‘Clash of The Titans’ - a special effects joyride (IANS Movie Review, Rating: **)

April 2nd, 2010 - 6:19 pm ICT by IANS  

By Satyen K. Bordoloi
Film: “Clash of the Titans”; Director: Louis Leterrier; Cast: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Gemma Arterton, Alexa Davalos; Rating: **

Right at the beginning of the film, a character says, “I am tired of being thankful for scraps.” One could say the same for 3D Hollywood extravaganza, even though these are but early days of the modern ‘avatar’ of 3D. “Clash of The Titans” is just that, a scrap of a movie, but with elements that could have made it a good film, even if not great.

One thing you got to give the film - its epic setting. What can be greater than the fight between gods and humans with a demigod, best of both humans and gods and the only hope against human annihilation.

Perseus (Sam Worthington), discovered and reared by a fisherman, does not really know that he is a demigod, the son of Zeus himself. Fate draws him into a battle between humans and the gods, which actually is the battle for power between Zeus and his evil, but wronged brother, Hades (Ralph Fiennes). He wants no part of it, but after Hades kills his mortal parents, he wants vengeance.

When Hades threatens to raise the monster Kraken, Perseus agrees to take a perilous journey to get the head of Medusa (Natalia Vodianova), the sight of whose eyes could turn any male into stone. The rest of the film is like Frodo in “Lord of the Rings” taking a dangerous journey during which, like a videogame, he gets gifts from the gods and manages to overcome all obstacles.

Initially refusing to accept who he is, Perseus has no choice but to live his destiny of saving humanity.

Some wise man once said, too many cooks spoil the broth. “Clash of The Titans” is proof. Here is a perfect story, taken from Greek mythology and Warner Bros own previous 1981 version of the film. And it was in 2002 that the process to resurrect the film began but along the way it changed so many hands, so many scriptwriters, that what you see today is a scrap of it all.

The special effects are as good as only Hollywood can deliver. 3D only enhances it. Yet, in the rush to have the best possible effects, the true potential of 3D has not been explored.

You don’t need effect specialists to do justice to 3D. You need a good story, which “Titans” could have been, and a director with a vision. Sadly Louis Leterrier is no James Cameron. What could have been an intelligent (without losing its simplicity) critique of power and its misuse, becomes a special effects joyride, almost looking like a video game in parts, without a soul to call its own.

The latest action hero on the block, Worthington proves himself worthy again, with just the right mix of vulnerability and anger, innocence and handsomeness.

He jumps through blazing embers, half flies through the air sword glistening in hand, gallops down on villains on his flying horse, slices the head of a snake monster without looking in her eyes, and oh, sadly, he does not get to kiss the two beautiful women.

Worthington plays almost the same character in all his three films - an avatar, one who initially does not know who he is, be it as a terminator in T4, or Jake who takes on another form in “Avatar”, or as a human who is actually a demigod in this film.

His acting abilities have not yet been tested as much as his muscles. The others in Titan, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes do their job with the diligence they are known for.

It’s a long weekend, with not enough English movies being released. Watch “…Titans” if you don’t mind a mindless movie with great effects.

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