Film review: clash of the titans
The film Clash of the Titans (2010), directed by Louis Leterrier, is a serious battle for power between men and kings, and kings and gods. However, the battle of gods themselves could devastate the world. Perseus (Sam Worthinfton), a demigod brought up as a man, is powerless to put away his family from Hades (Ralph Fiennes), the unforgiving god of the underworld, who feeds himself from human fear. Perseus put himself upfront to organize a dangerous mission to defeat Hades before he could overthrow Zeus (Liam Neeson) and expose hell on earth. Leading a group of courageous men, Perseus heads off on a dangerous journey into the heart of forbidden worlds. Fighting with worldly demons and fearsome beasts, he will only go beyond this challenge once he recognizes his power as a god and disregards his fate and create his own destiny.
The film begins with a narration portraying the three Olympians who fought the Titans in the past: Zeus, Poseidon (Danny Huston) and Hades. Hades showed their way of conquering the Titans with his own creation, the Kraken, a giant sea monster. After the fall of the Titans, Zeus created humans and lead them while Poseidon governs the sea, On the other hand, Hades who have been betrayed by his brother Zeus, was forced to lead the Underworld and discovers an unusual way to have his power from humans that was different from his brothers gaining theirs from prayers. For him, he can obtain power through human fear.
Thousand years later, Spyros (Pete Postlethwaite), a fisherman, comes across with a coffin floating in the sea, where he found a baby, Perseus, lies together with his dead mother, Danae. The fisherman comes to a decision of bringing up Perseus as his own son. Years passed, Perseus and his family are in the sea, fishing together when they saw a group of soldiers from the army of Argos tearing down a statue of Zeus as a proclamation of war against the gods. Hades reveals himself and orders harpies to kill the soldiers. Moreover, as he sees the fishing boat of the family of Perseus, he also destroyes it and sinks into the middle of the sea. As Perseus tries to rescue his family, without any reason, the surviving soldiers of Argos detain Perseus back to their homeland. During the feast for the soldiers who survived the battle, King Cepheus (Vincent Regan) and Queen Cassiopeia (Polly Walker) of Argos are differentiating themselves together with their daughter, Andromeda (Alexa Davalos), to the gods to protect their kingdom. Moreover, after persuading his brother to loose the monster on humankind to reprimand them for their disobedience, Hades shows himself in the courtroom before executing the remaining soldiers while Perseus is untouched. Hades reveals that Perseus is a demigod son of Zeus. He also warns that if Princess Andromeda is not sacrificed to the Kraken, Argos will be devastated in ten days. Hermes (Alexander Siddig), the messenger of god, comes up to Zeus on Olympus to reveal where his son Perseus is. While Hermes recommends giving Perseus a safe haven, Zeus proclaim that he shall have his own fate together with the other mortals.
The king asks for the help of Perseus after he is imprisoned. Perseus refuses at first until he meets Io (Gemma Arterton), a woman whose not growing old as a reprimand for refusing to be seduced by a god. Io then tells him about his origin and the punishment done by Zeus on Acrisius (Jason Flemyng), the former king of Argos, who was married to Danae, for opposing the gods. Acrisuis immediately orders the death of Danae and the baby Perseus after her giving birth. He decides to have them in the coffin float into the sea. However, an infuriated Zeus struck Acrisius with lightning, resulting to a dreadful damage to him.
As Io finished her story and after knowing that defeating the Kraken will let him to have his vengeance with Hades, Perseus agrees together with Argo’s most formidable soldiers. They are also accompanied by Persian monster-hunters named Ixas (Hans Matheson) and Kucuk (Mouloud Achour), and Io, get on board on a mission to look for the Stygian Witches, the three women with gray skin and have one eye.
