Well, at least I know what setting $70 million ablaze looks like in 3D. That’s about all that’s to be gained from this 2010 version of Clash of the Titans, an ugly, joyless clunker that could only have been made better if it were an April Fool’s joke. No such luck. With nary a thrill or laugh, at least of the intentional variety, in sight, the result is 118 minutes of soul-sucking self-seriousness, boredom, bad acting, and the kind of 3D experience that should kill the momentum this fad has already gained.
Sam Worthington is Perseus, the half-man, half-God son of Zeus (Neeson). Since he is half-human, he is a mortal. When Zeus makes a pact with Hades (Fiennes) to spread evil all over the globe and heavens, it’s up to Perseus and a ragtag band of mortals to stop them. The journey encounters them with a litany of Greek mythology characters, including the half-snake, half-woman Medusa and the Gods’ most potent weapon, the Kraken.
It’s hard to pinpoint where this all went so wrong. The original 1981 film is a cheese-filled, yet harmless picture. It’s not beyond reproach and there’s plenty of room to improve upon it. Screenwriters Travis Beachem, Phil Hay, and Matt Manfredi don’t even come close. Not only does this story make little-to-no-sense, but it’s impossible to care. Drastic attempts are made to cover it up with CGI and spectacle, but none of it has any punch. The 3D experience is misery with sunglasses. The action is too fast for the 3D conversion to keep up with, the forced brightness that comes with 3D sucks the life out of the locales, and worse yet, very little of the film even looks to be in three dimensions.
The three lead performances are all embarrassing. Sam Worthington does his best Russell Crowe a la Gladiator, and his monotone delivery is old by the end of the first act. Liam Neeson, though given the film’s signature line, isn’t given much else to do. Faring worse is Ralph Fiennes as Hades. His expressionless face and raspy voice elicit more laughs than menace. How these three actors got involved with this I’ll never know.
Based upon the pushbacks and eleventh hour efforts to get this corpse converted to 3D, it’s pretty obvious that Warner Brothers knows they have a stinker on their hands. They have a recognizable title and a few popular actors to work with, but the good stops there. This is as bleak and cheerless of a spectacle as I’ve seen in awhile, and literally turning to stone would be preferable to having to endure it again.
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Length: 118 Minutes
Rating: Rated PG-13 for fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief sensuality.
Theatrical Release: April 2, 2010
Directed by: Louis Leterrier
Written by: Travis Beachem & Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi. Based upon the 1981 screenplay by Beverley Cross.
Cast: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Flemyng, Gemma Arterton