0When James Cameron said Avatar was a “game changer”, he was right for the wrong reasons. Yes, there will be an influx of 3D films to come for the foreseeable future, but when it comes right down to it, many of those pictures will be converted to the format rather than actually shot for it like Avatar was. While 3D is really just the studios way to combat piracy and make an extra dollar on the side, the casualties will be moviegoers wallets and films that may have otherwise been enjoyable in two dimensions. Line up Louis Leterrier’s Clash of the Titans remake as the first casualty of 3D conversion, which Warner Bros. is outright lying when they said the conversion so many months ago went successful.
In retrospect, the film may deserve another viewing without the nice pair of sunglasses that anyone who sees the film in 3D will receive. That’s what the glasses will double as for this picture as they fail in their function of creating an atmospheric world that encompasses the viewer. Midway through the film I removed the glasses and outside of the occasional fuzz on screen, the image looked brighter and better than it did with the shades. True, I was aware going in the 3D was going to be bad, but I didn’t expect it to be absolutely atrocious. What plagued me afterward wasn’t how astonishingly awful the conversion was, but rather just how enjoyable of a film Leterrier had made.
Well for one, the film has a very classic feel to the whole picture. Perhaps it owes it’s debt to the exotic locations Leterrier chose to shoot the project in, which give the movie an authentic look. Clash also features an epically great score from Ramin Djawadi who encompasses everything sweeping and silly we know about Greek mythology. But maybe it really is Leterrier’s direction that keeps the movie afloat. In spirit, he honors Desmond Davis/Ray Harryhausen 1981 original incredibly well and even allows Bubo to have a cameo. He gives Perseus something more of an arc, and obviously has a better toy-box in terms of effects to play with. He even carries the film when it reaches it’s most cringe worthy spots, allowing it to get to such depths.
Unfortunately that’s not so much of a good thing. There are times the eight year-old inside of me spazzed out whenever Sam Worthington would do something awesome or say something cool. However, there are times the critic in me would come out and roll the eyes are something corny or an incredibly over-the-top sequence or line would be uttered. To be fair, neither the original film nor this new Clash of the Titans ever gave off the vibe of being a super serious or straight-faced picture. They want to play off of their follies like any well-timed comedian. The timing just tends to be a little off at the end of the day, which in effect hurts the performance of the film.
Sam Worthington seems to be on auto-pilot, which isn’t too much of a bad thing. He was great in Terminator Salvation and up to the task in Avatar. Here he’s coasting, which truthfully does make for a formidable action hero. He’s overshadowed by Liam Neeson, who seems to be absolutely at home as Zeus. When it comes right down to it, there’s no better actor in the galaxy to play the king of the Gods. Ralph Fiennes (who’s barely noticeable in that make-up, solid work) makes for a decent Hades, but he’s a tad too over-the-top than he needs to be. Gemma Arterton also shows up for the sole purpose of making every male who watches this movie fall in love with her, while Alexa Davalos is there to admire. It’d be great to comment on the rest of the cast, but the film is so full of characters that it fails to introduce us to the plethora of people it shows us, nor does it allow us to get to know them.
Maybe with repeat viewings I’ll remember their names and faces, and perhaps the film will be appreciated more. It isn’t like someone named Paul W.S. Anderson was at the helm where disaster could be expected. Louis Leterrier is one of the better action directors out there and was certainly able to complete this journey on his own. He almost gets there, but on the whole this Clash of the Titans doesn’t live up to its potential. It’s worth a watch, and I’d say on the whole I left satisfied with the product. Yet something tells me this movie myth should have had more excitement than what is presented.
But alas, perhaps the atrocity of the 3D derailed my experience to which I say the following; anyone who goes to this in 3D, you deserve to pay the ridiculous price for being so retarded to fall for it to begin with.