I haven't been to the cinema for over three weeks (the last release I’d seen at the cinema was Shank on the 29th March) due to various things beyond my control (ie not having enough time or money), but on Wednesday night, me and my housemates thought we’d take advantage of Orange Wednesdays, treat ourselves and check out Clash of the Titans in 3D.
The story is an age-old one: Zeus, Olympian god, creator of man, finds his creations turning against him and rebelling. In an attempt to put them back into their places, he allows his brother Hades to enlist hell upon them all, so that they will be praying once again. However, Hades, smarting from his brother condemning him to the underworld, has some plans of his own to overthrow everybody. The only person who can stop him? Demi-God Perseus, son of Zeus.
Clash of The Titans is a remake of the 1981 Ray Harryhausen film. It was he who first decided to instill a Kraken, the Medusa, and all the various other characters we see in the modern day edition of the film. He based these characters from Greek myths, and for the most part, played true to the myths. Louis Leterrier uses the same characters and plot, and updates the 80s version with some very fancy fantasy sequences. It’s not a criticism – the Medusa scene was completely breathtaking and the film, on the whole, is pure cinema, so in terms of entertainment, Clash of the Titans certainly does its job.
One criticism that I did have, however, was the clear audience exploitation in trying to push a 2D film as 3D. I still haven’t seen Avatar, but I hear that was a film that was intended to be in 3D, and as such, the cinematic experience worked. With Clash of the Titans, however, the 3D “experience” was akin to the time me and my dad (both of us wear glasses anyway) watched Arsenal v Manchester Utd in 3D in a pub and both of us left with headaches, wishing that they’d just left the damn thing in 2D. Clearly studios thought “hey, it’s the summer, let’s milk these stupid-ass audiences for all they’re worth”, got the director to insert the odd scene in 3D. On the whole, I just wanted to take my thick frames off and watch it through the glasses I was already wearing. Bah.
That said, I enjoyed the cast, a lot. Gemma Arterton has turned my head ever since I first saw her, and as Persues’ Guardian Angel Io, she is ethereal, beautiful and hypnotic. Sam Worthington isn’t given an awful lot to do aside from brood and kill monsters, but he does that well. I enjoyed the Liam Neeson/Ralph Fiennes casting as good/evil yin/yangs, because it brought memories of Schindler’s List to the cinema geek in me. Both are apt in their roles, though both are also capable of a lot, lot more; Fiennes, in particular, looks a little awkward in his raspy voice. I enjoyed the “Slumdog” factor – trying to tempt in teen audiences by bunging the Skins cast in the film – in this case, both Stonem siblings. Kaya Scodelario does nothing more than wear a toga and look pretty, but looking pretty has always been something she does exquisitely well. Nicholas Hoult, on the other hand, gives one of his weakest performances, but thankfully, he too isn’t in it much either. The best performance of the film, by far and away belongs to Mads Mikkelsen (the baddie in Casino Royale), as Draco, in a performance that’s by turns swaggerous and wryly comedic, the only performance in the film which hints at a little more character development than just slaying monsters and shouting nonsensically.
All that being said, however, I still enjoyed the film, a lot. Perhaps it wasn’t quite worth the half of £8.25 (plus half of £8.75 that me and Garry spent on drinks and popcorn), but it’s nice to now and then put my pretentious self away and just sit back and enjoy a movie. There were flaws aplenty in this, but the entertainment factor – just about – redeemed it.