When Hades ups his game and tries to take over from Zeus, a hero emerges to stop his nefarious plans. Clash of the Titans follows the adventures of Perseus, the son of Zeus and a mortal woman, as he struggles to prevent a takeover of heaven and humankind by the Underworld monarch. In this spectacular remake of the 1981 fantasy film, Sam Worthington portrays the reluctant hero, Liam Neeson is Zeus, and Ralph Fiennes hams it up as Hades. While the amazing mythological creatures -- like Medusa, Pegasus and the Kraken -- evoke thrills and chills, most of the acting comes across as either wooden or too campy. Still, I enjoyed the film and believe most youngsters of all ages will find it highly entertaining. In fact, when I unleashed my inner 12-year-old while watching this movie, I loved it.
Worthington (Avatar) looks handsome and buff as Perseus, but his performance falls into the “wooden” category. His facial expressions seem limited, so his reactions are a bit unconvincing. Fortunately, Clash of the Titans emphasizes its extraordinary creatures instead of the human actors – and they are fantastic. The best sequences involve Perseus riding Pegasus, the beautiful winged horse, and battling Medusa, the fierce Underworld guard with deadly eyes and wildly flowing locks.
Neeson (Taken) appears god-like in Zeus’ shimmering silver raiment, and his voice is as commanding as ever here. His powerful instruction to “unleash the Kraken!” still rings in my ears. But Fiennes (The English Patient) looks and sounds more like an evil Charles Dickens character than a mythological god. And, believe it or not, his Hades swoops around in a mass of black smoke that reminds us of the swirling malevolence in TV’s Lost -- not that there’s anything wrong with that.
With its simple plot -- hybrid hero must help humankind defeat Hades and prove to Zeus how important humans are to the gods -- Clash of the Titans frees viewers from worrying about any complex issues. Consequently, it’s easy to focus on the incredible spectacle happening on screen. And, guess what? I’m adding this remake to my list of guilty pleasures. (Capsule review)
(Released by Warner Bros. Pictures and rated “PG-13” for fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief sensuality.)
For more information about this film, go to the Internet Movie Data Base or Rotten Tomatoes website.