4.02.2010

CLASH OF THE TITANS.

I haven't seen the original since I was in high school, but I remember its cheesiness (and the mechanical owl). But I was still incredibly excited for this remake. I love Greek mythology, and this movie looked totally epic. It tells the story of demigod Perseus (Sam Worthington) who, after his family is destroyed by Hades (Ralph Fiennes), is taken to the blasphemous town of Argus, where they hate on the gods and want to overturn their rule. Well, Zeus (Liam Neeson) doesn't like that, so he's easily talked into a little plan by his brother, Hades. In 10 days time, Hades will summon the Titan-killing beast, the Kraken, and destroy Argus and every person inside unless they decide to sacrifice the beautiful Princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos). But Perseus, being a demigod, is foretold to have the power to defeat the Kraken, despite him only wanting to destroy Hades in vengeance. So Perseus must go on a journey, along with a band of other soldiers, as well as the immortal and all-knowing Io (Gemma Arterton), to discover how to defeat the Kraken and then return before it's too late.

The movie starts off kinda shaky. Up until Perseus gets to Argus, and even arguably up until they leave on their journey, the movie suffers from plot-point jumping. For what feels at least 15 minutes (or more) of the movie, it's simply going from one brief scene to the next, setting up plot points necessary for the film or characters. It just feels a bit jumpy and disjointed at that point. However, once he gets to Argus, the film slows down a bit, and then once he begins his journey, it really finds its stride.

The best thing about the movie, of course, are the visuals. The visuals are frakkin' fantastic. Some of the best I've ever seen in a movie not titled Avatar. It isn't all CGI, either. There is actually a fair balance of CGI and animatronics in the film... and even some old-school guys-in-costumes (really reminded me of Guillermo del Toro at times). But what is CGI is seamless. From the giant scorpions to the Pegasus to the Kraken itself, everything looks stunning. The only CGI shortcoming, I think, is Medusa, who reminded me of a better-done version of the Scorpion King from The Mummy Returns. But regardless of it being better done, it still looked fake, especially in comparison to the other effects in the film.

As it is a remake, I'm sure people are wondering how it compares to the original. Well, like I said before, I don't remember a whole bunch from the original, but I do remember snippets. There is a funny homage to the original with the metallic owl that was a good laugh. The original didn't have Hades as the bad guy, I don't believe, and I think Perseus fell in love with Andromeda in the original (which isn't the case here). Instead, Io replaces Athena as Perseus' helper, and you can say there is a bit of a connection there. Also (doing a bit of research here on the original), the Calibos character is a bit different, if that matters to you.

The only real major issue I had, besides the choppy beginning, is the fact that I really didn't know or care for any of the secondary characters. Besides Perseus, Andromeda, Io, Zeus, and Hades... I couldn't even tell you their names. I mean, you like them because of their personalities (the funny one, the stoic one, the newbie), but that's about as far as it goes. There are even a pair of characters that seem incredibly promising, but the film basically dismisses them as plot contrivances.

Otherwise, the film was a ton of fun. The action was awesome, but what else would you expect from Louis Leterrier, the man who brought us Unleashed? So to wrap this up, go for the action, the visuals (including creatures and cinematography), and the Greek myth fun. There's even a fair bit of humor in it, too. The film isn't perfect, but it's still a load of fun.

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A Keanu 'Whoa'

(P.S. Maybe I'm just getting too nit-picky, but the supposedly gods-hating general dude telling Perseus to accept help from the gods and pray to them for help... it seemed a bit out of character. But then again, maybe he didn't care if Perseus did it, since Perseus was there to help them survive. I'll go with that.)

7 comments:

  1. "The visuals are frakkin' fantastic."

    Perhaps I saw an unfinished cut because I couldn't disagree more. They looked horrible in my opinion. The Kraken, for all of two shots we saw it, looked decent, but many of the other beasties were totally sub-par. And that god-awful money skipping shot? The water looked like jelly!

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  2. Did you see it in 3D? I've heard the 3D for the movie isn't that great and actually makes the visuals seem worse. I saw it in 2D.

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  3. Yeah I didn't have a choice...media screenings are always in 3D if there's the option. You're right, it probably had something to do with it (3D was woeful)...but I still think Medusa, the scorpions and a few CGI backgrounds (the fire pit, for one) looked fairly average.
    On the flipside, Hades mid-air appearances looked great. It's as if they either split the job up between different FX companies of varying talent... or just ran out of time.

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  4. I'll agree with you on the Medusa. I don't think it was the worst ever, but it was definitely below the rest of the movie in quality. However, I don't think the scorpions were that bad (especially since the scorpions weren't solely CGI).

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  5. I love your rating system.
    Hate this movie.

    Marshall of "Marshall and the Movies"
    http://marshallandthemovies.com/2010/04/03/clashofthetitans/

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  7. Love this movie much...thanks for sharing

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