Into the woods, Perseus and the soldiers discover a sword created in Olympus which will only illustrate its true power in the hands of Perseus. Wandering away from the group, Perseus runs into Zeus’ sacred herd of flying horses, the Pegasus. On the other hand, Perseus turns down the god’s offering- the sword and the pure-black Pegasus, as he doesn’t want to be a god. As per the order of Hades, Calibos attacks the group of Perseus and tries to take his life. Number of soldiers was killed in this act but Calibos failed to murder Perseus, and loses his hand before he can get away. But the drop of Calibos’ blood develops giant scorpions from the sand, which then attack Perseus and his men. Though the group was able to kill several scorpions, many of the soldiers were slain as well, and those who survived faced more monsters to fight with. Perseus and his group were saved by Djinn, a bunch of desert sorcerers who were humans before but changed their human flesh with ash and dark magic. The Djinn were able to put the scorpions under their spell. Helping Perseus to heal his wounds, Sheikh Suleiman (Ian Whyte) – Djinn leader, decided to join Perseus’ group to witness the gods’ obliteration of Argos.
These brave men reached the Garden of Stygia, wherein they gathered information, from the Stygian Witches, that the head of the Gorgon Medusa (Natalia Vodianova) has the power to kill the Kraken, with the risk that they might be slain in the process. As they continue their journey, Zeus got to see Perseus to offer him a sanctuary at Mount Olympus, but still, Perseus refuses the offer. Instead, Zeus gives him a golden drachma, which he learns to be a means to buy off Charon for a way to the Underworld. On the other hand, Io was left outside of Medusa’s den, where a spell was cast that no women will be able to enter the area. Perseus, together with the remaining soldiers, gives all their strength to stay alive, but one by one, they turn into stone with her gaze. With Suleiman self-destructing himself and the sacrifice of Draco (Mads Mikkelsen), Perseus is able to behead Medusa. He came out in time to witness how Calibos kill Io by thrusting a sword from behind. Perseus challenges Calibos in a battle and kills him with the sword given to him by the gods, which transforms Calibos back to his human form. As Acrisius draws in his final breath, Hades’ power leaves him and tells Perseus to refuse to be a god. Perseus stays with Io until she passes on, then rides on to Pegasus and prepares himself back to Argos with Medusa’s head. At the same time, some of Argos’s citizens founded a cult of Hades, who is planning to sacrifice Princess Andromeda to the Kraken, in opposition to the king’s wishes. Hades enlightens Zeus that the fall of Argos will bestow him enough power to remove the other Olympians from power. He then left Zeus defenseless to guarantee his triumph.
On his way to Argos, Hades sends out his harpies to obstruct Perseus’ way back to Argos. Perseus overcomes the number of harpies sent by Hades and let the Kraken met the gaze of Medusa which turns the monster into stone. During this upheaval, King Cepheus was killed by the cult leader and has been crushed under the debris of the broken body of stoned Kraken. Hades shows up and scorns Perseus that he cannot kill him, since he is a god. Perseus snaps that Hades can live forever but it will not be in the world of men. He then uses the sword to send away Hades back to the Underworld. After saving Argos from destruction, Princess Andromeda advocates that Perseus should be the king and rule Argos at her side. Zeus gives Perseus a visit and offers to make him a god. Perseus declined both propositions. Zeus then advised Perseus that when Hades gathers enough fear from humankind, he will arise and return to rule the world in darkness. But Perseus will be prepared enough to stop Hades for the second time since he has all his intention of staying on Earth. With this, Zeus brings Io back to life, and the two rejoice while Pegasus flies above them.
COMMENTARY ON THE FILM: CLASH OF THE TITANS (2010)
The movie is a remake of the film Clash of the Titans that was aired almost thirty years ago. The first film was produced in 1981 and the new version of the movie is an inadvertently entertaining retelling of a classic Greek mythology. Fanatics of the earlier version of the film will not be in favor of the remake because of their concept of perfection of the original version. Thus, if movie goers will search for the original substance of the movie, they will be dissatisfied. However, for viewers who are searching for simple, enjoyable and exploration loaded with enormous mythological creatures of the original edition they will definitely take satisfaction in this movie directed by Louis Leterrier and distributed by Warner Bros. Picture.
