What Would Harryhausen Think?
[Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes]
I herd through the grapevine that the 3D for this movie was "after market" and made the film dark and dreary, with no real gain. Because of this, I steered away from spending extra money and opted for the 2D version. And with another movie comes another encounter with people who treat the movie theater like their den. I saw a guy come in with a bucket of popcorn and a large soda, go through all of it, leave and somehow find another bucket of half filled popcorn, come back and finish that bucket, then leave it all behind beside his seat as he left after the movie. All of it embarrassing to me.
SYNOPSIS: Perseus, son of Zeus and a mortal woman, is found as a infant by a fisherman and his wife and raised as a human. As a young man, he is drawn into a war between the gods and man as he swears revenge against Hades, the god who kills his family.
I remember in 1981, being a ten year old boy, waiting in a line around the block trying to get tickets with my friends to see the original "Clash of the Titans". One of the ushers continued to step out in front of the line to say that the next showing was sold out. And the next. And the next. It was my job to run all around the block back to my mom's car to see if it was okay to go to the 12:30pm show. Then the 2:15pm show. Then the 3:30pm show. Finally we got our tickets and were dropped off at the theater to see myth comes to life with Harry Hamlin and the stop-action work of Ray Harryhausen. 29 years later, current technology sets up the perfect stage for a remake.
Current technology is both the winner and loser for this film. The effects for the creatures and action sequences for Medusa, the Kraken, and the Pegasus worked well. The inclusion of the after market inclusion of 3D as a means to capitalize on the success of "Avatar" did not. Some of the vista scenes looked excellent, especially in the desert, others looked staged and painted.
Sam Worthington spins another large production after "Avatar" and "Terminator: Salvation". His portrayal of Perseus is dry and understated. He just seems tired at this point. More lively are Liam Neeson as Zeus and Ralph Fiennes as his battling brother Hades. The story is more about the rivalry between the the god brothers, and between the gods and man. Perseus' story, even though the center of the movie, is somewhat less interesting than that of gods whining about not being loved anymore and trying to overthrow each other, and that of the reluctant warriors banded together with Perseus for a impossible mission to save mankind.
The Medusa is beautiful and slick, the Kraken tremendous, the scorpions in the desert temple fearsome. All of the advances of CGI work for the creatures in the story. But did the story live up to 29 years in the remaking? Would all of the fans of the original be excited to tell all of their friends to go see the film. As with most remakes, the answer is usually no.
Worth: DVD or Netflix