Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Unworthy Worthington Hams Up Hamlin's Hero

This review is for the 2D version. Post processing 3D onto a 2D movie is a crime and I do not support it in it's current level of technology.

Must... act... out of... this... situation....

Due to the problem with Hollywood running out of ideas; many producers have turned their heads to remaking movies which are classics in their own right. The most recent being a remake of the 1981 Ray Harryhausen produced movie Clash Of The Titans which stared a young curly-haired Harry L.A. Law Hamlin as the Greek mythological hero Perseus. Perseus’ adventure was truly epic and in many ways has inspired so many fantasy genre movies, comics and video games throughout the years. Think of the last RPG you played, you were a heroic warrior [or something along those lines] who embarked on an epic quest with companions to rid the land of evil by slaying demons, solving puzzles, avoiding traps getting into impossible situations and of course getting out of them again just like Perseus in Clash Of The Titans.

So why didn’t this happen in this movie?

Sam Worthington nailed it as a Terminator and a blue alien last year but alas, Perseus required more screen time and a somewhat more “human” approach for him and as it turns out Sam can’t act for shit when push came to shove. Now Hamlin’s Perseus obviously didn’t have a Greek accent, we’re not striving for that level of authenticity of course but Worthington 's pretty strong Aussie lit was more comical and distracting than say Connery’s Russian submarine captain Ramius back in The Hunt For Red October. We forgave Connery because; a) his voice is cool; b) he’s in the top 10 greatest actors of all time – Worthington is neither and his Perseus comes off as a spoiled whining twerp and not the Greek hero of legend. It's completely idiotic that he's a skinhead here too - these legends had hair - maybe not as much as the gods [I got the impression that Alexander Siddig (Hermes) and Danny Huston (Poseidon) were hiding in shame] but that’s not all that was wrong here.

Hey, I thought I wasn't supposed to look at you?

The original Clash obviously took liberties with the Perseus legend. OK so killing Medusa to present her head as a gift for his Uncle/King or whatever is not as exciting as killing her to use her head as an ultimate weapon to defeat the Kraken - see it even sounds better when written here. For the remake it appears director Louis Leterrier took too many liberties not only with the original legend but with the original movie as well – the problem lies in what he used and what he didn’t use. It’s not difficult to describe some of the ways they obviously changed this for the attention span of the modern audience, some of whom use cell phones while watching movies now - why? It feels far to rushed, the changes that the writers made all seemed to just speed everything along and we're supposed to think it's explained away by virtue of the fact that "the gods made it happen" or somesuch like Pegasus [a black Pegasus I might add] conveniently appearing at the right moment without explanation etc.

Right: Hi, my name is Gemma. I'll be your bit-of-fluff for the movie. It's not like we can only have a hot babe in the opening and ending scenes in this day and age now is it?

This time around Perseus is not aided by Bubo [Athena’s R2D2-like golden clockwork owl], Burgess Meredith’s [Ammon] sage mentoring is now replaced by a limited quick training scene with Mads Mikkelsen [Draco], and most unforgivably he doesn't embark on a quest to win Andromeda's hand in marriage either. While I nomally would approve of the inclusion of Gemma Arterton on screen for any reason; her inclusion here as the demigod Io is the single most ridiculous addition and you don’t know how unfathomably wrong it is until the final scene. Look this is a spoiler: but what the fuck is Perseus' motivation for saving Andromeda atall if he has no intention of banging her? Seriously? WTF? The ending is not so much "get ready for the sequel" but it's so "get ready for the trilogy" that I almost vomited in my mouth.

Left: Good job Boorman let me keep my shiny armour from Excalibur or they might have dressed me in a bedsheet like Olivier [or in any true depction of Zeus Liam!]

Does this movie have anything going for it then? Well. on the good side, the movie is not without action, it's certainly not boring and delivers much in the way of all you'd expect from a modern heavlly-laden CGI cinematic triumph with a few hundred million dollars budget. Leterrier, [one of very few individuals I have pardoned for being parisian] director of the superb Transporter 2 and the sublime The Incredible Hulk has a true eye for directing a balls-out action movie. It's obvious that this was an extraordinary labour of love for him and I'll support his sequels considering the "future" of Perseus after his Medusa/Kraken quest in mythology seems somewhat bland and so has been overlooked in modern representation. It may even allow Leterrier to put the character back on the "Andromeda track", but I won't hold my breath.

Final Verdict: A true summer-opening blockbuster with excellent special effects combined with a splendid score by Ramin Djawadi. But it's not enough to forgive a classic tale being raped to this extent. If that is what had happened in the legendary tales it’ may never have been passed down through history and our modern fantasy lore and RPGs would be as dull as a December evening. My true fear is that following the eventual nuclear holocaust in years to come, when all the scholars are dead and books are burned, someone will find the 3D Blu-Ray version of this new Clash of the Titans and think that this is the way things are supposed to be. I shudder to think.

Please rescue me! I won't marry you or give you treasure but please rescue me?

Colonel Creedon Rating: **1/2

1 comment:

vaughan said...

Still wasn't it nice to know that the Monster from Cloverfield is available for work....childrens parties and certain kinds of photoshoots long as they're tasteful.