April 5th, 2010



nihilistic_kid's SciFiWire review of Clash of the Titans is hilarious, but also wrong.

He doesn't go far enough in describing how awful this movie is.

Here's the plot: Thundarr the Barbarian Perseus is a demigod, born of the union between Zeus and some broad he raped to get back at some guy who hated him--I'm not being callous here, this is pretty much how the events are explained in the movie--and rescued from the sea to be raised by a fisherman who also hates the gods. Except that the fisherman also kind of doesn't hate them, because he thinks a giant statue of Zeus is awesome. Then Hades sinks the family fishing boat for no reason other than to start the plot, and everyone drowns except Perseus. Now Perseus hates the gods too. He teams up with Ariel Io, a sorceress who doesn't actually have any magical powers except that she kind of knows things and has the ability to show up whenever she wants, and Ookla the Mok Chewbacca Treebacca, a magical desert creature called a Djinn who's made of wood (in the desert!), except he doesn't actually have any magical powers either. Instead, he just grunts and growls until he fulfills his destiny as cannon fodder. Oh, and he has a bomb in his chest or something. I think.

Anyway, they team up with some other people who don't do much of anything in order to fight the Kraken, I think, but really they're fighting Hades, I think. Zeus sends Perseus the fabulous sun sword a magical sword to help him on his quest, except it's not actually very magical, I think, although it doesn't work for anyone else, I think, and this despite the fact that Zeus is the one who orders the Kraken unleashed in the first place because men don't love him anymore or something.

Oh, and Calibos is in the movie too, but he doesn't wind up doing much of anything. In fact, no one in the movie does much of anything except Perseus. Literally every other character serves no purpose or does anything of interest. Not even Andromeda, whom Perseus doesn't know and couldn't care less about, really, except he dives into the ocean to save her at the end, and she's okay despite the fact that she's been underwater longer than his family was when they drowned at the beginning of the movie.

After the Kraken is defeated and half the city has been laid waste, Zeus turns into a good guy, I think, and resurrects Io, who died while doing absolutely nothing, so that Perseus can have a fuck-buddy on his future adventures, and they fly off together on Pegasus, the mighty winged horse who has about sixteen seconds of screen time.

There's a lot that's wrong with Clash of the Titans, but its most egregious problem is that it can't even decide if it's anti-gods or pro-gods. Throughout most of the movie, the gods are portrayed as callous, corrupt, selfish and more than a little rapey (seriously, no female character's backstory goes without some god or other forcing himself on her--it may be true to Greek mythology, but here it comes off as tacky and, worse, ultimately unimportant.) But then the movie decides to be pro-gods sometimes, for reasons both confusing and unnecessary, so that Zeus can come off looking like a good guy at the end, even though he's basically the Vito Corleone of the story. He's the one behind all the misery. He's the one who, as I mentioned and as you've seen in the previews, orders the Kraken released. He's the one who raped Perseus' birth mother because he loved the world too much to destroy it but still needed to teach some guy a lesson. Or something.

Clash of the Titans is a prime example of what happens when a movie is filmed from the rough draft of the synopsis rather than a real script written by someone who knows how to tie its elements together, and what happens when the scenes are crafted around the principle of "Wouldn't it be cool if...?" rather than "Does this make any internal sense in the story?" It's a confusing, soulless mess, one that's only made fun--just like the original, which I consider the weakest of Harryhausen's films--when there's some monster or weird creature on the screen. (The giant scorpions set piece is the closest the movie comes to being exciting.) But once the characters open their mouths to speak their "dialogue," with all its clunky exposition and thematic contradictions, you'll start wishing it was you being fed to the Kraken, if only to end your suffering.

As for the 3D, it's not as bad as you've heard, but let's just say that the preview for Step Up 3D made better use of the technology than this movie did.