Monday, April 05, 2010

CLASH OF THE TITANS (2010) - Louis Leterrier

Considering the original Clash was such a primary part of my movie upbringing, you would think I'd be more up in arms about this lackluster but passable remake. Not so. Even as a youngster with a cursory knowledge of Greek lore, I knew that Titans was a heinous mish-mash of myths, more an excuse for cool clay monsters and sword fights than accurate history lesson. The idea of a Clash remake doesn't offend me to the core the same way, say, a Pelham 1, 2, 3 or Straw Dogs does. With Clash I figured, hey, in the age of 3D and CGI, perhaps it could be even cooler.

As suspected, this was not the case. First off, I only saw the 2D version having been scared away by damning reviews of the new Clash's late-in-the-game, post-Avatar 3D conversion. Second, CGI alone cannot breathe life into what is in effect a very stiff rendering of a camp classic. Sure, the giant scorpions are niftier in this version, and Perseus is given a beefed-up (though no more interesting) backstory that finds him constantly brooding over his demigod status and god-given weaponry. But Clash 2.0 is overly chaste, dullsville and wreaking of studio notes. So here are some of my own...

Why give the goddess Io all the love and not Andromeda? It's not as if either of them show much personality in this version. Why not combine the two into one character, save yourself some pointless set-up.

Why the flagrant diss on Bubo (the mechanical owl in the original)? Sure, he may have been a slightly annoying sidekick to Perseus, but the slam seems to suggest he approached Jar-Jar levels in the first Clash. Untrue!

The new Calibos -- not nearly as scary or interesting as in the first film. He just looks like a burn victim, barely registers as a viable villain.

Ralph Fiennes as Hades is morbid fun. Liam Neeson as Zeus...a missed opportunity at heavenly grandstanding.

Really? Changing Pegasus from a winged white horse to--get this-- a winged black horse! Someone probably earned six-figures and a WGA credit for that brain fart.

The Medusa scene blows. I'm sorry, Medusa is supposed to be butt-ugly all the time not just when she screeches in surround sound. But this one has her looking like an H.R. Giger-inspired Victoria Secret model half the time. And her lair does not require never-ending pits of fire. She's Medusa dammit! She turns men to stone! Isn't that enough?!

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