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Clash of the Titans (4/10)

by Tony Medley

Run time 106 minutes.

Not for children.

This movie is yet another in a chain of remakes that emphasize the vacuity of Hollywood’s creativity. Instead of creating original movies, Hollywood continues to recycle old stories and scripts. This one is based on the 1981 film of the same name that starred Lawrence Olivier and Harry Hamlin. This one adds 3D to the menu.

Alas, the film was not shot in 3D. The 3D was added in post production, and it was a bad idea. Films, like this and “Alice in Wonderland,” that are presented in 3D when they were not shot in 3D give 3D a bad name. When 3D is added as an afterthought (an expensive one; I’ve been told it cost $5 million to add the 3D), it darkens the picture and mutes the colors. Several times I removed my glasses and the color was much brighter. Watching it in 3D through the glasses is like watching black and white film noir through dark sunglasses. If you do go see this, I recommend the 2D version. But I don’t recommend anyone going to see this movie unless you are just blown away by special effects.

In a nutshell, Perseus (Sam Worthington), a demigod (a progeny of a god, his father, Zeus (Liam Neeson), and a human; his mother is a human who died just before the movie started), is out to kill the Kraken, a horrific monster, to save his town and a princess. It’s all oh, so predictable. Ralph Fiennes makes an appearance as Hades, but, for my money, the only performance in the movie that is anything to write home about is by Mads Miikkelsen, who plays Draco, an experienced soldier who accompanies Perseus on his quest.

We’ve actually already just seen this same story in “Percy Jackson and the Olympians; the Lightning Thief,” released a few weeks ago, so what’s the point of sitting through it again? At least “Percy” had Uma Thurman playing Medusa, the woman who turns men to stone when they look her in the eye. No such luck here, although Natalia Vodianova isn’t given the breadth of a role that Thurman was.

But there is really no acting required here. These are just people going through the motions of acting, clearly taking a second seat to the special effects. The film is basically just a set piece for the numerous fight scenes that highlight the special effects. But the fights are so predictable and rote that it was difficult to keep my mind from wandering while they were onscreen, which meant most of the time.

March 31, 2010