Clash of the Titans: An indulgence of the inner-child

April 12, 2010

Byron Graham

I was dreading this experience, having read the condemning reviews from other pundits and minding my knee-jerk suspicion of superfluous remakes, yet I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, it’s got a dumb script, a leading performance from a human charisma vacuum and not even a shred of originality, but I enjoyed myself enough to recommend “Clash of the Titans” with the important caveat that viewers expect nothing more from the film than a camp-fest.

The cast, which includes such classy British actors as Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes, elevates a script overstuffed with stiff one-liners and expositional dialogue, with the unfortunate exception of star Sam Worthington. Worthington (“Avatar”) has enjoyed a banner year headlining blockbusters, and is slated to become Hollywood’s new everyhero, but seldom has a star risen so high for such a perfunctory actor. Distracting Australian accent aside, Worthington is a sentient Ken doll who turns in a performance that can be charitably described as functional. His face is where emotions go to die.

Despite its wooden lead actor and reliance upon studio hackery, “Clash of the Titans” manages to recapture some of the magic of the original, and will likely stir the imaginations of today’s youngest filmgoers and introduce a new generation to classical myths that form the backbone of the story. The endurance of the Greek mythology, particularly the tale of Titan’s hero, Perseus, is a testament to its archetypal resonance.

Don’t bother seeing “Titans” in the 3-D format. The filmmakers shot in 2-D, and after watching it, I must say that some of the movie’s clumsier CGI sequences would most certainly not benefit from an extra dimension. By most accounts, the post-production conversion is a carelessly executed money-grab by studios and distributors alike, so you can skip the glasses without skimping on the visual experience.

Whether or not you decide to skip “Clash of the Titans” is a question of inner-child indulgence: Do you recoil from the hackneyed dialogue and shoddy, crassly commercial filmmaking, or daydream about taking to the skies on the back of a winged Pegasus?

Rated ‘PG-13′

118 minutes


Liam Neeson and Sam Worthington