‘Titans’ Offers CGI and Nothing More

Eric Bourse

Zeus, played by Liam Neeson (“Taken,” 2008) and his fellow Olympians have a problem. In the kingdom of Argos, the people decide to rebel against the gods because they feel they have been mistreated.

Without the people’s worship, the gods begin to lose power. However, the God of the Underworld, played by Ralph Fiennes, (“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” 2007) offers Zeus a plan to make the people start praying again by unleashing the Kraken, a colossal monster.

“Clash of the Titans” is directed by Louis Leterrier (“The Incredible Hulk,” 2008) and is a remake of the 1981 cult classic of the same name. The screenplay was written by Travis Beachham, Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi (“íon Flux,” 2005).

The movie stars Sam Worthington as Perseus, the demi-god son of Zeus. Perseus is on a boat with his adoptive family when they witness soldiers of Argos destroy a statue of Zeus. In a matter of seconds, Hades sends his winged minions to kill the rebelling soldiers. When Hades notices the boat, he destroys it and ends up killing Perseus’ adoptive family.

Perseus is rescued by soldiers and is taken to Argos. During a party to humiliate the gods, the queen claims that her daughter, Andromeda, played by Alexa Davalos (“Defiance,” 2008), is more beautiful than Aphrodite. With uncanny timing, Hades kills the queen and tells the people of Argos that in 10 days he will unleash the Kraken unless Andromeda is sacrificed. Instead, Perseus and soldiers from Argos set out to find the Stygian Witches to find a way to kill the Kraken and Hades.

There are several major differences between the remake and the original. In the 1981 film, Perseus’ reason for setting out on the quest is to save his love interest, Andromeda. In the remake however, Perseus is led by revenge for the death of his family. The helpful mechanical owl, Bubo, is replaced by Perseus’ new love interest, Io, played by Gemma Arterton (“The Quantum of Solace,” 2008). Io is another demi-god who is never completely explained. She just comes along the journey to help Perseus.

The CGI in the film is very well done. The wings on Pegasus look natural and photorealistic. The Kraken is simply amazing to look at on the big screen. The most memorable performances from the film come from Madds Mikkelsen (“Quantum of Solace,” 2008) as Draco, a soldier from Argos, and Neeson as Zeus.

Although “Clash of the Titans” features scenes overflowing with CGI, there is never any buildup to the action. All the action sequences are done at the same break-neck speed which can be confusing at times, such as the battle scene with the scorpions. It takes a few moments to realize that there are several large scorpions battling the heroes.

The dialogue doesn’t take itself seriously and Worthington is bland as the movie’s hero. Unlike the 1981 cult classic, this remake will most likely be forgotten when a superior Greek mythology film comes along.

For those wanting to watch the film in 3-D, it isn’t worth it. The film wasn’t meant to be in 3-D and only a few scenes attempt to justify the cost of a 3-D movie ticket. Audiences that stay until the end will realize how ripped off they were when the best 3-D sequence in the film is the credits.

“Clash of the Titans” will most likely end up being one of the year’s biggest disappointments despite being one of the biggest blockbusters of the year. The film lacks the charm and personality of the original. However, audiences expecting a popcorn film and nothing more, will still enjoy the film’s visuals and might be entertained.

“Clash of the Titans” runs 118 minutes and is rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief sensuality.

My rating: 2 stars out of 5