Saturday, April 10, 2010
Shawna's Movie Review
Clash of the Titans
First of all I have to say DO NOT SEE THIS IN 3D
Trust me on this one.
That being said......
I am actually torn on this one. As laughable as it may sound I love the original Clash...partly due to the fact that this is a beloved favorite from my childhood. As a child it held everything that would further fuel my already fertile imagination: evil curses, flying horses, mythology (I went through a phase where I practically inhaled books on the Greek Gods...all because of this film). At the time the effects were amazing (remember gang, I was born at the end of the 60's). I sat there in wonder at how they made a golden owl fly, in disgust and horror over the battle with the giant scorpions and flat out amazement over how Medusa managed to slither about. At the time we didn't know the secrets of stop-motion animation like we do today.
The storyline was even plausible. Athena, offended by comments made by a vain queen in Athena's own temple, demands the death of the princess. Our hero Perseus, smitten by her looks, races to find the means to save her. Zeus, father to Perseus, helps him along here and there and the hero triumphs at the end. As cheesy as the film is, it took itself seriously.
And then you have the remake.
Remake is really the wrong word; even though the plot follows the same storyline to a point it really is its own tale. My flying gold owl is reduced to a 5 second joke in the storyline that the teens in the audience behind me didn't even understand. The new Clash takes a darker turn, yet throws strange humor in at the oddest moments. Our new hero is accidently discovered to be Zeus' son and takes on the job not to save Andromeda, but to bring down Hades (Zeus' brother) who had killed Perseus' adoptive mother and father. The new storyline is one of utter hatred and retribution.
Calibos (the original "bad guy") is now found to be a man betrayed by the Gods and deformed by Zeus rather than punished for his own mis-deeds. Jason Flemyng is scarcely recognizable in his burned state. The giant scorpions are bigger, badder and more deadly than before....and Pegasus is now the one black horse in a band of white (which is not explained...maybe the gray and brown Pegasi are hiding off camera? Oh, and as that question implies, Pegasus isn't the horse's name, but the name of his breed).
The special effects are pretty darn good...heck, every time Hades (Ralph Fiennes looking rather disheveled from living in the Underworld for so long) pops into view he is accompanied by a twirling black smoke that swirls into deliciously dark wings before dissipating. Medusa looks a lot better than her previous incarnation, and Charon's ferry to the land of the dead will make you shudder. For some reason Zeus wanders around in silver armor with a strong light shining on it, which I doesn't look as badass as it was intended to.
The story is where you start to get confused. Perseus is driven by revenge to kill Hades' Kraken and then use that defeat to send Hades back to the Underworld for killing his adoptive family. We jump around too much in the story though...side-stories seem to start and then are dropped, our hero's companions are only partially fleshed (nice nod though to Nicholas Hoult who has certainly grown up into a bit of a hottie since his "About A Boy" debut as the geeky Marcus). There is a new female love interest in the form of Gemma Arterton (from James Bond's "Quantum of Solace") who is cursed with not aging and has watched Perseus from afar ever since he was a child, and the inclusion of the D'Jinn (strange wizards/desert nomad that ride the great scorpions and are made of burnt wood and glowing blue eyes) had me wondering what was up with that. The other Gods on Mount Olympus stand around and say nothing, not even Athena who is still insulted in her temple, but it is Hades that comes forth to dish out retribution. Only one other God even voices his concerns against Zeus, but in the original everyone seemed to have something to say. The action also moved too fast at times for the eye to really follow, leaving me wondering what had just happened a few times too many.
All-in-all....I really would like to give this movie another shot. I think if I just tried to enjoy it for what it has to bring, I would like it more. I kept waiting for more of the original storyline to come into play. There was also that terrible 3D distraction with my first viewing...I found myself staring more at how everyone's head and body was horribly elongated rather than following the storyline. If you have ever looked through a ViewMaster then you will have a good idea of what I am talking about. Even the director has commented on how bad the 3D effects are and how he was overridden by the studio based on how much money Avatar was raking in with the 3D sensation.
Best bet? Wait for the dollar theater or rent it from Redbox.