordsmanship by taking a crash course with an Argosian warrior (Mads Mikkelsen) who doesn’t like him at all, and getting helpful pointers about Gorgon slaying from Io, an eternally young demi-goddes (Gemma Arterton) who sometimes dresses in what appears to be a shag rug.
There is pretentious piffle of a muddle theological variety that, like the rest of the flick, is very silly and very poorly executed. A good film should inspire strong emotions in its audience. Those emotions should not, however, be a progression from boredom to impatience to active resentment.