Lightning Strikes Twice But This Time It’s Irish – Clash Of The Titans (2010)

10 10 2012

If you were a Greek God, what would your name and what would you be the God of? Well seeing as I know which Norse God I would easily be (THOR). I suppose I could try this. Choosing one would be easy, I would choose Poseidon. If I was to make one up I would be called TEROS, the God of Monsters. TEROS sounds like Taurus which has something to do with Bulls and so in my case, Monsters. It is interesting to hear all the strange names for Greek Gods, but they are Greek of course, but I did not know that Zeus was Irish.

When I heard (late 2008/early 2009) that Clash of the Titans was being remade, I was excited. If any film deserved a remake it was Clash of the Titans. The legendary film from legendary film maker and special effects pioneer Ray Harryhausen. While his film used stop motion and whose Kraken too is one of the most iconic pieces of cinema, this film would of course use CGI instead of Stop Motion. While some people could have had their reservations about remaking it, I was incredibly excited. Even more so when I saw the trailer. When I had my interview at Teesside University the music from the trailer kept going round in my head. It was the film I was most excited about for 2010 (This film also Won 4 Awards at the Sam’s Rant Film Awards 2010).

The film starts out with a narrator talking about how the Gods overthrew their parents The Titans with a creature made from the skin of Hades. Zeus then becomes God of the sky and creates man, Poseidon becomes God of the Sea and Hades is tricked by Zeus to become God of the Underworld. The Gods stay alive and feed on the prayers and worship of the people while Hades finds sustenance on their pain. After hundreds of years, Man becomes rebellious and declares war on the Gods.

Out at sea a fisherman finds a coffin with a woman and a baby inside it and raises it as his son and calls him Perseus. The boy eventually reaches adulthood and his family has grown but has questions about who he really is. They eventually arrive near Argos (not the shops) and observe as the giant statue of Zeus is destroyed by Men from Argos. Strange Flying Monkey creatures then attack the men. They then come together to form Hades who then destroys the fishing boat. Perseus lives but the rest of his family drown. On Olympus (I Think, it does not really state) the Gods are angry about the defiance and Hades appears telling the Gods that they must strike at the Humans. Zeus agrees and allows Hades to attack the world. Perseus is rescued by the Men of Argos (not the shops) and taken to the King. The King and Queen of Argos are revelling in the joy of attacking the Gods. Andromeda (their daughter) does not like this and goes to Perseus to offer him a drink. The Queen of Argos then says that Andromeda is more beautiful than the Gods. Hades appears and makes the Queen age to death (makes her get older and die of old age) and says that he will unleash The Kraken (the creature that killed the titans) to destroy Argos (not the shops) unless Andromeda is offered as a sacrifice. Before he leaves he reveals that Perseus is the son of Zeus.

Perseus is attacked by the guards and does not believe what hades has said. Andromeda tells the guards to let him go and the king asks him if he can help them. Perseus is then thrown in prison; he is then visited by a woman named Lo who tells him the story of his birth. Many years ago a former king of Argos (not the Shops) Acrisius declares war on the Gods and so to make an image of him and to punish him, Zeus impersonates Acrisius and impregnates Acrisius’s wife. Acrisius finds out and puts his new-born baby and his wife in a coffin. He then gets shocked by lightning turning him into a monster and throws the coffin in the sea. Lo reveals that she has been cursed with Agelessness after refusing Poseidon’s advances and has been watching Perseus all his life. He said to be the only man who can stand up to the gods. Perseus and a few men prepare to leave to find the Stygian witches to find a way of killing the Kraken. Before they leave a prop from the original film, Bubo, the Golden Owl, is found but they say they do not need it. The leave Argos (not the shops) for the witches.

Zeus finds out that his Son Perseus is living in Argos. Hades visits Acrisius (now called Calibos) to ask him to kill Perseus for him so that Hades can kill Zeus. Along the journey, Perseus is guided and told stories by Lo and is given presents that he does not want from the Gods including a Sword and the Pegasus. The group of soldiers are attacked by Calibos who loses his hand. They chase him into the desert where his blood creates Giant Scorpions. They soldiers fight them and manage to kill them. Three more appear, much bigger but are halted by a group of desert sorcerers called Djinn. Perseus is wounded by a bit on his arm and is cured by one of the Djinn. They then (Thanks to the Djinn) ride on the giant scorpions to the Stygian witches. Meanwhile back in Argos (not the Shops, I will stop doing this now) a religious cult is growing in number demanding the sacrifice of Andromeda.

