Movie review: "Clash of the Titans"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

The original "Clash of the Titans" may be a beloved cult favorite, but it's also the kind of terrible movie that's been begging for an action-packed, big-budget update.

They got it half right. The filmmakers behind the new "Clash of the Titans," including director Louis Letterier and a trio of writers, certainly spared no expense in bringing these Greek gods and monsters to life. But they forgot to give them anything to do.

The sword-and-sandal picture focuses on demigod Perseus ("Avatar" star Sam Worthington), who must save the city of Argos after Zeus (a slumming Liam Neeson) and Hades (Ralph Fiennes) target it for destruction.

While the premise is similar to the surprise smash "300," the PG-13 rating neuters what should be an easy blockbuster. There are only three subdued action sequences in the entire film. A CGI-heavy showdown with Medusa was actually tenser in the simplicity of Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion original, and the final battle with the legendary Kraken is anticlimactic.

In an attempt to capitalize on the 3-D revival, "Clash of the Titans" added some effects in post-production to gouge a few additional bucks out of unsuspecting consumers. They're barely noticeable and not worth the additional expense.

Fans of the 1981 movie should watch for a reference to the original's ridiculous mechanical owl, though it's quickly discarded with a "leave it behind." If only they hadn't left behind all the stuff that could have made this bland, unwatchable movie remotely interesting.

"Clash of the Titans"

Opens Friday

Grade: D-