Re:View – ‘Clash Of The Titans’
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