Re:View – ‘Clash Of The Titans’

The Arts

I knew it was time to get out of the film industry when the same films started coming around again. The original ‘Clash’ was Ray Harryhausen’s last gasp – we all wanted it to be as good as ‘Jason And The Argonauts’, but it wasn’t, even with Sir Laurence Olivier as Zeus. Although the Gorgon sequence was tense and exciting, the Kraken looked like something Ray had been keeping in a bottom drawer for years.

Now Sam Worthington takes the Harry Hamelin role, and the same problems return; there’s little sense of wonder, or of the gods manipulating the fates of men. Instead, lots of rush, fuss, noise and over-directed clutter, unimproved by superfluous (and not very good) 3D. The taming of the Pegasus ‘whom no man has ever ridden’ is dismissed by having Sam simply jump on his back. Hell, even evil giant scorpions are suddenly tamed and ridden. A doomsaying prophet rushes about, sounding alarmingly like Russell Brand. Hades makes an entrance like Malificent. Worthington appears to be channeling Olivia Newton-John in ‘Xanadu’, having rediscovered his Oz accent, but manages not to bump into the scenery presumably because there wasn’t any.

There are good things – the Gorgon is nicely created, but the action sequences are jittery speed-cuts that deny any appreciation of space. Where the original Medusa appeared in a sinister and silent torchlit hall, this one is in a chaos of temple ruins, swathed in a bland, bombastic score, and killing her loses any strategy – it’s down to luck. The Kraken could have come from ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’, the Olympians looks like residents of Krypton, but at least the porcelain, black-pupilled Gemma Arterton gets to conduct combat training. It’s not bad, but could have been so much better with a little room for thought.

One nice joke; the Argonauts consider taking Bubo, the awful mechanical owl from the last film, on their trip, but throw it aside, not realising they’re providing a pretty clunky journey of their own. 3/5

3 comments on “Re:View – ‘Clash Of The Titans’”

  1. Jennifer says:

    I prefer the movie that a theater near Union Square appeared to be showing last week: “Clash of the Titians.” The Death of St. Peter Martyr takes on The Assumption of the Virgin in a flurry of color and loose brush strokes…

  2. Sam Tomaino says:

    I’ll go as far to say that Laurence Olivier’s Zeus was one of the reasons that TITANS was not as good as JASON. Olivier was just phoning in his performance and the rest of the gods were, too.

    Niall MacGinnis and Honor Blackman had real chemistry and gave better performances than all those big names in TITANS

  3. Alan Morgan says:

    Brought up in the sure and certain belief that the best thing to come on a Saturday afternoon on tele was anything by Harryhausen the original CotT was the first of them I got to see in a real, sticky cinema. You know the ones – double seats at the back and your Dad having a fag.

    The irony now is that with my daughters beings 3 and 6 we’ve just about got to the stage when we can return to the rather less fun cinema, but a cinema nonetheless. But not for anything like this. I want this to be good, I really do – certainly other than the cartoon animals having adventures I’m able to see at the moment.

    The original then is my favourite of the genre. Jason is better of course, but this is what roughly took my Harryhausen virginity – and then of course rapidly refused to talk to me again. It never phoned, it never met my eye in the playground. But still it was my first, proper, stop-motion experience and even came with a little ice cream in a tub.

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