The Collegian
Thursday, July 16, 2020

Featured flick: Clash of the Titans

The evil runt twin of the movie "300" and "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" got together and made a baby named "Clash of the Titans." It is also an example of why Hollywood's sudden obsession with the quick, easy and cheap version of 3D will fail miserably if studios apply the method to every movie they shove out into theaters.

Aside from being fuzzy and hard to follow with the glasses on, there are plenty of plainly bizarre problems with this Perseus rip-off/remake of the 1981 film of the same name that should have made someone at the production studio shelve this thing.

Basically, Perseus is the son of Zeus who goes to slay Hades after he kills Perseus's family. (His family dies because humans are shunning the gods who are immortal only as long as humans worship them.) Along the way, he does some other things that are only half accurate to Greek myth. Granted, I don't hold anything against rewriting ancient myth. Heck, if any old story can be made anew it's a Roman or Greek legend. But you generally have to do it well enough for the attempt to matter, which they didn't. And the dialog is about as generic as it comes.

Somehow they also incorporated the Lewis and Clark story in there too because Io, the nymph that's been following Perseus around his whole life (and thus makes their ultimate wink-and-nod, romantic somethin-somethin a little like incest), is an ancient version of Sacagawea. She guides them across the Greek world, knows every language, keeps spouting advice no one listens too and is most useless at the most inopportune moment.

Of course I, like many who went to see "Avatar," am thrilled to watch Sam Worthington in action as he's as good an actor as Russell Crowe without all that Kiwi rage and bad music. Plus, he's got that earnest hero thing going for him.

Still, the best thing about this movie has to be Ralph Fiennes as Hades whose voice is sort of like the attempt to talk people make after swallowing something too spicy. Also, his wings are expanses of black smoke that spread harpies like Herpes.

The problem with a story this big is that there really isn't a focus on the most exciting characters. In this case, those are Hades, Mouloud Achour and Ashraf Barhom who play kooky killing brothers and the Djinn, a race of unhumans who replace their old decaying body parts with pieces of drift wood (that they somehow find in the desert they're living in) and are immune to the temper tantrums of the gods. They look like the Ewok from "Star Wars," only they're taller, control dark magic and, you know, are made of wood.

I'd love to watch a movie of this scale that is done from the perspective of the smaller secondary characters, who are generally funnier, more themselves and not mopey (watch "Robin Hood: Men in Tights" for proof). In fact, never mind. I call dibs on writing that script. Until then, I'm just going to offer practical advice: If you're going to see this blended Greek tragedy definitely nix the 3D glasses.

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