Louis Leterrier unleashes the first real turkey of 2010 with Clash of the Titans, an unsightly remake that, if nothing else, should have been mindless fun. Leterrier now has a 50 per cent strike rate, so for every great film (Unleashed (Danny the Dog), The Incredible Hulk), there is another equally awful (Transporter 2 and now this).
Perseus (what’s the bet names like this suddenly become popular with new parents in the near future?), the demigod son of Zeus goes out questing with a ragtag bunch of warriors to stop the destruction soon to be wreaked on Argos by the summoning of the Kraken by Hades, ruler of the Underworld. This basically means they’ll have a couple of lacklustre fights against pitiful CGI creations whilst the gods bitch and moan amongst each other about what to do about humanity’s newfound independence.
I really hope that overseas viewers believe me when I say that Sam Worthington (Perseus) is actually a decent actor. If his recent choice of Hollywood films (Terminator Salvation and Avatar) gives you pause for thought, then consider that Liam Neeson (Zeus), Mads Mikkelsen (Draco) and Ralph Fiennes (Hades) are all awful in this film also. In fact, Jason Flemying (monstrous once again as Acrisius) is probably the only performer that manages to do a decent job with such an awful script. Worthington again struggles to hide his Aussie accent here and it still amazes me that someone in his position wouldn’t simply spend a fortune on a dialect coach. At least he looks the part, and he has an everyman about him that must be appealing to someone there in Hollywood.
Of course, it’s the monsters that are of paramount importance in Clash of the Titans, and this is where the film really lets us down. The film is shoddily edited most of the time, to the extent that it’s easy to get confused about how many monsters our heroes are actually fighting. Then there’s the fact that most of the CGI is hidden by motion blurs. There was one moment that reminded me of Leterrier’s best work, but other than that, the action is comparable to the execrable Transporter 2.
Clash of the Titans has the worst special effects I have ever seen. There, I’ve said it. I am simply incredulous at just how hideously awful the CGI was. You can list all the common offences of bad CGI here – the creatures are without detail, don’t fit in with the real locations or actors, nor do they move in a believable fashion. But that’s not all. Even the digital matt paintings look poor. Whenever we’re in Olympus, it simply feels as if Liam Neeson et al are standing in front of a low-res screen saver. Then there’s the fact that Zeus’ armour is super shiny, Excalibur-style, in an effort to mask the poor costuming.
When I say the worst special effects ever, I’m not even scaling to accommodate technology – Le voyage dans la lune, King Kong… hell, even Krull looked better than this. There is absolutely nothing to recommend in this area. Even the Kraken, though nicely Cthulu-esque, is a disappointment.
Then there’s the reasonably well-known fact that this film was only converted to 3D in the later stages of post-production. Now, maybe I wouldn’t have cast such a critical eye over the picture if I hadn’t known this but even so, this is a film for which you shouldn’t fork out the extra money. The 3D is barely noticeable at the best of times and often one can pick out flaws in the layers (at one stage a character’s face was in the middle distance, yet his hair was another step back) and I could have sworn at one point that I could spot the seams where the 3D conversion artists had cut around the edges of the individual elements (though maybe this was simply a greenscreen issue).
I’m actually almost at the stage where I give 3D a miss. Now that this updated gimmick overwhelms our cinemas, it’s becoming harder and harder to justify the increased ticket price. It simply feels like a weak response to increased movie piracy – rather than catch up with technology and push towards digital distribution, studios stubbornly insist that people will come to the cinema and spend more money to see films in three (well, 2.5) dimensions.
Clash of the Titans is an absolute turkey. Dull and uninspired with wooden performances from a range of talented actors (including two from TV’s ‘Skins’), it really is a waste of everyone’s time.Rating: