I saw the original Clash of the Titans different times on television over the years. It has been long enough since I last saw the movie that I don't remember much, but I remember enjoying the movie. I wasn't sure if I wanted to see the new version at first, but I ultimately decided to see it.
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As a baby, Perseus is rescued by Spyros, a fisherman, who raises him as his son. As an adult, Perseus and his family witness soldiers from Argos destroying a statue of Zeus while fishing. Hades deals with the soldiers and destroys the fishing boat that Perseus and his family are on with Perseus being the only survivor. In Argos, King Kepheus and Queen Cassiopeia lead a celebration for the returning troops and claim the time of the gods is over. Hades arrives to punish Argos, killing the soldiers and saying that the Kraken will destroy the city unless Andromeda, daughter of Kepheus and Cassiopeia, is sacrificed to the monster. Before leaving, Hades reveals that Perseus is the son of Zeus.
King Kepheus asks Perseus to fight the Kraken, saying that he is the only one who would have a chance since he is a demigod. Perseus isn't interested at first, but he changes his mind after being told that once the Kraken is dealt with, Hades will be vulnerable. Perseus sets off to find the Stygian Witches to find out how to kill the Kraken. He is accompanied by a group of soldiers who aren't happy about their assignment and Io, a beautiful woman cursed by the gods.
Clash of the Titans is a remake of the 1981 movie. Since it has been so long since I saw that version, I can't remember some things. I think things have been changed, but I honestly don't know for sure. I don't remember Io being in the original at all. I seem to remember Perseus going on the quest in that one because he wanted to marry Andromeda, not because he wanted revenge against Hades for the death of his family. Perseus does go on a dangerous quest in both versions of the movie, so there are still similarities.
During the first few minutes of Clash of the Titans, a voice over explains some things about the gods and how Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades defeated the Titans. That does help to set up things, especially since the origins of the Kraken is also covered at that point. Only a little bit of background on Perseus is shown, but it is enough to make it clear that he has a strong relationship with his adopted family. That strong relationship does provide the motivation for everything that Perseus does after Hades kills his family.
Even though a lot happens during Clash of the Titans, I don't think the plot is complicated. I do feel like there is more emphasis on the action and special effects than there was on story and character development. It doesn't take long for the action to start, with Hades dealing with the Argos soldiers and then destroying the boat that Perseus and his family is on. Not long after that, Hades is back killing more people in Argos and demanding the princess be sacrificed or the city will be destroyed. Perseus and the men traveling with him have to fight various monsters during their journey. During some of the action scenes, the camera is moving around so fast that it is difficult to tell exactly what is going on. Some of the action scenes involve a lot of quick cuts which also makes it difficult to keep track of who is who. Violence does turn up throughout the movie, though it isn't overly graphic. The movie does deserve the PG-13 rating.
The special effects in Clash of the Titans are done well with the various creatures and monsters having impressive looks. I could have done without seeing Medusa so much because of my issues with snakes. I really can't remember how she looked in the original version, but I don't remember her being basically a huge snake, though I do remember the icky snake hair. The movie is showing in 3D in some theaters. I saw the regular 2D version. The 3D isn't showing in the theater here, but I wouldn't have wanted to see this one in 3D anyway because I knew ahead of time that Medusa would be in it. There is no way I want to see her in 3D.
Perseus grows up knowing that his parents aren't his biological parents, but he has a strong relationship with them. When he decides to go on the quest, he is determined to do it as a man and not as a demigod. He stubbornly refuses to uses a few items sent by the gods that would definitely help him. Perseus is a decent enough main character, though it would have been nice if there had been more character development. Sam Worthington is fine in the part. He sort of manages to look good in the costume which is basically a dress. The soldiers that go with Perseus don't stand out that much and several of them look very similar, so I did have trouble keeping straight who was who in some scenes.
Io is a beautiful woman who goes along on the quest. At first she is following along behind and keeping her distance, but as more things happen, she takes a more active role. She has been cursed by the gods and has watched over Perseus his entire life. Gemma Arterton is fine in the role. Princess Andromeda is only in a few short scenes, though she is shown to be caring and compassionate. Alexa Davalos doesn't have that much to do since the part is rather small. Andromeda's parents are shown even less.
Olympus is shown during a few scenes and I think all of the gods are there. I could be wrong though since most of them are just sitting or standing and don't actually say anything. Zeus and Hades are the only gods who really do anything in the movie. Zeus is unhappy that humans aren't praying to the gods as much. Hades is able to use that to convince Zeus to punish them with the threat of the Kraken. Zeus is a bit vengeful and Hades is quick to manipulate things when he gets the chance. Liam Neeson does fine as Zeus. I sort of recognized Ralph Fiennes as Hades, but I couldn't think who he was while watching the movie. Fiennes does really well with the part.
Gemma Arterton - Io
Alexa Davalos - Andromeda
Ralph Fiennes - Hades
Liam Neeson - Zeus
Sam Worthington - Perseus
Louis Leterrier - Director
Clash of the Titans manages to be entertaining overall even though it does have some issues. Fans of this sort of movie may find something to like.
I would have given this movie three and a half stars if I had the option. Since I don't, I rounded up to four stars.
This review is part of CaptainD's Good Movies EpiGuide 3 Write Off.
*This review was orignally posted after I saw the movie in the theater. It is now available on DVD and Blu-ray.