1 May 2011

Film and DVD review

So soon i will post reviews from our alphabetical film review project. 
But heres a nice segway from fantasy to films

Clash of the Titans 2010

This is a remake of the Clash of the Titans made in 1981 with Lawrence Oliver and Maggie Smith. The original movie was a departure from the classic Perseus myth, partly to throw in a few more special effects and to try and spice it up a little. Having read the various versions of the myth it doesn’t need all that much spicing, but Hollywood does meddle with stories if it feels it will make a better product.  But the result was a fun and very entertaining movie. It had grand actors and actresses along with young hopefuls competing, with stop motion animation monsters (which were pretty cool at the time) on an epic scale. Despite looking a bit dated, it remains for me a fun movie to watch on a rainy day.

In many ways the remake is true to the original. You have A list actors like Liam Neeson, Pete Postlethwaite and Ralph Fiennes, and young actors such as Gemma Arteton and Mads Mikkelsen also competing for your attention with CGI monsters.  Also like the original it is very loosely (any looser mind it would a date with Lindsey Lohan) based on the Greek myth of Perseus.  But the similarities between the films end around there.

While the original movie was an adventurous romp with a brave hero rescuing a princess from a monster, this version is the story of mankind’s fight to over throw the tyranny of the gods. The city of Argos decides to wage war against the gods, but in the conflict Perseus (Sam Worthington) loses his family to the evil god Hades (Ralph Fiennes) wrath. Now Perseus wants revenge.

Ok bear with me. You know there are gods; you may have seen these gods. When you pray to these gods stuff happens such as your crops grow or you have a healthy child. They are powerful, immortal and created mankind and the world. So why would you wage war on your gods? Because they are tyrants of course! Booooooooo tyrants.

But what did these tyrants do? You may be asking. Well that is never really explained so let’s move on.

As previous mentioned the city of Argos has declared war on Zeus (Liam Neeson) and the other gods by stopping their prayers to them. As a result the common people seem to be miserable and starving, and the majority of their army has been destroyed.

That will show those gods!

Then the queen of Argos states that they shouldn’t fear the gods and that her daughter is more beautiful than any goddess.  So then the gods turn up a bit miffed and say that unless the princess is sacrificed to a monster, the Kraken, the whole city will be destroyed.  Perseus is revealed as the son of Zeus and after some exposition reluctantly joins the remaining army of Argos (seven guys) to save the city and the princess, but only so he can get a shot at killing Hades.

Hijinx ensue.

Firstly the basic premise just didn’t make any sense to me. If everything was more or less fine why would mortals attack the gods? Although the writers threw in some rubbish back story about how this one god at band camp did this to Mary Sue and then she became Medusa, the film did not portray the Gods as villains. Zeus and Apollo were constantly mentioning how they loved mankind and they needed them.  If the movie was trying to portray the struggle of men overthrowing tyrants, it completely failed.  The people of Argos didn’t come across as oppressed so much as just stupid.

Secondly Sam Worthington’s portrayal of a man rejecting his demigod status to live as a normal man was just irritating (his Australian accent was also extremely irritating). I was reminded of Monty Python and the life of Brian at one point; I mean what have the gods ever done for us?  You mean besides creating us, giving us a magic sword, a flying horse and entry into the underworld, all so we can save every body? Why absolutely nothing. 
At one point the leader of the soldiers (Mads Mikkelsen the baddie in Casino Royale) lashes out at Perseus. His men are dying because Perseus is too arrogant to use the gifts left by Zeus to help Perseus on their quest. But Sam sticks to his guns and refuses to use the gifts “I choose to be a man” Sam says weakly.
Thus all the other characters die. Until Perseus is in real trouble and then he decides it might be a good idea to start using the magic sword, and the flying horse.  What a w@nker!

Except for a few choice lines from the supporting cast the dialogue is pretty dire. I mean the rampant butchery of Greek mythology aside; something that made me physically cringe in my seat I might add, I have heard better scripts at primary school plays.
The only characters that I had any sympathy for were the supporting cast.  And they had their work cut out for them supporting a lump of wood, and I am not talking about the character made of wood either. Perseus had no depth or interest to me.

Saying that the CGI was pretty cool, and the fight scenes were entertaining, but not great. The women beautiful and there were a couple of amusing moments. I also enjoyed going “Oooh it’s him” with the cast.

But not enough! Clash of the Titans was inconsistent, irritating, slightly depressing, and just made me angry. Louis Leterier has firmly entrenched himself to me as the Michael Bay of Europe.

If you like Greek mythology you will hate this.
If you liked the original movie you will hate this.
If you like a movie with good dialogue with a consistent and an entertaining story you will hate this.

If you love Michael Bay movies you will probably enjoy this.

Do as you wilt.

1 comment:

  1. The one positive thing I would say about this film is that it has no pretensions about it. It is nothing more than the action movie it claims to be in the trailer.