REVIEW- Clash of the Titans

The gods must be lazy
Review by Vives Anunciacion
Inquirer Libre April 5, 2010

THE gods must be lazy, or bored. Clash of the Titans is an action-oriented big-budgeted remake of the 1981 classic but lacks the spirit of the Greek myths the original had lots of. Good enough to be seen, but don’t waste your manna on 3D.

Loosely based on the Greek legend of how the hero Perseus (Sam Worthington) battled giant monsters and forsook his immortal ancestry to save the city of Argos and princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos) from being sacrificed to the beast, the Kraken.

Perseus, son of Zeus (Liam Neeson) but raised by fisherfolk, is aided by fellow demigod Io (Gemma Arterton), the winged horse Pegasus, Draco (Mads Mikkelsen) and a group of Djinns. Against him are ranged giant scorpions, the beast Calibos (Jason Flemyng) and the serpent-headed Medusa.

Never mind hewing close to the myths, the new version doesn’t stay close to the original as well (referenced in the new version in the scene where Perseus throws away Bubo, the mechanical owl of Athena of the original Clash. “Leave it behind,” says Draco.) No, this is not your son’s Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. At least Disney’s animated Hercules had more clashes and Titans than this computer-generated mishmash.

What makes this action-fantasy lethargic is an overbearing reiteration of its theme of how the gods have forsaken humans and how humans have forgotten to pray to the gods, first told by the fisherman Spyros (Perseus’ foster father, played by Peter Postlethwaite), then again by Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and repeatedly by Zeus.

While it is not a bad idea to suggest that humans should revisit his spirituality, such a suggestion from a similar fantasy film was done by Kamakalawa, the local Clash of the Titans by National Artist Eddie Romero.

At least the original Clash – starring Laurence Olivier as Zeus and Ursula Andress as Aphrodite and special effects from legendary animator Ray Harryhausen—knew it was a campy take on the Greek hero. The new version takes itself too seriously, as if the end of the world is nigh.

Oh, for heaven’s sake.

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