Movie Review — Clash of the Titans (2010)

by Ryan on April 2, 2010

in Culture,Nostalgia,Pop Culture,Religion

I decided to catch the remake of 1981′s classic Clash of the Titans in 3-D today.  It was a slow Good Friday and I’ve been looking forward to catching this film for nearly a month now for nostalgia purposes.  The trailers before the film were mostly disappointing:  a Predator remake, A Nightmare on Elm Street remake, a been-there-done-that Expendables film, and a big summer sequel, Iron Man 2.  Yawn.  There was some 3-D owl movie coming out this Fall, which looked visually awesome in 3-D, but I’m not likely to see it unless there’s buzz about it being a decent morality tale.

Then, the lights went dim as I firmly set the 3-D glasses on my nose.  My fears, however, were justified.  This is what I said on March 7:

“…back in the day they used to make up for bad special effects with good story lines and above-par acting.  I hope the remake holds up in that department too.  It will look cool (it’s even in 3-D), but will it be true to the story?”

No, it wasn’t.  Heck the original isn’t how the fable went either!  However, it was visually awesome like Avatar, but the acting was so-so:  I didn’t buy Perseus as a demi-god/hero and I was really pushing for Io to reveal more the whole time and just save Argos on her own.  I was prejudiced by the original film and thought they would improve upon it beyond special effects in this remake, but they didn’t.  How is the seafaring Kraken under the control of Hades and not Poseidon?  Why have a god of the sea at all if he can’t control cool monsters?  I mean, c’mon!

Also, I felt that the film was rushed at the expense of exposition.  It was a spectacle film — cool monsters, lots of action, a kind of sleek and sexy Medusa I’m not gonna lie (though she kind of reminded me a bit like an ex-girlfriend when she got mad…), in which the 3-D enhanced about 20% of the movie.  I wasn’t rooting for Perseus or even the people of Argos.  However, while the good special effects tried to make up for sub-par acting, a rushed plot, as well as an anti-religion message (being released on Good Friday, mind you), I feel compelled to give this film a C- at the end of the day.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

AHert April 3, 2010 at 8:13 am

I agree with you on almost all counts, except for the Anti-Religion message. What I got from the movie was a distinct Perseus = Jesus feel.

Here are my arguments:
1. You are absolutely right that the Kraken being under Hades’ power doesn’t make sense. But the whole point of that set up was to establish Perseus as being motivated specifically to stop death. A son of (a) God sent to defeat Death sounds a lot like Jesus to me.
2. His upbringing. I found the ancient Pete Postlewaite paired with a much younger wife a little disconcerting. But I think it was meant to mimic the classic Joseph as old man image that was fairly prevalent in classical art. Also, he is raised by a stepfather that accepts him as his own. In the original movie, there is no stepfather mentioned, he is raised by his birth mother. So I think that is another reference to the holy family.
3. He is a fisherman, Jesus is a Fisher of Men.
4. I believe his whole “I’ll do this as a man” thing, fits into the conversation about why Jesus suffered and showed signs of doubt while on the cross (he also “did it as a man”, not as God).
5. He is told that to complete his mission (Save people from Death), he will die, but he does it anyway.
6. Andromeda is suspended from a wooden rigging by her wrists when she is being sacrificed (a sacrifice she also makes willingly) and when she falls into the sea her arms are spread into a distinctly cross like shape.
7. I think this might be a stretch, but you could read the whole “Swallowed by the Sea” thing as dying and rising, especially since Perseus and Andromeda seem to be sharing the sacrificial quality of the story.
8. In Zeus’s last speech, one of the things he says is “be better than we were”. I think that this is meant to say that after Jesus, the Greek and Roman gods slowly disappeared and were replaced by Christ after people “heard of his exploits and worshiped him like a God” (also paraphrased from Zeus’s speech).

Anyway, sorry for taking up so much space in your blog. I’m also posting this on my blog, but no one reads mine, and I want to see if other people got this from the movie or if I’m just being a wacko.


Ryan April 3, 2010 at 9:42 am

You do make a good argument for the Perseus as Jesus analogy. To me it was hard to catch at first, though. I can see it now that you mention it.

Here’s where I was coming from: the way that the devout were portrayed as loopy (as in the “end is nigh” type character who leads the plebes in Argos to their moment with the Kraken) or blindly compliant didn’t sit well — belief and zealotry were hand-in-hand. Also, the cool people at the victory party were the ones challenging the gods and having a great time (until Hades showed up). The fact that Perseus joins with the warriors and renounces his divinity numerous times got me thinking the film was trying to send a message about self-reliance without faith.


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