Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ryan Watches a Motion Picture #20: The Clash of the Clash of the Titans, Part 2

Clash of the Titans (2010)

Hello! I am Sam Worthington, a 'player' in this 'recorded play'

I mentioned before that the 1981 Clash of the Titans has more vitality than this remake. Here's why!

During the first ten minutes, I dared hope that I'd enjoy this remake. After an exposition-conquering, star-strewn opening sequence, we're given a few characters willing to call the gods out on their mistreatment of humanity. That'll always tickle my fancy. Defying the gods. Alright! Well and good. Until any weight that the defiance might have had evaporates once the movie actually starts to roll out. The plot is, unfortunately, loosely slung together with a poor man's mythology indicative of lazy writing - the mythological elements in the film seem throwaway where they should be an integral, organic part of the story.

Sam Worthington's performance is predictably weak. Whenever he tries to show any kind of inner turmoil, his face kind of stops half-way and then backs up, like he's not sure he's pulling it off because he isn't. That made me laugh at least. His interactions with the party of heroes assembled for the quest is unremarkable, and is filled with heaps of really lame male bonding sequences between token characters I don't care about. And there's a completely inexplicable race of Djinn people that join the party and bust out inexplicable powers now and again. These powers are called deus ex machina.

It all comes to feel like a failed attempt at Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings films, complete with bombastic CGI events and a dude that looks and sounds like Orlando Bloom - which is to say, a dude that makes me want to throw a fiery anvil covered in bees into his face.

Even Liam Neeson's role comes off the screen a little thin (and he's effing ZEUS), but Ralph Fiennes is, at least, fun to watch as Hades. I was kind of rooting for his cause, but he had this fatal flaw - instead of being a fucking god and tearing shit up with his immense power, whenever he wants someone taken down he decides to split himself up into five or six winged demon things that really aren't that powerful. Not sure why Hades would bother with that when he seems to do pretty well by not doing that.

So: When Medusa is referred to as 'the bitch' at the end of a not-so-stirring speech, you know your movie is cinema slurry.

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