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Clash of the Titans movie poster

Clash of the Titans: Movie Review

Action, Adventure
Rated: PG-13
Directed by: Louis Leterrier
Starring: Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Gemma Arterton, Alexa Davalos, Mads Mikkelsen, Jason Flemying, Pete Postlethwaite
Released by: Warner Bros. Pictures

In Short: Just as cheesy and hammy as the original, this remake of the 1981 camp classic is a twisted version of Greek mythology, complete with bad acting and dopey special effects.

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“Clash of the Titans” Redux: Same Story, Same Silliness

emember the 1981 version of “Clash of the Titans?" The one where Hollywood mashed up Greek mythology, Laurence Olivier hammed it up as Zeus and Harry Hamlin was Perseus, a fey demi-god hunk who rode the white winged horse Pegasus? Well, that camp classic (that was so bad people found it funny) has returned, and the 2010 version is just as cheesy, with Liam Neeson taking his turn to overact as Zeus, and Ralph Fiennes joining him in his own bit of cinematic ham as Hades, Zeus’ very ticked-off brother. Both of those previously Oscar-nominated actors should be embarrassed that they took a paycheck for this one.

It’s young Sam Worthington, of “Avatar” and “Terminator Salvation” fame, who really, really tries to be serious in his role as Perseus, the half-man, half-god (son of Zeus, in fact), who must save the city of Argos and its beautiful princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos, who is truly gorgeous) from the wrath of the gods. But the result is mostly a square-jawed, unsmiling hero—not exactly a guy we warm up to as the film progresses.

This time out, Ray Harryhausen’s impressive visual effects from the original are replaced with bigger, but not necessarily better, CGI effects that look like just that, stuff that came out of someone’s computer, with little or no feeling of realism as they attack, one by one. Sure, there’s plenty of action once the flick gets rolling, but much of it looks like a rip-off of “Harry Potter” mixed in with some “Star Wars;” in other words, it has all been done before—and way better—by others.

Clash of the Titans Sam Worthington in Clash of the Titans

The plot is completely cornball, the acting either way over the top (watch for Jason Fleyming’s turn as a looney soothsayer who leads the rabble of Argos into a firepit, for instance) or so subdued as to be comatose (Worthington’s wooden take on Perseus), and the pacing just lively enough to keep you from nodding off between those battles with CGI monsters who just cannot seem to kill our hero.

On a brighter note, the sequence in Hades as Perseus and his band of not-so-merry men take on Medusa is really brilliant, including her nightmare-inducing snake-like body and crazy head of hissing snakes, as well as the breathless chase that ensues. And the sequences with Pegasus, who is now a black flying horse instead of a white one, are beautiful to behold.

But is that worth the price of admission, even in 3-D? Not unless you are someone who adored the original, and expect the same level of camp, cheese and ham that it offered up almost 30 years ago.

Reviewed by Jenny Peters

(Updated 04/01/10 CT)

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