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The Clash of the Titans 2010 – Remake Review

2 out of 5 Stars – for terrible screenplay, incalculable changes to the storyline and choppy action sequences.

Crap of the TitansFor a certain generation, many of us grew up with Harry Hamlin, Sir Laurence Olivier and the original cast of this cult classic film released in 1981.  In 2010, a new remake has been made of the Greek Myth of Perseus, who rescues the fair Andromeda from the vengeance of the Gods (and the Kraken). This film should have been named “Some Greek Movie” instead of Clash of the Titans.

To say that I had high expectations of this film is not enough; I expected fantastic special effects, and in that regard it delivers.   I expected a technological update to the special effects of the original which, while groundbreaking in their day, are very dated in the modern era of digital technology.  I was severely disappointed that they chose to change the storyline in addition to the effects makeover.

If you were a fan of the original, here are several reasons why you will probably hate the remake:

  1. Instead of being a sweeping epic of greek mythology, the continuous action scenes turned this movie into a gaping plot hole.  The scenes seem to go from one action sequence to the next, with little storyline development in between.
  2. Thetis, Poseidon and other Gods do not even appear for more than 1 minute, as background extras in the Mt. Olympus scenes.  Originally, Athena, Thetis and Hera played a much larger role in the story.  They have been removed from the script, instead making Hades (who played NO part in the original film) the villain of this piece. While I enjoyed Ralph Fiennes as Hades, I was completely puzzled by his appearance in this movie.
  3. The role of Calibos was completely changed from the original. Instead of being the son of the Goddess Thetis who is cursed by Zeus, he is now Perseus’ father who doomed him to death at the beginning of the film and is empowered by Hades as a weapon to stop Perseus.  Gone are the storylines of Princess Andromeda’s Riddle for her suitors, thus making Calibos an unnecessary part entirely, and rewriting the scenes in which Perseus attains the Pegasus (who is now black in this version, instead of the usual white we are all familiar with).
  4. Io, who played no part in this myth, makes an appearance as Perseus’ guide, and eventually his love interest, as he turns from Andromeda, whom he rescued from the Kraken, for this character instead.
  5. Perseus (played by Sam Worthington of Avatar fame), who dislikes his demi-god status, refuses to accept the gifts of the gods (in this version, he only receives a sword, not the helmet nor mirrored shield) wanting instead to defeat the Kraken “as a man”.
  6. Athena’s mechanical Owl, a gift to Perseus, makes a 10 second appearance near the beginning of the movie, and then is never seen again.

There are many more reasons to dislike this film, save for one improvement: the Medusa scene, which I feel was better than the original. Much more action-packed, this was the only part in the movie I enjoyed. The 3D special effects added in post-production seemed at times gimmicky, but overall was still somewhat fun to watch.

With a run time of 1 hr, 50 min by the end I was bored and listless, ready for it to be over. With all the missing elements of the original, I found this remake to be bland, boring and generally unwatchable.   Even the inclusion of Liam Neeson as Zeus did little to salvage the terrible writing of the screenplay.  No amount of star power could have saved this film from its watery demise.  If only I myself were a god, I would “release the Kraken” on the screenwriter, and any other who dares to tamper with a story so many of us loved.  For all these reasons, I give this movie 2 stars at best, and that is only because of the special effects.  If you truly want to see it, wait for it on DVD and save yourself the cost of a 3D ticket (or, as one person suggested, wait for it to appear in the $5 dollar bin at Walmart).  As far as I’m concerned, you could even wait for it to appear on cable.  I still strongly recommend the original version, which can now be found on Netflix: Play Instantly, if you feel you want to experience the real Greek Myth of Perseus and Andromeda.