Sunday, April 4, 2010

Clash of the Titans. B-

Louis Leterrier doesn't direct the remake of 'Clash of the Titans' with any sort of vigor or passion. He doesn't add anything new to the story and barely changes the structure of the action sequences from the 1981 original. But what he does do is give the movie a special effects update, taking full advantage of modern technology to push the action to startling intensity. The original couldn't do a whole lot with the fights except put in the basic moves, jumping, ducking, running, and swinging. Here though the action goes full throttle, as characters display cooler, fancier moves against the CGI. For example, during the scorpion scene Perseus actually (though its not clear how) makes his way inside one of the giant creatures and then shoots out the top with his sword. As I said, the story keeps close to the original. Perseus, played by 'Avatar's' Sam Worthington (who's quickly becoming one of the most reliable actors for action movies) has a vendetta against Hades (Ralph Fiennes, in a disappointing performance. Why did he always have to sound like he was choking to death?), the god of the underworld. So he sets out on a mission to destroy the Kraken, who was created by Hades. Before he can do that though he's forced to clash against a series of bitter and angry foes, ranging from a goat-man to Medusa herself. All of this, like the original, is great fun. I'm glad that the movie was remade, simply for the new effects. But this new version takes nothing away from the original. It's still superior and always will be (at least for me. There are some who really didn't like the first one and marginally prefer this one, while others dismiss both of them all together). One final note: one of my favorite features in the original was the mechanical owl. It's not in the new version, but at least there's a little tribute paid to it just before Perseus sets out on his mission. It was a nice touch.

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