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Movie Review: Clash of the Titans

BY ERIC ANDERSEN | APRIL 05, 2010 7:30 AM

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*** out of *****

Before beginning this review I have to admit two things — I have never seen the original Clash of the Titans and I didn’t watch this one in 3D.

Through a little research, I found the 1981 original was pretty lame by today’s standards (despite some awesome clay-animation monsters), and the 3D version of the current film fails to utilize its visuals (but looks pretty good in 2D).

However, I do love mindless action movies as much as the next guy, and Clash of the Titans succeeds in that area. For viewers craving serious plot-depth, go see something else. But for those who just want to watch buff dudes with beards killing giant scorpions, waging battle with the gods, or fighting a giant Kraken monster, Clash of the Titans is for you.

Besides, who wants to read about Greek mythology when you can condense all of those long-winded stories into an hour and 50 minutes of pure action?

Clash of the Titans tells the tale of Perseus (played by Sam Worthington, the go-to-guy for action flicks ever since Terminator Salvation), who is a demigod and the son of Zeus (played by Liam Neeson). He is abandoned by his “human father” and sent out to sea. In the span of about 10 minutes you get the entire back story, and the real action begins.

The people of Argos are angry at the gods (who rely on the people’s prayers for strength) and decide to rise up against them. After the townspeople destroy a giant Zeus statue, things get tense, and Hades (Ralph Fiennes) appears to the gods with a solution.

Resurrect the Kraken and show these human pawns the power of the gods. Of course Hades is naturally evil and doesn’t have his bro Zeus’ best interest in mind. The God of the Underworld tells the people of Argos they must sacrifice the queen or be annihilated. Then Perseus vows to destroy Hades. And that’s about all you need to know.

Really, the battles aren’t all that numerous in the movie, and the film could have done with another awesome fight scene and less cheesy “let’s show these gods what the humans are made of” dialogue.
All that talk is useless anyway, because in the end, the gods can dominate any mortal, and the only reason Perseus prevails is with the help of dear old dad.

So while the message that humans stick together to persevere over any hardship is there, the movie just makes us realize how screwed everyone is compared to the gods (although I guess you can argue the gods aren’t emotionally happy, but let’s not get too philosophical here; it’s Clash of the Titans, after all).

Plot bashing aside, there are some decent actors in the movie, with Neeson being the most valid of the bunch, and Worthington’s role made me hate him less for being in Terminator Salvation.

Whether to see Clash of the Titans in 3D is debatable, but if dumb, over-the-top, action is your thing, give this movie a shot. It’s entertaining, but nothing spectacular.


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