“Clash of the Titans” Movie Review

     When taking on the task of remaking a classic film, audiences will have a certain expectation since they, inevitably, will be comparing their memories of the original film with the new one.  As a fan of the 1981 original, I certainly found myself doing this as I viewed the new “Clash of the Titans.”  Whereas there are examples where you could argue a sequel has surpassed the original, I still can’t make an argument for a remake surpassing the original and that doesn’t change here.  This Clash of the Titans comes with all the trimmings a team of digital artists can muster, but it doesn’t surpass the original just because of the technological advances of the last 30 years. 

     Coming off his performance in “Avatar”, Sam Worthington takes on the role of “Perseus” and with him is an all star cast  which includes the likes of Liam Neeson (Zeus) and Ralph Fiennes (Hades).  Director Louis Leterrier leads the many effects artists and together they have conceived a decent version of this classic story.  Part of me says its great this story is being exposed to the current generation, but the other part of me says just go rent the DVD of the original.  Throughout the film, I couldn’t help but to think these actors were just going through the motions.  For all the creative work that went into the action sequences, you’d think they could have put some effort into the script.  Because they didn’t, the characters seem wooden and emotionless, as if they are uttering their lines in a bad Shakespearean play.  I was really hoping for dialogue and delivery more along the lines of Zack Snyder’s “300”, but it’s just not here.

     In some of the key sequences, the film seemed to lack the excitement of the original as well.  I remember when the Kraken was released in the original.  We see a truly scared Andromeda chained to a rock as the Kraken is released and approaches her.  Then the familiar Clash of the Titans tune kicks in and Perseus arrives on Pegasus with Medusa’s head.  In the remake, I just didn’t get the same feeling.  The soundtrack is not effective, the set up was not the same, and there was no suspense.  Perhaps this is because I already knew what was going to happen, but then again, I knew also the Titanic was going to hit an ice berg and sink, but for some reason I was still captivated.

     The best sequence in the film is the battle with Medusa.  I liked this version of her, particularly her face shown at first as being that of a beautiful woman and then upon looking at her, it transforms to a horrible look, the look that turns men to stone.  This sequence was one of the few exciting parts of the film and the effects here are excellent.  I still felt the same scene in the original was more suspenseful and had a better conclusion, but the direction the filmmakers went here was good as well.

     Overall, is Clash of the Titans an entertaining film?  It sure is.  There are numerous appealing action sequences which are sure to thrill audiences and the final battle against the Kraken looks great.  There is plenty to pick on here, but I think that is likely due to this being a remake of a classic film and younger audiences will probably eat this up, just like I did back in 1981.  GRADE: C-