Combustible Celluloid
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With: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Jason Flemyng, Gemma Arterton, Alexa Davalos, Tine Stapelfeldt, Mads Mikkelsen, Luke Evans, Izabella Miko, Liam Cunningham, Hans Matheson, Ashraf Barhom, Mouloud Achour, Ian Whyte, Nicholas Hoult, Vincent Regan, Polly Walker, Luke Treadaway, Pete Postlethwaite, Elizabeth McGovern, Sinead Michael, Ross Mullan, Robin Berry, Graham Hughes, Martin McCann, Rory McCann, Kaya Scodelario, Alexander Siddig, Tamer Hassan, Danny Huston, William Houston, Jamie Sives
Written by: Travis Beacham, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi, based on a screenplay by Beverley Cross
Directed by: Louis Leterrier
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief sensuality
Running Time: 118
Date: 03/26/2010

Clash of the Titans (2010)

1 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Smokin' Kraken

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Directed by Louis Leterrier (Unleashed, Transporter 2, The Incredible Hulk), this modern-day remake retains most of the wooden characters and stiff dialogue from the original Clash of the Titans (1981), but also replaces the charming, old-fashioned visual effects with noisy, shaky, fast-moving, computer-generated ones.

Perseus (Sam Worthington), the half-human son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), lives life as a simple fisherman with his mother and adoptive father. When mankind declares war on the gods, his family is killed and he vows his revenge against Hades (Ralph Fiennes). Unfortunately, in order to get to Hades, he must first defeat the mighty Kraken, which will be unleashed in ten days. Accompanied by soldiers from Argos, Perseus embarks upon a mission to find his secret weapon, crossing paths with giant scorpions, witches, the ferryman to the underworld, and finally, Medusa herself. But can he get back to Argos before the princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos) is sacrificed to the Kraken?

The new film is presented in rather poor 3D, which only makes the action more garbled. As with the original, the Medusa sequence is a highlight, although instead of being moody and suspenseful, it's now a slam-bang chase scene. As with the original, it's often embarrassing to watch prestigious actors suffering through this material, and the younger actors fail to register much at all. It's not clear why this new screenplay gives Perseus so many sidekicks, or switches his would-be romantic interest from the princess to a new, "immortal" character called Io (Gemma Arterton); the movie's theme about behaving like men as opposed to behaving like gods doesn't make much sense either.

Warner Home Video released this wretched remake in a DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack, including a digital copy. The Blu-Ray is viewable in "Maximum Movie Mode, which opens interviews, storyboards, commentary, and other goodies in different windows while the movie plays. Other extras include a featurette on Sam Worthington, a so-called "action hero for the ages." (huh?) An alternate ending is also included.

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