Clash of the Titans
dir Louis Leterrier
prd Kevin De La Noy, Basil Iwanyk
scr Travis Beacham, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi
with Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Mads Mikkelsen, Liam Cunningham, Jason Flemyng, Nicholas Hoult, Hans Matheson, Luke Treadaway, Alexa Davalos, Pete Postlethwaite
release UK/US 2.Apr10
10/UK Warner 1h46
Clash of the Titans
Nice legs: Mikkelsen and Worthington

arterton neeson fiennes
Wrath of the Titans (2012)
R E V I E W    B Y    R I C H    C L I N E
Clash of the Titans The studio clearly couldn't resist the chance to digitally revisit the creatures so memorably animated by Ray Harryhausen in the 1981 original. The result is an unnecessary remake that's loud, chaotic and mildly entertaining.

Perseus (Worthington) is a demigod who has been raised by humans and now finds himself at the centre of a war between man and the gods Zeus (Neeson), Hades (Fiennes) and Poseidon (a blink-and-you'll-miss-him Danny Huston). Accompanied by a handful of plucky warriors from Argos (including Mikkelsen, Cunningham, Hoult and Matheson) and his spirit-guide Io (Arterton), he heads off to find the secret to defeat Hades' feared Kraken so he can save Princess Andromeda (Davalos).

The film opens with an extended voice-over from Arterton explaining that the gods have killed all the titans (which kind of undermines the title), and that now mankind wants to eliminate the gods. She then pops up to explain everything as it happens, trying to make sense of a plot that's been harshly edited to a mere outline of its narrative. The film gallops along, darting past key events, leaving big-name cast members on the cutting room floor and chopping all the action to get a PG-13 (which means you're rarely sure quite what's happened).

And while the movie is far too serious and joyless for its own good, there's at least some camp value in seeing these manly men growling their dialog while wearing mini-skirts. Not to mention the shameless theft of key elements from Star Wars (the light sabre, the lost hand, sand people, a glimmery Neeson urging his son to use the force). And the film is stolen by side actors Ashraf Barhom and Mouloud Achour as comic-relief Turkish warriors.

Finally, it has to be said that the digital effects are impressive, from the gigantic scorpions to the swooshing Pegasus, plus of course the Kraken itself. On the other hand, the unnecessary 3D is eye-straining and uninteresting. In the end, the film is decently watchable fluff, and the only real pity is that the whole story has been turned into a vacuous revenge quest with no subtext at all. But maybe that was too much to hope for.

cert 12 themes, strong violence 30.Mar.10

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© 2010 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall