James Helsby

LRE #14: Clash of the Titans

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Little Red Envelope

In my mailbox this week:
Clash of the Titans

Release Year: 2010
Staring: Sam Worthington, Alexa Davalos, Liam Neeson

I am all for a good remake. And doubly so, when you take a somewhat bad movie and turn it into an awesome movie. The formula is pretty simple: What did people like about the original? How can we make that better. But sometimes, a ‘re-imagination’ or ‘modernization’ or ‘insert other jargon here’ can bring nothing good. Nothing good comes from the 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans.

Perseus as Scultped by Cellini

Clash of the Titans, is the story of Perseus (Sam Worthington). Perseus is the son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), but doesn’t know it. You see, when a God gets a forlorn in his loins, he descends from Mount Olympus and instantly conceives a child with some lucky or unlucky woman. In this case, Zeus was upset with a warlord, and decided to ‘have’ his wife. She was instantly impregnated, and Perseus was born. The war lord then cast his wife (still alive) in a coffin into the sea to die, to smite Zeus.

1981

Perseus being a demi-god (half-man, half-god), survives where his mother doesn’t and is saved from the sea by a fisherman. Perseus is then raised by the fisherman and his family, and eventually grows up to despise the Gods, when they kill the family. And so, a hero-quest is born.

This may or may not align with traditional mythology, I didn’t really care too much about it in school. Most of what I knew about Greek mythology I learned by watching the original Clash of the Titans.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the original 1981 movie. It was cheap, poorly acted, and horribly special-effected (is that a word? No? It is now.) But there were some things that it really had going for it. You had Sir Laurence Olivier, and Ursula Andress, and huge amounts of cheesy classic camp. Special effects were done with stop motion clay-mation, and it seemed like half the film was shot through a Vaseline coated lens.

CGI Boring

Clay-mation Glory

But I would rather watch this film, 100 times over, than watch the new adaptation.  I knew something was wrong, when not five minutes into the show, I needed to rewind 10 seconds, and crank the volume up, just to understand what the hell Worthington was saying. We have a phrase for this, “mumble-vision,” the need to review a scene, just to try and understand what the hell was said. The audio, at least the spoken track, for this movie was horrendous, and I don’t usually make that complaint. But we just couldn’t understand words, or even why Worthington went from pseudo-American accent, to British-accent, to Australian-accent through the course of the movie.

But I could make it past the mumbles. The rewind button works well, and subtitles help. But what I can’t make it past, is the giant glaring, and even addressed plot holes. I might ruin it for you, but I don’t care. You see, it one scene, Zeus give Perseus a golden coin to pay a bribe to the boatman of the river Stix; to grant them passage across into Hell. They discuss how the passage into hell is easy, but leaving is much more difficult. As they are crossing, one of Perseus’ compatriots walks up to him, and asks him how many coins Zeus gave him, to which he responded “only the one.” No return trip.

Cloverfield monster attacks Argos

Cut to 5 minutes later, after a fairly boring ‘climatic’ fight scene with Medusa, and you have Perseus walking out of Hell, head held high. No boat man. No river. No Money.

This bugged the living crap out of me.

Original and Cheesy

And then, about ten minute before the end, you finally get to see the Kraken. And he looks more like left-over animation from Cloverfield. A cross between a Dinosaur and octopus. I will unkindly remember him as Octosaur. But i digress. This is supposed to be the ultimate evil monster, and child of Hades. The size of a city. And yawn, we spent most of the time watching Perseus being chased by giant flying rodents that explode when they hit anything.

This movie was bad. It was really bad. It tried really hard to be a summer-action-blockbuster, but fell on it’s face. It made it’s money, and will probably make more in DVD sales, but I say avoid it. Go get the original, and save yourself $10. Better yet, dust of the VCR and pull out the copy your parents had.

How much alcohol did it take: More than it should have.
Rating: 3/10. Annoying. Sort of long. Boring, with glaring plot holes.

The Wife’s Retort: Mumble, Mumble, Mumble, fight scene, mumble, mumble, Zeus, mumble, mumble, release the kraken, mumble.

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