Being a huge fan of the films of special effects maestro Ray Harryhausen, I expected to be disappointed with this big-budget, CGI-laden remake. I was wrong. The filmmakers have done themselves proud creating a rollercoaster ride of excitement that is escapism at its purest.
Following closely to Harryhausen’s 1981 adventure, half-man, half-god Perseus (played by West Australian actor Sam Worthington) battles a cavalcade of mythical creatures in a bid to defeat the Kraken; a primordial monster of the deep which threatens to destroy the city of Argos if it is not given a human sacrifice in the form of the princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos).
During the course of his adventure, Worthington’s revenge-seeking demigod (Ralph Fiennes’ Rigsby-like Hades killed Perseus’ family) and his band of merry men and one woman (the elfin-like Gemma Arterton) battle winged furies, three blind Stygian witches, an army of gigantic scorpions, the snake-headed Medusa, and the fearsome Calibos (played by an unrecognisable Jason Flemyng).
While I found myself comparing the remake to the much-loved original (I think the old-school Medusa was much more malevolent than this new one), I did enjoy the ride. But I couldn’t help wonder what Mr Harryhausen must make of the film, especially given the huge advancements in special effects technology since he made his original. Hopefully he can answer that when he presents his Screen Epiphany at the BFI SouthBank later this year.
Fast, furious and visually exciting, Clash of the Titans, is not without its dodgy moments. The BacoFoil costumes of the Gods being one and another being Worthington coming across like Mad Max in a dress when he spouts lines like ‘Someone’s got to make a stand!’ in his native Aussie twang.
Still, the Avatar star’s rugged good looks and rugby-tackling action man heroics more than make up for such silliness. And the standout set pieces – the giant scorpion attack and the Kraken’s descent on Argos – must be seen on the biggest screen possible. As for the 3D rendering – it certainly gives the film extra appeal, but it looks just as terrific without.
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