With both ends of the cinematic spectrum, there is still a responsibility to give the audience something new. It is worth noting that as of this review, I haven’t seen the original Clash of the Titans but I believe the new one accomplishes this goal. It takes familiar aspects of Greek mythology and made it into a fun (pre)summer movie.
Perseus (Sam Worthington) is half-god and half-man therefore is the only one who can save Argos from the wrath of the gods. Zeus (Liam Neeson) is tired of the disloyalty of mankind so Hades (Ralph Fiennes) encourages them to strike terror in order to gain back their love. So Perseus and a team of soldiers only have a few days to figure out how to save the city before Zeus….RELEASES THE KRACKEN.
Of course this information isn’t written in a book. (That only happens in movies Jennifer’s Body or The Wolf Man) They have to cross deserts where there are giant deadly scorpions and encounter the trickery of the Medusa. These are obvious set-pieces, but the reason the entire film succeeds is because they are effective. The action is vibrant and exciting. There is allowed to be intelligence in action and audiences pick up on that. There is a reason why someone can name their favorite action scene in Casino Royale but can’t recall one in particular from Quantam of Solace. The action in Clash may still be edited quicker than I would prefer, but there is still a sense of location where you know where everybody is and what the fight looks like.
This is the proper way to handle Greek mythology. A few months ago I was very frustrated with Percy Jackson for all of its missed opportunities. Clash not only uses all of its elements with ease, but also creates a great sense of tone. Yes, a lot of the lines are a bit campy, but everybody is on the same page. Veteran actors Neeson and Fiennes are fun as they are playing off some of their former characters. (It’s basically Qui-Gon Jin and Voldemort as brothers.) The real acting standout is Geema Arterton as Io, the spiritual guide to Perseus. She’s a mysterious character who has dynamic screen presence. In a movie where you’re just waiting to see the next monster, I wanted to know more about her.
The wide landscapes and impressive CGI are the feat to see on the silver screen, but surprisingly I would not recommend seeing it in 3D. That is how I saw it and it seemed irrelevant. I do not believe they intended it to be in 3D when they were filming so it was added in post-production. The end result just ends up diluting the colors. Seeing this in 3D would be a waste of money; seeing it in 2D wouldn’t be.