Article by Mary F.
I never sat down and watched the original all the way through, although I’ve seen enough here and there that I knew the premise and basic plot. When the hubby wanted to see the remake of Clash of the Titans on opening day, however, I jumped at the opportunity. First, I have yet to disagree with Roger Ebert, who awarded three stars. Second, if anything ever happens to my husband, expect me to throw myself unabashedly at Sam Worthington.
‘Clash’ is about the definition of nonstop action. The only pauses in the running and jumping and screaming and slashing were to briefly emote on the victory or loss at hand. There is very little dialogue as well, even for an action flick. The bulk of conversation occurs very early on in the boat of Perseus’s human father and then in the city of Argos as we are introduced to the quest. This makes the movie just fly by. As the credits were running, I was surprised to see nearly two hours had passed, as I would have guessed no more than 75 minutes on the runtime.
I was surprised at how much the script accomplished with so little spoken interaction. Each character had a purpose and a motivation, and they all seemed to make sense which I normally don’t find. Perseus, instead of falling in love with Andromeda as the classic goes, is instead driven on this mad quest by a desire to get revenge for the death of his adoptive family. The men with him are, of course, trying to save their city. The ‘monster’ chasing our protagonist is the jilted husband of Perseus’s human father, for whom Perseus is a symbol of his humiliation at being cuckolded by Zeus. Some story elements are playing a bit free with the original story – which, remember, is all Greek Mythology – but I think the new version of events makes as much (if not more) sense.
This is the point where I admit to not watching the 3D version, just as I saw Avatar in 2D. 3D gives me a migraine, and I’m not paying extra to see a movie just so I can spend the next day immobile in a dark room. That said, I felt most of the CGI (particularly Medusa and the wide shots of Argos) were well done. Zeus’s armor was completely overdone, and there was a moment of “wait, what now? Scorpions? Where’d they come from?” that probably could have been done a lot better. Also, Medusa’s ability to turn things to stone seems to have mixed luck with clothing, as some newly petrified Greeks still had flapping skirts and others were solid clear through. I liked the awkwardness of flight the Pegasus had, and of course the Kraken was fascinating. Who’s to say this isn’t different in the 3D version?
I wanted to see the film because I wanted another angle from which to view Sam Worthington. Avatar was good, yes, but one movie is not enough for me to judge an actor by. Clash of the Titans didn’t give me much to work with. Can Sam Worthington pull off an action film, even in a wheelchair or a skirt? Yes and Yes. ‘Clash’ didn’t give much insight into his ability as an actor, so I guess I’ll have to go see his next film, too. Darn.
Bottom line, this isn’t a drama. Don’t expect a lot of intriguing plot twists. This is a bunch of men taking on mythical and fantastical creatures, period. There are some notable detours from the original storyline, but for the most part this is a redo of a beloved classic with the kind of CGI that we couldn’t have imagined in 1981. Not only would I pay the $10 to see it again, I will eventually own this one.