Friday, 16 April 2010

Clash Of The Titans

I was going to write a review of this, the 2010 version of a classic tale of Greek mythology, with it's preposterously large serpentine monsters and grumpy Gods. I still might, but before I do there is something I should probably share with you about Clash Of The Titans.

My Dad took me to the old Savoy cinema in town to see the 1981 version. Now the most under-used club since Tiger Woods' 4-iron, the Savoy was once the only option if you wanted that cinematic experience. Sadly, it only had three screens. None of them were wheelchair accessible, but that's another story. We've had all that with the trains. Anyway, it's 1981. What do you want? Equality? Fuck off. We need at least 2010 years for society to get anywhere near that. And even then...........Ok, I'll stop now...........

The point is, anyway, that I was terrified as a five-year old. One look at a ludicrously large winged horse and that was me, screaming the place down. Best we not even get started on Medusa, save to say that I have had a phobia of snakes for as long as I can remember and it might just be down to her hairdresser.

I was hoping to be rather less hysterical upon visiting the infintely more accessible Cineworld in 2010. I managed it, though that is not to say that there isn't enough in Clash Of The Titans to inspire a slight tantrum should one be so inclined.

For the most part it is all good fun. If you can get past Sam Worthington's Perseus being played out as a faithful tribute to Russell Crowe's Maximus in Gladiator. If you don't mind the appearance of a random Bond girl (Gemma Arterton) pushing Andromeda out of the role of love interest and into the relative walk-on part of Kraken-fodder. If you can avoid spending the entirety of the film wondering if Draco (do you think that is where J.K.Rowley got the idea from?) is played by The Rock. He's not, he's played by Mads Mikkelsen, last seen in the same God Awful Bond Movie as Arterton.

If you can get past this, and Worthington's muddled accent (Australian? Scottish? South African? Gungan? Turns out Worthington was born in Surrey but is a graduate of the Australian National Institute of Dramatic Art), then there is much to enjoy also. What's not to like about a plot which sends Perseus on a quest to discover how to fell the aforementioned Kraken, thus sparing the life of Andromeda? To do so he must behead Medusa, who is now apparently so repugnant to men that one look into her eyes turns them to stone. So why do I still fancy her then? Could it be because she is actually played by Natalia Vodianova, a Russian actress and model who may sound like a tennis star, but is actually most notable for being the face of Calvin Klein and for once hosting a semi-final of Eurovision? Probably.

Andromeda is placed in mortal danger by Ralph Fiennes' creepy Hades, a performance that has unfairly sparked comparisons to Rowley's Lord Voldemoort. After all, Hades is much older than any two-bit Wizard-waster, and thus has first dibs if there is any croakily-voiced slithering (Slytherin?) to be done. Hades thinks that mortals are most ungrateful, and has decreed that he will release the terrifying Kraken unless the people of Argos agree to sacrifice Andromeda within 10 days. Does anything get delivered from Argos within 10 days? Do they even deliver? If not, that joke doesn't work and I can only apologise. I'm an idiot.

Less convincing is Liam Neeson as Zeus, who it is revealed is not only the biological father of our hero (Star Wars, anyone?), but also a rapist. Turns out he sneaked into Perseus' mum's room late one night and enjoyed the most wicked of ways. You're a fecking God! Just ask. Yet to say that this indiscretion is out of character for Zeus would be unfair, as character is something that this particular incarnation lacks almost completely. Neeson spends much of his time wearily arguing with brother Hades, and wanting to be anywhere else but here.

Yet through all of this, through all of the overly long battles with giant scorpion creatures, you can't help but will Perseus on as he flies in on the back of the mighty winged (and oddly black) Pegesus for his final confrontation with the Kraken. And I don't think I'm spoiling it (this story is roughly 2500 years old after all) when I tell you that our favourite Demi-God does not disappoint. Though personally I felt that the Kraken was a somewhat one-dimensional fighter, relying far too heavily on his sheer enormity and ugliness than any great combat skills.

Clash Of The Titans will not change your life, but it may very well make your five-year old cry so do the decent thing and book yourself a babysitter.


Kerrie said...

Okay firstly, good blog.

Now the film, I liked it, although I have a few complaints, """MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS"""


1) they didn't use the golden owl!!! that was my fave part in the original, when I was 5 years old-ish..... okay my parents didn't let me watch it till I was 7, but still, he tossed the owl back! The owl was wise!!! and squeaky..

2) apparently white winged horses are too girly!! shame on them.

3) why change the love interest? what was the point, if not to have a "female" presence throughout the entire film, okay I answered my own question.

4) at the end, Zeus brought back the dead immortal woman Perseus had known for a few days (although she'd stalked him all his life), what about the poor dead FAMILY that RIP at the bottom of the sea eh? Don't they deserve something after raising Zeus's bastard son for all those years without so much as a maintenance payment?

The scorpions scared me a bit. That wasn't a criticism.

Stephen Orford said...

Kerrie those are all excellent points. I don't remember much about the orginal Owl. Maybe I was scared of that aswell and have subconsciously blocked it out.

Kerrie said...

noooo it was not scary, it was squeaky and cute and helped them, although I think it got broken and died.... I shall have to find the original because THAT will bug me....

I'm not sure though my memory is telling me the owl was there at the end, but I've learned that sometimes wishful thinking becomes actual remembering.... so it was most likely turned into a Minotaur's ashtray.

I think I just discovered some long lost attachment to a metal bird in a film I forgot I'd seen.... until I saw the new version.