Clash of the Titans (2010)
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Awful. Story and character development are basically non-existent and events happen for no reason other than to move to the next incoherent action scene where the camera shakes all over the place. The original Clash of the Titans told pretty much the exact same story much better, and Harryhausen's effects have more character than the CGI seen here which feels just as fake but now happens in a computerised mess where it's hard to clearly see the monsters.
The only saving graces are the often good cinematography and a host of good actors turn in some decent work that's still well below their normal standards.
In its initial theatrical release, Clash of the Titans took a deserved drubbing from critics, who often pointed to it as an object lesson in post-production 3D conversion. The 2010 iteration was also swimming upstream against reviewers’ nostalgia for Ray Harryhausen’s quaint, 1980s-era stop-motion.
Does director Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk) deserve a 28% Rotten Tomatoes rating? The answer is probably a function of ticket price. I bought a used DVD for $5, saw it in 2D on a 9’ screen with my 14-year-old son, and didn’t regret its 106-minute running time.
Some viewers were troubled by what they considered inaccuracies or continuity gaffes. Their complaint was often that scriptwriters Travis Beacham, Phil Hay, and Matt Manfredi strayed too far from Edith Hamilton. Considering these are among mankind’s oldest characters and narratives, I think perhaps we’ll have to relax our grip on 11th-grade classroom memories. Surely no one invested in this film hoped for Bullfinch’s Mythology.
I have an opposing conviction: that this script hews too closely to the source material – at least in structure. Tales of Perseus and the Argonaut Jason are linear quests. Adventurers wallop a beastie in the forest, then survive a magical firefight on the beach, then behead a stony serpentine seductress in her lair -- connecting the dots from A to B to C. But modern audiences prefer to juggle multiple threats (even multiple timelines) simultaneously. Without more “meanwhile-back-at-Argos” cutaways one frequently forgets that the clock is ticking on the noble, would-be sacrifice Andromeda. Even when she does get screen time, she really doesn’t seem all that upset about her impending death. The stakes of Perseus’s failure thus seem pretty low.
Stumbles from one action sequence to another without much in the way of plot in between. Hilariously over the top performance from Ralph Fiennes is the best thing about the film and Sam Worthington's unintentional Jason Statham impression produced many (probably unwanted) laughs.
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