Clash of the Crappy CGI Images, by Dewey Finn
Directed by Louis Leterrier
I saw this movie theatrically in 3D, which was an awful, headache-inducing experience. Lesson learned: Movies filmed in 3D look great. Movies converted to 3D look like there is a fine layer of mud on the screen. Then I saw it on Blu, during a movie night where my choice (District 9) was voted down.
At least the 2D Blu-ray disc looks better than the 3D. However, that can’t save this movie, which is over-reliant on CG creatures and settings; all action, no pacing, no story, no character, no emotion. Let’s face it, there was never a legitimate reason to remake Clash of the Titans. There was never anything wrong with the original, except perhaps a lil’ too much homage to Star Wars (robotic owls and young men looking to escape the doldrums of their isolated lives).
When this project was first announced, I knew it had the potential to be a disaster. The only thing that could have saved it would have been going deeper back into the original Greek mythology, which the original film used only sparingly. I mean, there was no robotic owl in Greek mythology. But no, this film is even more loosely based on the source material, while continuing to use made-up characters from the original (Calibos), and let’s face it…the script sucks. The CG is hit and miss, with some things looking great and others just awful. The direction leaves something to be desired, and character development isn’t even in this movie’s vocabulary. It’s a shame, because while Sam Worthington does nothing for me, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are not too bad. The rest of the performances are like cardboard, with only the odd cameo (Pete Postlethwait’s comes to mind) having any sort of spark.
I do think it it’s funny that we always hear the same argument: “It’s a summer action movie, it doesn’t need a good script.” Why not? You see that same argument in defence of numerous action movies online. Action and script are not mutually exclusive. But it’s your brain cells you’re killing, not mine. And it’s not just just the script in this case. It’s the crappy acting, the generic CG, the fact that it’s an unoriginal remake of a classic movie, etc. Rotten Tomatoes readers have spoken: a 29% rating. Near universal bad reviews everywhere? Action movies don’t have to be stupid. I don’t want to turn my brain off when I’m being entertained. I don’t know about you, but just looking at action on the screen without any sort of raison d’etre puts me in a coma.
Bonus features: Deleted scenes on the Blu-ray are actually better than a lot of the movie itself.
Take a stand against Hollywood remakes. Don’t buy this. Hell, don’t even rent it. Just avoid it. Go get the original. It’s available on a really nice Blu-ray. Burgess Meredith, Sir Lawrence Fuckin’ Olivier, Maggie Smith…and, of course, the brilliant animation of Ray Harryhausen. I met Harryhausen once. This remake was in the works even then, and he didn’t even want to talk about it. He knew it would be not only a disaster, but would tarnish the reputation of the name Clash of the Titans. He was right.
The only way to stop Hollywood from making dumb, brainless remakes is to vote with your wallet. I got chills when I heard this was the first of a trilogy. Lord, no.