"Titan" remake struggles and clashes on the big screen
In the highly computer-generated mythological extravaganza, "The Clash of the Titans," Perseus (Sam Worthington), a half-man, half-god seeking revenge, leads a band of warriors against the perils of forbidden worlds, fantastical creatures and the gods themselves.
With the terribly underplayed domestic disputes of the heavens threatening to plunge men into hell on earth, the only hope of salvation is that an unlikely fisherman will accept his place among those whom he hates – the gods – and use his power to save mankind.
Director Louis Leterrier ("Transporter 2," "The Incredible Hulk") puts his spin on "Titans" by adding momentarily entertaining (albeit hard to follow) action and adventure scenes. Given the strikingly boring deliveries of recycled dialogue, it is probably a good thing that the performances are not the primary focus of the picture.
The battle to save mankind is accompanied by little character development or conflict (besides the overtly obvious) anywhere in the story. Frankly, none of the characters were compelling and the dialogue was extremely mediocre. I would give an example if I could remember one.
At least audiences found the 1981 script "campy." This script's salute to its predecessor ends up being an unintentional bad joke at times, and at other times it is just, well, boring.
Worthington portrays a protagonist with almost no internal or external dynamics. His version of Perseus looks out-of-place with a buzz cut and it seems like an eternity, about halfway through the movie, when he finally starts changing facial expressions and delivering emotionally vacant dialogue.
Acting-wise, "Titans" is a large waste of screen possibilities. With Ralph Fiennes embodying a potentially memorable Hades and Liam Neeson playing Zeus, it is a wonder why the studios didn't give them adequate screen time or quality material to work with. That is surely a change that could have made this version that much better or at least interesting. These two actors starred opposite in Spielberg's ‘Schindler's List' with roles not too much unlike the aforementioned.
There are some attractive, almost-engaging visuals throughout the movie such as the giant scorpions and the infamous Kraken. The journey to the underworld, where Perseus goes to confront Hades, is a particularly impressive sequence, which appears to combine computer graphics with actual sets. Special effects and make-up do justice to this updated tale, creating a couple of awesome-looking minor characters like Medusa, half-snake, half-woman.
Unfortunately, all the quality effects fail to coalesce, mostly due to the dispensable script that does not bring significance to the visual elements.
Last but not least, it is important to note that this film was rushed into 3-D formatting during post-production.
It may be a studio executive strategy that will succeed in increasing the box office numbers (more expensive tickets) but the sloppily rendered three dimensional items do nothing to make the action, or for that matter, the movie, any better. You will probably enjoy the 2-D version just as much.
Bottom-line: This film is not far off from the original. The special effects sequences are pretty cool; however, they don't make up for the lack of characterization or plot structure.
If you'd enjoy two hours of mythological eye-candy, with little else, this movie may be a godsend.