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Clash of the Titans – Another Wasted Opportunity

By swenson | April 5, 2010

I am not against remakes or reboots of old movies from the eighties but if you don’t understand why people liked a movie then you have no business remaking it. Kids might like Clash of the Titans 2010 because it is basically a nonoffensive hero story with big monsters and effects, I, however, was thoroughly disappointed.

I’ll sum it up:

1. Harry Hamlin was no great actor but he had an interesting face and presence. Sam Worthington looks like an extra, the kind that would be killed off in the first half of the film by some creature. I felt the same way about him in Avatar. He’s not even interesting as a bad actor in his action films like Keanu Reeves is.

2. They destroyed the entire premise by eliminating the love story involving Andromeda. Why does Perseus defeat the Kraken? So he can defeat Hades who killed his family–only Hades being a god, cannot truly be defeated. Hades is simply banished to the underworld (oh gee). And at the end they do this stupid transfer of power from Zeus to Perseus’ sword to throwing lightning at Hades. What would have been more interesting is if Hades fought directly with Zeus.

The reason the original Clash of the Titans worked was because it built itself on the ideas within Greek myths, one of which is an overwhelming love for a woman which causes a hero to do his thing. The original version makes a mess of Greek myths but it keeps their spirit. The Sam Worthington version is so much macho American style that it felt like it didn’t belong (which is ironic because Worthington is Australian and the director Louis Leterrier is French). The hero ends up with Io, who admittedly is hot but not the love of his life which should have been Andromeda.

3. The new Medusa is beautiful? That’s her curse? I think the idea of Medusa’s curse is that it was supposed to take away her beauty? This Medusa is not scary, not cheezy, not nothing–belongs in a video game.

4. The Stygian Witches. Could we have done something more to play with the scene concerning the eye they share? I thought the redesign of their faces was pretty good and horrific, but they didn’t do anything except jump one of the soldiers and then backed off. Sam Worthington apparently was the one who did not want Bubo the Owl to be in this movie, otherwise, where is the cleverness of the hero here in stealing the eye? I think Bubo was a cheezy gimmick in the first version but at this point I would have welcomed him. Worthington just barges in and takes the eye like someone from Law and Order, then asks questions. The Stygian Witches are no threat and again the scene is boring. Couldn’t we have found a way to trick them out of their eye or steal it somehow by using a trick?

5. Pegasus is a black horse. Alright, I guess I can accept that. H’bout letting Perseus get to know the horse and have a larger role in the story. Like a special effect, the horse is brought back at the end and Perseus is an expert flyer–I guess, much like his immediate sword fighting skills, the god in him can do anything.

6. According to Wiki, King Acrisius is now Calibos, though it wasn’t really clear in the film. Originally Calibos was the cursed son of Thetis, the sea goddess and then became lovesick for Andromeda. This rewrite again eliminates part of the love story where the hero rescues Andromeda from Calibos. All that Calibos is in the new film is some sort of demon thing aiding Hades to attack Perseus–more like another special effect, no characterization.

7. Overall the film misses the fun of Ray Harryhausen’s classic. In my opinion, I think the film should have been remade by someone like Tim Burton. He would have done it justice. Or there was talk of Sam Raimi or Robert Rodriguez directing–they might have done well by it too considering Sam Raimi used Harryhausen type effects in Army of Darkeness. This new version is simply an action flick that doesn’t even feel like a fantasy adventure. There’s no wonder to it, no reason for it to become its own cult classic. Why call it Clash of the Titans at all? Sam Worthington didn’t want Bubo The Owl in the film, I think Sam could have used Bubo’s help.

SIDENOTE: The Djinn or Sand Genies wasn’t a bad idea, but an odd design for the costume. Fact is, the costume effects look pretty cheezy which I actually approved of. I’m just not sure why they were introduced into the story. Did anyone notice though that the Djinn when trapped by Medusa blew himself up? Djinn are Arabic–thus was someone making a joke about Muslims blowing themselves up?

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