In an age where Hollywood has gone remake and Greek mythology crazy – is it any wonder that the original 1981 Clash of the Titans was given an upgrade? Louis Leterrier (Transporter 2, The Incredible Hulk) definitely achieved that in this remake.
A war is imminent in the city of Argos. Man no longer tolerates the whims of the gods and begin to defy and desecrate their temples and images. This angers the gods and Zeus’ hand is forced and he unleashes Hades on earth (who has ulterior motives). Meanwhile, caught in this furore, Perseus’ family die and he swears vengeance on the gods. So it is with disdain and disbelief that he discovers that he is actually the son of Zeus and therefore a demi-god. In a race against time (an eclipse of course), Perseus must save Argos, before the Kraken comes to lay waste to the city at the order of Hades.
I love all stories but nothing quite fascinates me as much as Greek mythology and it seems Hollywood is fascinated too. In the past few months alone we have had : Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, Clash of the Gods (A History Channel series) and Immortals (due out 2011) all focused on Mount Olympus, the gods, their illegitimate children and the havoc that this wreaks not only on their lives but also the world.
So as a Greek mythology aficionado, I have to say I enjoyed the film. It is however just about the special effects. If you want to watch an epic Greek myth with suitably gargantuan special effects then this is it! If you’re looking for something deeper then you will be sorely disappointed. The plot deviates a lot from the original stories and is poorly executed.
For example, Perseus and Andromeda become man and wife whereas in this movie Io is given to him instead. In the original Greek story, Io was Zeus’ mistress cursed by Hera to be a cow not cursed with agelessness like in the film. Another one that bugged me is the lack of the 3 Gorgon sisters – only Medusa appears. Perseus also didn’t have all the gifts bestowed to him by the gods for his quest for Medusa’s head (invisibility helmet, shield, flying sandals etc). That is just a few of some of the big variations.
On top of all that, the characters are so one dimensional with a terrible script that you don’t really develop any empathy for them. You don’t care much for Perseus’ plight. I have to say, though, Liam Neeson as Zeus and Ralph Fiennes as Hades is inspired. Despite this being a bad movie to reunite on, since the best film of all time Schindler’s List, they do play their characters with gusto. The other gods do nothing else though which is terrible. Poseidon is a background god despite being one of the top 3.
So go to see this with low expectations – it is worth the price of admission for the special effects, fight scenes and the other characters that help Perseus on his mission (they are a lot more charismatic!). A disappointment overall though and as a friend of mine said it had a high potential-sleep-rating for him. DO NOT SEE THIS IN 3D!! It is not worth it!