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The Warsaw Voice » Culture » April 30, 2010
The world of movies
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Clash of the Titans
April 30, 2010   
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Director Louis Leterrier (The Incredible Hulk, The Transporter) has come up with an elaborate remake of a film directed by Desmond Davis in 1981. The latter, occasionally shown on TV, today has an unintentional comic feel, mainly due to its painfully dated special effects. Confronted with the Medusa, Pegasus, the Kraken and other mythical creatures from Greek legends, 21st-century viewers can’t help but laugh at stop-frame puppet animation, which was state-of-the-art technology back in 1981. Three decades on, all this looks terribly awkward. Even Sir Lawrence Olivier as Zeus and Ursula Andress as Aphrodite don’t help. Viewers mainly remember Clash of the Titans ‘81 for the clumsy puppets and irritatingly flawed editing, by today’s standards.

Poor special effects are not a problem in the new movie, although the 3-D version is not a vast improvement on its 2-D counterpart. Unlike James Cameron’s Avatar, which set a new standard for any sequence shot in 3-D, viewers have been left largely underwhelmed at the three-dimensional ambitions of Clash of the Titans.

The recent onscreen efforts of Sam Worthington suggest he has landed a full-time job as the savior of the world, whether it is the world of the Greek gods, a future distopia where humans and machines fight for control of the Earth, or worlds beyond the solar system. First, Worthington bravely assisted Christian Bale in Terminator Salvation as a half-cyborg, then in Avatar he saved the planet Pandora, along with the reputation of the human race. Now he plays Perseus, the mythical half-god and son of Zeus (Liam Neeson—Schindler’s List, Batman Begins, Star Wars: Episode I—The Phantom Menace). Perseus’s mission is not only to rescue his beloved Andromeda (Alexa Davalos—Defiance, The Chronicles of Riddick), who is set to be devoured by a beast, but also to reconcile humans and gods as well as make peace in the realm of gods, which is undergoing problems. A conflict between Zeus and his brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes—The English Patient, The Constant Gardener, Harry Potter series) may lead to total annihilation, and Argos, the city of Perseus, could be the first to be razed to the ground by unearthly monsters. Perseus assembles a team of desperadoes and embarks on a dangerous mission.

Clash of the Titans is above all a spectacular and expensive extravaganza and as such, it could only be ruined by a logical script, plot subtleties and characters driven by complicated motives. All you should expect is entertainment, and entertainment is what you get. Not least because the cast themselves seem to be having a lot of fun as they earn their high fees. Probably having the most fun is Fiennes, who has been partial to playing villains ever since he became Lord Voldemort. Among the other actors you can spot faces familiar from recent James Bond flicks, including Gemma Arterton (Quantum of Solace) and Mads Mikkelsen (Casino Royale). It is no surprise that the Leterrier movie has for several months proved an international top three box-office hit.
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