Clash of the Titans


2010 is beginning to feel a bit like a public service – I’m watching bad films in order that you don’t have to. I never really had any high hopes for Clash of the Titans, but I did sort of hope that it would be two hours of silly rock posturing and action scenes, unfortunately it isn’t.

Therefore for the benefit of previous readers may I suggest that you take my normal complaints about;

Poor pacing & inconsistent tone.
Weightless CGI.
Dull performances.

And turn them up by 10% and then go and read something else on the internet. Yes, Clash of the Shite-un’s is really that bad. However, if you feel like wading through a morass of negativity, please, be my guest.

Poor pacing.
Ever watched a ninety minute film and wished it was shorter? No? Well you haven’t watched Clash of the Titans which feels more like a glacial art film intercut with fucking atrocious action sequences than a summer blockbuster. I can’t tell if they either didn’t have the money to shoot exposition scenes, didn’t have the script or just thought “Well, maybe if we trim half an hour from it randomly we can salvage something from this mess?” Action scenes abruptly end with no logical reason, often as the tension has been increased to breaking point. Dialogue is purely of the “we must do this next” genre. I’m not looking for high art, it’s not Waiting for Godot, but for God’s sake give it some pep!

Inconsistent Tone.
I smoulder with generic anger (see Dull Performances), no wait I suffer from terrible angst? Clash of the Titans can’t make its mind up if its supposed to be about gods kicking seven shades out of each other or a realistic look at Greek myth. The clue should be in the title, we want to see seven shades of crap flying everywhere – screw the religious nutter burning his hand, it doesn’t do anything!

Weightless CGI.
And my new hatred, pointless 3D. They’re Titans, we should feel the impact of their blows – instead we just watch one series of grey / brown pixels fighting with another with no recourse to physics. It doesn’t even look interesting – if I hadn’t already seen concept art I couldn’t even tell you what the Kraken was supposed to look like. It was never going to have the charm of the Eighties original (a charm reinforced by endless Sunday afternoon viewings) but we could have at least expected the effects to be better than this.

The 3D is pointless and has obviously been tacked on afterwards – note how all of the 3D effects end with a flat plate effect rather than a dull edge. Yes, this film is cashing in on the current market. Very poor show.

Dull Performances.
The real killer of this film. Sam Worthington undoes all of the high hopes we had of him to turn in a performance that is laughable. Generic rage – check! Snarls instead of talking – check! Authentic Greek / Australian accent – check! Okay, the last one’s petty, but fucking hell does it get in the way.

Worse is to follow.

Liam Neeson – Liam Fuckin’ Neeson turns up with a performance that screams “Cheque please!” It’s so flat that you can’t even work yourselves up to hating it. No, that is reserved for…

Ralph Fiennes.

Channelling his inner Voldermort like the pay packet was going to dry up it’s so bizarrely hammy that it has to be witnessed to see how bad he really is. I liked The Avengers – it was fun – but his performance was bad. Give the man an Oscar for it now compared to this. Is he trying to be sinister or just having an asthma attack? This is an actor who can pull off casual menace without thinking about it but his performance has to be ramped up with bad CGI for him to even begin to possess any form of threat.

And last but not least – Gemma Atherton. I’ll be kind and leave it as this – put a doily on her and you could call her a cupboard. And her costume even removes the kit-porn angle from the film as a saving grace – this is Ancient Greece via Top Shop, there is no other way to describe the feather ensemble she wears halfway through the film.

So does Clash of the Titans have anything redeem it? Yes, but it’s so fleeting don’t bother. Mads Mikkelsen realises how bad things are and turns in a performance that manages to retain his dignity. He’s the only one that does so.

Avoid like the plague.

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