Clash of the Titans (2010)
Directed by: Louis Leterrier
Written by: Beverley Cross, Matt Manfredi, Phil Hay, Travis Beacham
Starring: Gemma Arterton, Jason Flemyng, Liam Cunningham, Liam Neeson, Luke Evans, Luke Treadaway, Mads Mikkelsen, Nicholas Hoult, Pete Postlethwaite, Polly Walker, Ralph Fiennes, Sam Worthington
See, i haven’t studied Greek Mythology. All i know about it is what i learnt from the original Clash of the Titans, Jason and the Argonauts, the odd book at school maybe and possibly some other knowledge gained from other films. My wife, on the other hand, studied Greek Mythology and knows the ins and outs of it like the back of her hand. Trust me, she knows her stuff! So, when she actually got up to leave the cinema a mere 15 minutes in, it just showed just how far from the actual story this film has sadly gone.
I begged her to stay, “i must see the Kraken!” i said. The Kraken was pretty much my top reason for seeing this, and so she stayed, hating every minute while i sat mildly enjoying it. I will not argue with my wife over a subject i know less of, but she has told me many many flaws in the new “Americanised gung-ho” version. Andromeda never had a Father, in this she does. Zeus and Hades hated each other, REALLY hated each other, whereas here, Zeus allows Hades into his realm and actually has a civilised conversation with him. Even tho Hades was out to get Zeus, this conversation would never have happened the way it did. Medusa, the apparently cursed woman, STILL has a very attractive face, not like the proper ugly Medusa, so the makers missed that didn’t they! Pegasus is feckin BLACK!!!!!! Now, correct me if i’m wrong, but Pegasus was the horses NAME, and not the BREED of flying horse. They refer to our white winged horse of the original as The Pegasus, the breed, there’s loads of them! Christ, even i know there was just one! Oh, and it took a lot of effort for Perseus to actually ride him, that was one of his challenges, whereas here, he just gets on him, no bother! Hades doesn’t even appear in the proper story, and it was Poseidon who released the Kraken, NOT Hades! Oh, and Calibos was NOT the husband of Perseus’ Mother, who was raped by Zeus. Many many flaws in the story, its been beefed up for a new generation a little to much for my liking and kind of spoiled things a bit.
The Gods were all a bit wet to be honest, and those beards looked bloody awful. I much preferred the Perseus in the original, this Perseus is good, but a tad annoying. Much of the story has been changed in the way the film develops too; this is NOT a scene for scene remake.
After all these moans, you must think i hated it. Well, i didn’t. I actually enjoyed it, to an extent. I did watch it in 2D as well. I stuck my head in on both versions while at work the other night, and found the 3D to be blurred and out of focus, so take my advice and watch it in 2D. The story is fast moving, and for all its flaws, its quite satisfying. If you can get past the ridiculous changes then there’s plenty to like. Once we get the first half hour or so out of the way, it gets good and we start seeing scenes we remember from the original. Calibos is a great character here, he looks great and has even more strength than in the original. He’s a fearsome, nasty beast who takes on about ten men in the desert in an awesome fight scene. As in the original, he also looses his hand, which then leads to a breathtaking scene involving those wonderful Skorpios! I must say, the effects for the original were outstanding, obviously now we have CGI, and this is one scene you must see in the cinema for both the effects and the incredible sound of these monsters crashing on the floor. One HUGE complaint tho, it was the blood from Medusa’s head that created these monsters, NOT the blood from Calibos’s hand. Anyway, the scene is awesome, and to be fair, this is what we’ve come here to see. A newer version with bigger and better effects and it pays off in spades!
Next, we move on to one of the biggest pisstakes of Greek Mythology, the Djin turn up in the dessert! Now, i was under the impression that these weren’t even part of Greek Mythology at all, so what the hell were they doing here! Less said about them the better i think as they didn’t really serve the film, except for one wonderful comedy moment with Medusa. The soldiers following Perseus are all likeable characters, with Liam Cunningham providing the many humour moments that had many people in the audience laughing. Its humour in good taste and not too cheesy. Gemma Arterton is sexy as hell as Lo, and we just don’t see enough of her to be honest. Oh, to be lost in the desert with her!!! Back to the Gods, and one character is shamefully wasted, Danny Huston as Poseidon. He has ONE feckin line, as he talks with his wobbly fake beard! I was angry, very angry to see the poor guy so badly wasted!
