Monday, 12 April 2010

FILM REVIEW: Clash of the Titans

Ugh, the Summer blockbluster season is upon us - it seems to get here earlier and earlier every year, latching onto the Easter holidays and then dragging on and on for months. I hate this time of year because superheroes, car chases and robots do not appeal to me in the slightest and I can go for weeks on end without even thinking about the cinema. Which is very sad being a film buff! But occasionally things will pique my interest and drag me into the fray - Thor next year for example, because Natalie's going to be in it. And the new Pirates of the Caribbean if it's good. And later this year, Toy Story 3. But I'm a sucker for Greek Mythology romps - I even enjoyed Troy more than I should have done a few years ago when it came out (although that was probably down to the fact that lovely Rose Byrne was in it - ogle). So I dutifully trotted along to the Clash of the Titans remake, the fact the leads were being played by two of my most hated actors blinded by my love of Gods and Monsters. Ho ho - and blinded I was.

I don't think I've ever seen a modern film that looked so 80s! For some reason the CGI just looked incredibly dated, as did the costumes and make up for practically every cast member. I don't believe that it's impossible to make Ancient Greece, Mount Olympus and the array of heroic characters look fresh and up to date, yet Hollywood struggles with this every time. It just comes across as laughable, and it's incredibly frustrating when such great stories and epic adventures are being embarrassed in this way.

I knew we were in trouble within the first few moments when events became episodic and dialogue became queasily portentous. Why can't we have character development? Why can't we have big events creep up on us rather than bash, bash, bash? Characters are central to everything, no matter how big and ferocious you make the Kraken look. Without the characters then we don't give a toss what happens - smash Argos up, then! See if we care! The main character's devoid of any personality anyway!

Ughhhhhhhhhhhh - Sam Worthington. Never have I been so bewildered by an actor's sudden sprint up the A List ladder as bloody Sam Worthington. Pack his bags and send him on an intensive week course in charisma somebody pleeeeeease, because this bloke is getting away with murder. Lead role after lead role and for what? He doesn't progress or impress, he just delivers the same bland wretched performance each time and he needs to leave our screens ASAP. And hot on his heels can be Gemma Arterton, who I've disliked ever since I thought I'd learn about Tess of the D'urbervilles. I find her infuriatingly annoying, and her holier than thou presence in this film just made me want to push her over a cliff. The scene at the end where the two lovers are reunited did absolutely nothing for me at all. Except make me wish Pegasus would trample all over them.

So we have to look to the supporting cast for any semblance of form, but there is very little to be found. Perseus' buddies are all as forgettable and samey as the next, save an hilarious Nicholas Hoult with a tan and ponytail. Liam Neeson inspired giggles within five seconds on screen as Zeus, and while Ralph Fiennes was slightly less cheesy as Hades, he still looked as though he had just stumbled out of his dress up box. Alexa Davalos was lovely as Andromeda though...oooh he should have picked her over annoying Io. But the best support came in the form of the CGI monster creations - particularly the giant scorpions and Medusa. They were the most entertaining scenes to watch from an otherwise brain wandering film. The Kraken - built up as the amazing climax - came as more of a damp squib.

One day, someone with the right vision will come along and turn a Greek myth into a LOTR style epic in weight and splendour, but until then we get messes like Clash of the Titans being churned out of the barrel. You're best of sticking to the books. Or try and 1980's original - I hear it possesses a touch of charm.

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