"There’s a saving grace in Ralph Fiennes, whose diabolic portrayal of Hades is wonderful to see"
With the virtually limitless canvas of imagination of Greek mythology to draw upon Clash Of The Titans could have been a modern action masterpiece but sadly, it’s less of a clash and more of a whimper.
Demigod Perseus, ignorant of his deific heritage, has been raised as a fisherman. But when men declare war on the gods, his family is inadvertently killed by their vengeance. Taking refuge in the nearby town of Argos, he volunteers for a mission to stop Hades who has spelt out an ultimatum: either sacrifice their princess Andromeda before the coming eclipse or have their entire city razed by the gargantuan Kraken.
He saddles up and heads out on a mission to stop the lord of the Underworld with a band of warriors that includes the gruff Draco (Mads Mikkelsen – this time with both of his eyes intact), young Eusebios (Nicholas Hoult) and the beautiful demigoddess Io (Gemma Arteton), cursed with eternal youth, who acts as Perseus’s guide.
They’ll have to contend with the blind but monstrous Stygian Witches, a bevy of giant scorpions, Acrisius, a former king turned monster out for revenge, and of course the snake-headed Gorgon, Medusa.
As touted as the effects are, they’re actually rather underwhelming. The giant scorpion battles, while taking up the whole screen and dripping more gunge for blood than a whole series of Run The Risk, are for the most part unimpressive.
It also suffers badly from a case of the 3D re-edit blues; actors are surrounded by a visible haze which is constantly distracting – hardly the crisp new wave of three-dimensionality we’ve come to expect for the modern age.
The plot itself is utterly ridiculous – the group move from one location to another without any real reason, new characters appear and are dismissed with not so much as a wink and a last-minute romance with Io is artificial and forced.
Sam Worthington seems to be specialising in playing characters that fall arse over backwards into overnight success (see Avatar) – one day, he just wakes up and he’s a hero. Consequently, Perseus never appears to have any depth, and therefore you never care what happens to him – Worthington’s wooden performance adds nothing to an already underdeveloped character.
There’s a saving grace in Ralph Fiennes, whose diabolic portrayal of Hades is wonderful to see – hamming it up whilst appearing and disappearing in clouds of billowing black smoke, he’s easily the most enjoyable thing to watch.
Clash Of The Titans quickly lapses into typical Hollywood action bombast: characters which soliloquise to the camera to reveal the plot, action sequences which aren’t very exciting and 3D re-editing that is misplaced and unnecessary.
As such feels like another throwaway piece of cinema tosh – the only thing titanic about it is the budget and the fact that it spends most of its two hour duration steadily sinking.