We soon head towards Medusa, and the showdown is great, but yet another scene that benefits from the awesome sound levels in the cinema. I will admit tho, i much preferred the original Medusa, she was scary, fearsome, a nasty hellish beast. This Medusa is far too CGI and looses all the power the original had. One thing i will say tho, is Medusa’s lair looks fantastic, really really good. But, and one huge great but, where the feck was Cerberus???? The Dog who guards the gates of Hell, or in this case, the underworld???? The three headed, vicious creature outside Medusa’s lair. Forget that one did ya, hey Louis Letterrier!!!! Dozy twat, i was really looking forward to seeing that
Anyway, that aside, and once Medusa has her final moment, we all know that we are now leading up to the climax, and the Kraken, and i can assure everyone, there is no way on earth that Lost Highways piece is as big as that!!! So, a run of the mill build up with the usual Americanised heroes and jokers, some embarrassing speeches, some great effects and some sexy women. We are now heading to what we have come to see more than anything. And just to remind us it is coming, this really REALLY irritating knobhead has gathered all the towns folk and wants to give Andromeda as a sacrifice to the Kraken. This skinny, English sounding toss bag who is one of those characters who seems to be in the film just to annoy everyone, i HATED him!!!! Anyway, Hades goes to Zeus, and after a conversation, Zeus speaks the words we have all been waiting for “very well….. release the Kraken!” HURRAHH!!!!!!!
Perseus is flying through the air on the back of Pegasus, the waters around the town are starting to ripple, the King and Queen are in a panic, that twat is preaching and tying up Andromeda. Suddenly, flying demons arrive and start to create a real panic, all the while the waters start to become more active, waves are forming, the Kraken is coming!!!!!! And he comes, and comes and comes. It takes him about ten minutes to get his fat arse out of the water and into full view, I’ve never seen anything move so slow! But, it works, you get to see him in all his glory, you don’t miss a thing and it is an awesome site, really magnificent. The effects people have really gone to work on this gigantic monster and i defy anyone not to be just the least bit excited, heart pounding, taken away by the glorious site of this monster rising from the deep, tentacles lazily falling on buildings and letting out roar after roar so everyone knows he’s here, just in case they hadn’t seen him. Offering up Andromeda as a sacrifice seems pointless, she is but a tiny ant compared to the Kaken, what the hell would he do with her?? If he ate her she wouldn’t even touch the sides! Anyway, a glorious ten minute chase sequence of Perseus trying to get back Medusa’s head, the townsfolk running for their lives and the Kraken trying to stand up, is ended with Medusa’s head turning the poor beast to stone. The way he turns to stone looks brilliant, and he actually does more damage crumbling and falling apart than what he did standing up!
So there you have it, an enjoyable romp, far detached from the actual story but beefed up for the special effects junkies. Oh, that mechanical owl has a cameo, however, I’m not sure how to take it. It was put in as a homage to the original, however, the guy who finds it says “what’s this old piece of junk” and his mate says something like “its a waste, throw it away”. Is this the director saying something about the original???? I don’t know. Anyway, leave your brains at home, forget the original as story wise its far far better, just go along and enjoy the film for what it is. A brainless, actioner full of incredible effects and the usual action characters. Its a million miles away from the 80’s version. Is it better? Effects wise? Hell yeh!!! Much better, but only because we now have CGI. Is the story better? No, not a chance. Characters? No, they were much more realised in the 80’s version, much more believable. So, its not better than the original in some ways, but it does exactly what we expected, delivers 1 hour and forty odd minutes of pure adrenalin that won’t get boring. Will it stand the test of time like the 80’s classic? No, definitely not.