Clash of the Titans 3D Review

Posted: June 5, 2010 in Review
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Clash of the Titans 3D Review

Summer’s here and it’s time for blockbuster CGI-fests to roll out and show off how big their budgets are. Or, rather, summer’s not here yet and it’s time to roll out those potential blockbuster CGI-fests that would get trampled underfoot in the more crowded months. This second category sums up Clash of the Titans quite nicely.

Perseus (Sam Worthington) is the result of a union between Zeus (Liam Neeson) and a human queen, a failed abortion attempt by enraged King Calibos and a childhood under the steady hands of humble fisherman Spyros (Pete Postlethwaite). Life is going well for Perseus until the King of Argos offends the gods and Hades (Ralph Fiennes) kills Perseus’ family.

Hades then persuades Zeus to punish the mortals for their arrogance and delivers Argos with a choice – sacrifice Princess Andromeda or be destroyed by a titan known as the Kraken. So begins an epic quest to defy the gods.

This movie is so stuffed with big ideas and scale that it’s a wonder there are any human characters on screen at all. While all characterisation and dialogue is strictly paper-thin, the action unfolds on such a grand scale that it might accidentally inflict brain damage on anyone trying to take it all in at once.

The easiest way to describe the cast is thus: Gods, bastards (who become good guys), hero character, woman, bastards (who stay bastards) and exposition girl, played with typical blandness by Gemma Arterton. The macho men spend their time on screen running from encounter with big CGI monster to encounter with big CGI monster without really every pausing to do anything except ask Gemma Arterton stupid questions that require explanation.

In spite of that, Clash of the Titans doesn’t suck as hard as it maybe should. The action is choreographed magnificently throughout, with every bump, thrust and blow feeling like it makes one hell of an impact. If action was the point of the film, it succeeds admirably. The CGI is outstanding, managing to look realistic in spite of the inherent silliness of the visuals. Giant scorpions, half women-half snakes, a winged horse – all these are both visually different to each other and look as if they’re almost there on screen.

That’s not to say that they look like they’re coming out of the screen – the 3D technology is probably the weakest yet in films. Clash of the Titans was not designed to make full advantage of this (the 3D tech was something thrust upon the film a month before release) and so it doesn’t make any difference. In fact, you could quite happily sit there without the glasses on and not notice anything besides a slightly blurry background.

On the whole, it’s an experience that might not provide complete satisfaction, but then again it’s a big, dumb movie that plays Connect 4 with Greek mythology. At least with this big, dumb movie you won’t be left feeling like your wallet has been sexually abused.

3 stars

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