All style and no substance, Clash of the Titans is a hollow remake of the 1981 film of the same name. Perseus (Sam Worthington, Avatar, Terminator Salvation) is a demi-god who gets adopted by a fisherman. But when the rest of humanity stops praying to the Gods, Perseus sees his adopted family killed and is forced to join a group of soldiers to find a way to destroy the Kraken, a monster which is threatened to be released by Hades (Ralph Fiennes, Harry Potter, Red Dragon) on the rest of the world.
If I could sum up this film in one word, it would be “dull”. Nothing in particular stands out, the plot is a generic and non-engaging story loosely based on the myth of Perseus riddled with plot holes, and I felt no attachment to any of the characters. Worthington gives a bog standard action hero performance, but with a questionable accent. Fiennes gives a rehash of his work as Lord Voldemort, complete with raspy voice, but there is nothing original here. Liam Neeson (Taken, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace) gives a slightly different spin on the character Zeus, showing his dark side instead of his typical portrayal as a paragon of good, but this is just above mediocre. The only character I was vaguely interested in was Io (Gemma Arterton, Quantum of Solace, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters), but she is underdeveloped, and given a weak sub-plot that isn’t properly resolved.
Some of the characters are so unmemorable; I forgot they were even in the film! Jason Flemyng (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels) is Acrisius, a secondary villain thrown in for no reason apart from an extra fight scene or two, and Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale, Hannibal) is woefully miscast as Draco, the stereotypically gruff military captain. It was unintentionally funny to spot some actors in secondary roles “before they were famous”, like Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth in Game of Thrones) and Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies, Jack the Giant Slayer), and even a bit part going to Elizabeth McGovern (Lady Cora Crawley in Downton Abbey).
One thing I can say is the film is quite pretty. Although I have heard that the 3D was garish and unnecessary, I didn’t have any problems with the 2D CGI. A few of the fight scenes were cool to watch, but I did think that the conflict with Medusa at the end of second act was more climatic than the finale. You can tell it had a huge budget as well, since the variety of landscape shots was huge. These were probably the best bits of the movie, the beautiful scenery reminding me of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. But this is nowhere near enough to sustain an entire film.
This film was a poor cash-in using 3D technology, but on the whole the effects weren’t too bad. But even they couldn’t stop the director Louis Leterrier turns decent Greek mythology into a weak story filled with plot holes with forgettable characters.