Clash of the Titans Review: The Monster of the Minute Movie

Wait a minute. Could you please stop for a moment? Hey! Come on…wait. I mean…hello? Please, calm you storm, okay? … Is there a ‘Pause’ key on this one? What the Styx is going on? Could you please wait a….oh man…

The basic premise of Clash of the Titans is not bad in itself. We have Perseus who hates the gods and decides to fight them. On the way to win we got the monster of the minute and a hot damsel in distress. That’s good enough to me. But the execution of director Louis Leterrier is so damn fricking fast and messed up that I didn’t even start to care a shit about what’s going on or the characters – and that’ only one problem of many.

On the other hand…the speed problem might be the reason for all the other problems of the whole flick. Let me get this straight:

After seeing him grow up in – what!? – three scenes, we see Perseus losing his family by the hand of Hades. We learn that the people of Argos started a rebellion against the gods. Okay. The first thing pisses Perseus off by the way. Then he is brought before the King of Argos for whatever reasons. Ten scenes later we learn that the humans need to sacrifice their Princess to ease the anger of Zeus and save everyone. Otherwise the gods unleash Kraken. Or start acting big time. Okay if I were one of the Argonauts I wouldn’t have wasted a second here and the movie/story would have ended here. But they didn’t. Idiots.

Okay, what’s next?

Perseus is thrown into prison as everyone learns he is a Demi-God. Okay. Then a woman called Io explains that Zeus once nailed the wife of a king who fought the gods and Perseus is the result. Okay, sounds reasonable. The king learned of this and of course decided to dump his wife and Perseus -after he is born. So basically he waited nine months and then unleashed his anger towards them instead towards Zeus. Yeah, that makes sense! After learning this, Perseus is being made the leader of a group to fight the Kraken. They walk(!!) towards some witches so they learn the Secret of Beating Kraken. In between Perseus learns sword fighting – although he only was fisherman up to now. Then we see Pegasus for a minute. One minute later he fights is “other” father who dumped him. This time though the guy made a contract with a god (Hades) he so fought hard once. Yep, sounds absolutely right. Oh yeah, and then one minute later Perseus suddenly fights scorpions. Since those things looked absolutely the same it took me half of the fight to figure out that the group was in fact fighting not one but two (or three) of those nasty “little” critters.

Perseus and his group of NPCs (non player characters)

Perseus and his group of NPCs (non player characters)

I could go on forever but I think you get the gust of it.

…Okay…

So why should I care about any of this? Did you care about any of this? The only thing I noticed was the astonishing amount of missed opportunities.

For one, it’s those many missed opportunities to flesh out the characters. Basically they had dozens of possibilities since the group travels for ten days between the fighting. But we learn nothing!

What is the dream of Perseus? What is he like? Has he hobbies or other stuff? The guy I watched on the big screen had no personality whatsoever. And I think he smiled exactly no time. Charming guy.

The other team members? Cannon fodder, no names. I know that there was one guy who never smiled then there are two comedy relief guys, one guy who looked like Legolas and some other no faces in between. How the heck should I care for them? Moreover when they are killed like flies?

Perseus and a...thing need to finish the "Medusa Level"

Perseus and a...thing need to finish the "Medusa Level". Somehow still shots never resemble the actual movie in any way.

Besides the missed characterization it’s the fights themselves. There are so many of them in Clash of the Titans that not one of them felt important. As I described above it’s basically jumping from one battle to the next to the next and so on ad infinitum. And since there are so many battles to fight, not one of them lasts more than some mere minutes.

Heck I even got the feeling of watching a video game adaption when one of the non main characters gives Perseus a shield he describes as a “rare item”. Ding ding, Defense +1000. Some minutes earlier he got a rare sword which increased his attack level by 1000. On to the next level, called “Medusa’s Head”.

Louis Leterrier tried so hard in shoving dozens of characters and enemies into Clash of the Titans that he totally missed the most important thing of all: giving the movie a sense of adventure and terror. And giving me time to start loving these guys and start feeling for and with them. None of that happened.

Why he didn’t fully go the Lord of the Rings route is beyond me. Basically, he could have told the whole backstory in four minutes or so and start the movie by jumping right into the middle of the quest, when all the characters sit around and talk about what’s going to happen. That could have given Clash of the Titans at least twenty minutes of time to use for characterization.

Krake, my visitors. My visitors, Krake the boss of the last game level

Krake, my visitors. My visitors, Krake the final boss of the game and friggin' huge.

Well at least we have cool visual effects. The only problem here? They totally went for the bigger is better, faster is better and more frames are better route. Medusa is fast as styx and nasty as hell, Kraken is as big as New York City and so on. But again, I didn’t give a shit about the size because I didn’t care for anything. Did you? When do the Hollywood powers learn that bigger is not always better?

I still remember the original Clash of the Titans movie and I still clearly remember the scene with the original Medusa. Boy, that girl was creepy. It wasn’t nearly as fast. And just because of this the scene had way more impact. I think the new Clash of the Titans can be proud when I’ll at least remember that there was a big monster in it.

The director went totally for the action fodder stuff with the usual CGI formula of higher texture resolutions and bigger models. As a result we have a movie that has amazing visual effects. But missing characterizations, illogical reasoning and too many fights lead to nothing and made me feeling nothing. I think that’s really bad for an adventure movie.

Rating
Don't bother.

Leave a reply