23 April 2010

Crash of the Titans

Although not a complete train wreck, there is no denying that the 2010 remake of the Classics classic 'Clash of the Titans' is certainly a multiple car pile up.


Louis Letterier has spoiled it.

I have a very fond recollection of Desmond Davis original, from Ray Harryhausens beautiful stop motion animation, to Vida Taylors beautiful bare arse as she and the young Perseus are washed up on a island at the start of the film.

Harry Hamlin may have been a bit wooden, but his constant look of bewilderment helps endear us to a mortal coming to terms with the fact that he might actually be a God.

Sam Worthington is just shit. In theory he has this 'everyman quality' which is why we have seen him come from nowhere to staring in Avatar, Terminator, and now this. He's cut from the same cloth as countryman Russell Crowe, but unfortunately it's the off cuts at the end of the roll.

From the outset the film veered strongly away from the original, in a plot that just made no sense at times.

In a summary of the 80's classic...

Beautiful Andromeda is engaged to demi-god and son of Godess Thetis, Calibos.
Calibos pisses of Zeus by hunting and killing all but one of his herd of flying horses, so he turns him into a hideous monster. With the wedding off, Thetis puts a curse on Andromeda that no man may marry her without solving a riddle - the answer to which is a ring on her disfigured sons hand.
Cue Harry Hamlin. He fancies a bit of Andromeda action, so connives to solve the riddle, and cuts off Calibos' hand.
Calibos now even more pissed off begs his mum to take revenge on Harry/Perseus. She can't because he's Zeus's son, so vows to destroy Andromedas home town instead, by unleashing the Kraken in 30 days unless Andromeda is sacrificed.
Stygian witches and a Medusa later, and the Kraken is dead, and Perseus and Andromeda live happily ever after.

Back to 2010 and it's all a bit different...

Perseus is now pissed off with Zeus's brother Hades for killing his family in a fishing accident.
Hades is pissed off with his brother because Zeus gets to wear ethereal shiny armour, and he has male pattern baldness and has to live in the dingy underworld.
Hades vows to destroy Andromedas home because she has a gobby mother, but we don't really care about her, and neither does Perseus, as he's spotted the much fitter Io, who bears more than a passing resemblance to the also fitter than Andromeda, Gemma Arterton.
Grumpy Perseus and a not so merry band of soldiers head off in search of a way to stop Hades pet sea monster.

Why he doesn't just tell them to go fuck themselves and shack up with Io, I'll never know.

But off they jolly well go, until their path is hampered by Calibos.

Only this time Calibos isn't the son of a Godess, he's King Acrisius - husband of Perseus's mother but not his Dad! Sneaky Zeus had got the Queen up the duff, and Acrisus in a fit of rage chucked his wife and son into the sea in a wooden box at the start of the film...

Via the same route of Stygian witches, Medusa, and a (black) Pegasus we still get to see Perseus defeat the Kraken, and save Andromeda but he doesn't care about her, and neither do we.

Instead we see him reunited with a (killed by Calibos in Act III), Io. Resurrected by Zeus as a 'thanks for bitch slapping my brother - I couldn't be arsed to do it myself', despite the fact that she was apparently immortal anyway....


I want Burgess Merideth, Booboo the mechanical owl, and a Medusa that looks 10 times scarier as a stop motion plasticine monster than as an expensive CGI monstrosity.

I want a Mount Olympus populated by Knights and Dames of the acting world wearing their best togas, not an armoured Irish Zeus with his wrinkles inexplicably airbrushed out.

I don't want post production 3D that just doesn't work. It was no more 3D than a pop up children's book. A layer in the foreground, a layer in the middle distance, and then a back drop. 3D objects are exactly that, 3 dimensionnal. They are not just a couple of 2D objects placed a little distance away from each other.

In some parts it became overly distracting, particularly in close ups where people appeared to be stood in front of a second version of themselves. Peering over the top of the 3D glasses confirmed just that. All the acting (if you can call it that) is strictly 2D, with the CGI effects mashed in to try and give some depth.

Normally when I see a film like this I can take some solace in the fact that it's all just a bit of silly nonsense. Escapist tosh that it really doesn't matter if the plot leaks like the back four at Blundell Park, or the effects are a bit clunky - provided it's fun.

But sadly this is not. It takes itself far too fucking seriously and has all the charm of Piers Morgan, tanked up on WKD Blue, out on the pull in a Cleethorpes nightclub, with Richard Littlejohn as his wingman.

If you've not seen it yet, don't waste your money at the cinema - wait until it's on Sky and watch it as it was shot, in 2D - then yearn for the original, and just be glad they haven't done it to any your other favourites such as The Birds, Death Wish, Gremlins, Robocop, Westworld, Escape From New York, Flash Gordon, The Black Hole.....

...sorry...what's that?...They're ALL IN PRODUCTION AS WE SPEAK?

God in heaven help us.

Because the ones on Mount Olympus are all shit.

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