April 4, 2010

Fall Is More Like It

Uggg, that was disappointing. I actually had some hopes for Clash of the Titans. I mean, it stars Sam Worthington, who, with Avatar, has proved to be a legitimate star, and it's based off an 80s classic staring Laurence Olivier and a stop motion Medusa. Now, we have the remake, and oh, how far society has fallen.

Clash of the Titans follows pretty much the same premise as it's older brother. Perseus, son of Zeus, must do battle with various monsters and demons from Greek mythology in order to save the princess Andromeda. The only difference here is that there is a undercurrent of militant atheism running through the film. See, the puny humans are getting pissed off at the cruelty and brutality of the Gods, and begin to burn temples, topple statues, and be general pains in the ass to the shiny men upstairs. Well, soon, Zeus says, "Enough", and enlists his brother Hades to teach the humans a lesson in obedience. Perseus, who's family is killed in this chaos, takes up the mantle and leads the charge against the Gods. Think God of War, only not as bloody, and you'll have some idea of what to expect. The story is interesting, and it is a nice change of pace to see the Gods as the bad guys, but it goes nowhere and takes forever to get there. Award level, epic storytelling, this is not.

Sam Worthington, hot off James Cameron's money guzzler, is Perseus. He's probably the strongest addition to the cast. Like his role in Terminator Salvation, he must contend with a pretty bad script, but handles it well, and reveals something resembling a character out of it. He really needs to stop doing big, action films. We get it, Sam. You can kick ass very well. Now, show us that you know how to act. Sound good? Excellent. Liam Neeson plays Zeus, and Ralph Fiennes plays his brother, Hades. Neeson totally phones it in, and his best line, "Release the Kraken", is so wonderfully over the top that the lack of cheers from the audience was disappointing. Fiennes is in full Voldemort mode as the lord of the underworld, and it just feels old. We've already seen this, and, yes, it is hard to play the role of Hades any other way, but still. Mimicking another role is inexcusable. Alexa Davalos plays Andromeda, and she's barely in the thing, so, you won't hear anything about her from me. Other members include Gemma Arterton, doing the same thing we always see her do, as the ageless Io, Mads Mikkelsen, in a grody beard, as Draco, a companion of Perseus', and Liam Cunningham, another companion of Perseus', Solon, who has the best line delivery of anyone in the cast. Look, performances in this type of movie are completely inconsequential. You just need to buy the hero's motivation to get to the next action scene, and, I guess, in that sense, Clash does an ok job.

Louis Leterrier, who made the not great, but certainly not terrible, Incredible Hulk a few years ago, is back in the chair, and, oh boy, does he fail! Sure, his action scenes are cool alright, but all the 'wow' moments have been given away in the trailers or promotional clips. Some of his scenes are tight and well shot, and then the rest are loose and hard to follow. During the big scorpion fight, it is impossible to tell which scorpion is which, and who is fighting it. This is only made even more depressing when you see how fucking awesome the final action scene with the Kraken is. But, you know what the big problem with the action is? There isn't enough. The trailers have been making this out to be one, elongated, monster mash, but this is not the case. There is a lot of down time in this movie, which would be fine, if Leterrier had taken any time to make us connect with the characters, but he doesn't, and we don't. There are tons of exposition scenes, talking scenes, and "tension" building scenes, and it is sooooo boring! I was bored at this movie! The action scenes, while cool, are too short and way too far in between. There is simply too much down time, and the script and direction are not strong enough to handle it efficiently. And then, there's the special effects. To call them hit or miss would be an understatement. Some scenes boast top of the line special effects, the type you would expect from a action blockbuster. Others have effects on the level of direct-to-DVD B-movies. For example, the Kraken looks awesome! On the other side of the spectrum, Medusa looks incredibly fake. Flying around on Pegasus is a blast, but the scenes on Olympus look cheap and hastily put together, and this highlights the main issue with Clash of the Titans. For every one thing it does right, it does two things wrong. I don't know if it's laziness, or general incompetence, but it is still discouraging.

If you're wondering about the 3D thing, take it from me. This film does not need to be seen in 3D. I saw it in 2D, and, believe me, you're not missing anything. Unlike Avatar, which was filmed in 3D, and, as such, is meant to be seen in that format, Clash was simply converted a few weeks ago, and will not convey the same sense of awe that Cameron's epic did. Save your money.

Clash of the Titans is fine, generic, b-movie, fare. Sam Worthington's career won't be hurt by this film. On the contrary, he'll probably get more work, seeing as it's selling out theaters like crazy. Even so, this is one fantasy epic that can't live up to the pedigree set by its older brothers. It's simply not interesting enough to warrant anything other then a quick look with your friends. It's too boring; the fun factor just isn't there. These titans have fallen far, indeed. C-

A quick note before I leave you. I heard through the grape vine awhile back that Muse was writing the music for this film. If you know anything about me, you know how many blood vessels this news would have popped in my head. I fucking love Muse! But, it didn't happen, and, instead, we have a generic, epic score to go with the story, and, I have to ask, why? A rock/heavy metal soundtrack would work so well for this type of movie. Just look at 300. It's soundtrack featured wonderfully bendy, overdriven guitars, powerful drums, and a thundering bass. A soundtrack like this would have been so awesome in Clash. If Muse had done it, it would have been even better. Oh well. Just thought I'd voice that opinion. See you next time.

1 comment:

  1. Thought the Titans was pretty entertaining:) It was so absurd in parts, that I started laughing. I don't think it pretends to be a serious film or historically correct, it's just a silly summer film. I know I'm in the minority here, but I liked it!