The group arrive at the Stygian Witches and after some convincing, by threatening the loss of their one eye the Witches say that the Kraken can be defeated by Medusa whose gaze will turn all who look at her into stone. They also say that Perseus will die. They journey to the river Styx where Perseus encounters Zeus who asks him to live with them as a God. Perseus refuses and so Zeus gives him a coin for the ferryman. They arrive at the crossing and the remaining Djinn throws the coin into the river which summons Charon (the boatman) who ferries them across the river. When they get there, Lo explains that she cannot enter the lair of Medusa, only men can. They fight medusa and most of the group die, mostly by turning into stone. Using the reflective side of his shield Perseus manages to cut off Medusa’s head. He journeys outside her lair and is confronted by Calibos who kills Lo. Using his sword form the Gods he kills Calibos and then goes to Lo. Lo tells him to go for the eclipse has started. Zeus orders the release of the Kraken and the cult goes to the palace for Andromeda who surrenders herself. Andromeda is put on a sacrificial crane thing and hoisted into position. The Kraken makes its way to Argos with Perseus riding on the Pegasus to get there. Hades then reveals that this was his plan to make Zeus weak. Hades heads off to stop Perseus who once again uses his Flying Monkeys.

The Kraken reveals itself and heads to where Andromeda is. Perseus manages to get to her in time and turns The Kraken to stone with the head of Medusa. Hades appears and Perseus uses the sword of the gods to send Hades back into the Underworld. Perseus then rescues Andromeda from drowning. They eventually wake up on the beach and with boats coming to rescue them Perseus leaves Andromeda who is now the rightful Queen of Argos (not the shops, Woops, Sorry).  despite her asking him to be her King. He then encounters Zeus and once again refuses the offer of being a God. Zeus then revives Lo so that Perseus is not alone.

Clash of the Titans is a very Good film, not good as the original but still very Good. The Cast is a nice blend but I do think Sam Worthington could have been better. Lo (Played by Gemma Arterton) is an annoying character and I will tell you why later. While some people may have issues with Liam Neeson as Zeus, I think he was very Good (so much so I gave his performance an award).

For me the best of the cast is in the side characters. Kaya Scodelario plays Peshest who is the maiden for Andromeda (I Think, her name is not revealed). Even though she only talks briefly she is a good addition to the cast. Andromeda (played by Alexa Davalos who is a lot better than Rosamund Pike in the sequel) is another great character but is also not over the top like some of the characters in the film. Pete Postlethwaite appears in one of the last films he did before his death and though while it is a small brief part is magnificently delivered. But for me Liam Cunningham is the best, he plays Solon and while his character is slightly comedic it is brilliantly done and all his scenes are enjoyable (particularly before the boatman arrives).

The CGI is not basic; it has had a proper go. The originals effects are well known and so the CGI updates it for the current generation of cinema goers but to me the original effects are still the best. Back then it was cutting edge, CGI does not really hold that title anymore because almost everyone can do it. Scenes like these can easily be done whereas back in 1981, only a few people could do those effects. But still, very good, some of the best CGI in recent years.

All these points are good however there are some issues that need to be raised. Firstly, Ralph Fiennes as Hades. Ok at the time of the film he was playing Voldermort and so may have been an obvious choice as a villain. However I did feel his portrayal was a bit too much like Voldermort. He may have been an easy choice as well as carrying that thing of the villain being British but he was almost playing Voldermort and not Hades, I mean, it can’t be helping his career if he is A: Playing Villains all the time and B: Playing Voldermort all the time. At least he got his nose back after it was sliced off during filming of the Harry Potter films.

Secondly, Lo. Lo is an incredibly annoying character that constantly narrates everything and takes away the discovery part of the story. You know what is going to happen next because she said it. It’s like the credits role of the New Doctor Who, it tells us what is going to happen next so we may as well just stop watching. It also removes some of the mythology which the film should thrive on but in a way just turns it into a film instead of a film based on Greek Mythology. Thirdly, Overacting, there seems to be quite a bit of overacting in this film, the film should be called Overacting of the Titans. Fourthly, Continuity. By far the biggest issue is the continuity, in particular the story to the sequel. I will probably bring this up when I do that review. On a smaller note Andromeda has blonde hair in it whereas in this she has black, Wrath of the Titans should just be called Continuity Issues of the Titans. In this they say that the Kraken killed the Titans whereas in the sequel it says that the Titans were killed with a weapon.

The trailer for the film used a Heavy Metal piece which I liked and that genre would fit this film. However there was no Metal in it but the music was heading in the right direction. How many times do I need to say it, Heavy Metal + Fantasy = Fantastic. The Music was generally very good though and still enjoyable. It has though inspired me to make a Fantasy Film with Heavy Metal in it for the soundtrack. Unleash the Beast by Saxon would work for this film.

There is one other thing that needs to be said about this film. When it was released I knew about Legendary Pictures plans to make a New Godzilla film. When I saw the Kraken in this I thought that providing the effects are at least that Good then Godzilla should be Fantastic. So as a fan I gave Legendary my Permission to make a new American Godzilla film. A few days after seeing this film, Legendary gets the Go Ahead.

With its combination of Good Music, Great Actors, and Fantastic Special effects, Clash of the titans is a very enjoyable film. While it is not as Good as the original it is still a film that should be seen. It would be good to do a comparison between this film and the original just to see how it stacks up (I am sure there was more content in the original than in this). For now let us enjoy this one and enjoy what is a Great story and a Good Film.

GENEPOOL (Please leave your Greek God ideas in the comments, I would be interested to read them. If you are any of my Blogging Friends (Heather, Regan, TimHannah, LukeJosh or Matt) this could be a Blog Challenge)


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