As a Turkish person, I chose B&M Magazine to publish this review since B&M Magazine accepted to publish my article in their May issue. At first, I am encountering problems in conceptualizing the film since many parts of the original version were cut and modify. However, since I was inspired by the movie Avatar which was aired in 3 Dimension (3D), the curiosity grew more as it was aired in more than hundred theaters in UK last month. As I watched this movie, I found out that this was an action-packed movie from beginning to end and I believe that generation of viewers today will be convinced that this film is better than the 1981 film in term of effects and cinematography.
Many of us know that the element of Greek mythology is filled with sex, anger, and envy and other shortcomings. The film Clash of the Titans portrays the story of Perseus, son of Zeus- the ruler of the heavens, as he leads the humans in a combat against the gods of Olympus. Particularly, Persues has an unwell will against Hades, brother of Zeus and ruler of the Underworld, since the god killed Perseus adoptive family out of anger. Zeus adores the humans and believes he needs their worship, but Hades disagrees. He thinks that humans, particularly those in Argos, are high and mighty who believes they do not need gods. At the time that Queen Cassiopeia compared her daughter Andromeda, and claims that her daughter is more beautiful than Aphrodite, the gods instigate war on humans to teach them a lesson. The screenwriters, Travis Beacham, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi felt that political power struggle between the gods was not interesting enough, so the film focused on vengeance. Aside from Zeus and Hades, no other gods or goddesses are integrated and it seems that their arguments are better to be just a reflection rather than the film’s driving factor.
The writers chose to keep the majority of the elements, order of events and even the dialogues from the original film, but then decided to change certain elements or add characters in the story. From the original movie, characters of Andromeda and Calibos have much greater roles. Also, other characters like Poseidon, Ammon, Pegasus, Hera and Thetis, who played significant roles in the original, have either minimal roles or do not appear in this remake. Some personage have different roles but are in both films like Danae, who is the wife of Acrisuis and mother of Perseus, but from the original film, Danae is the daughter of Acrisuis impregnated by Zeus. With the original film, Perseus’ love interest is Andromeda, and not Io, whom he married and became the King of Argos, which he declines in the remake. Things that the two films have in common are the attack of the scorpion, the combat with Medusa, and the final with the Kraken, and for Perseus being the son of Zeus.
The movie started out as 2-dimensional film, but with the release of the 3-D movie Avatar, the Clash of the Titans was converted to 3-D. According to Director Leterrier, “The adaptation to 3-D adds unbelievable depth to each scene, enhancing the chronicle and providing an all-encompassing clash familiarity.” There are movies that are intended to be produced in 3-D. However this film was originally intended for 2-D version, but because of the success of Avatar, the director and producer decided to release a new version also intended for viewers who wanted to watch this film in 3-D. This new version in 3-D adds to the excitement but not to the entire effect of the story. The special effects, mostly digital, have been purposely made to gather some with the original film. However, viewers of this film may be perplexed to find the substance of 3-D since the dimensional layer does not agree with the camera. Moreover, the high dimensions of graphics also exposed little to the viewers. Thus, I would recommend to watched the film and in 2D instead of 3D to further appreciate the context of the film.
On the other hand, the movie is definitely filled with striking settings and extraordinary creatures. Pegasus, the flying horse, is portrayed beautifully and the massive numbers of scorpions are indisputably frightening. The Kraken, a gigantic sea monster, is less remarkable than the trailer would have you believe. The film was shot in very lavishing scenery. As for the cinematography, it is very vibrant- jumping out and zooming in or out around each character all the way through ravines and desert landscapes.
Many of us know that Greek mythology gives emphasis on power, intelligence and beauty of the gods and goddesses. However, the interesting aspect such as beauty is not shown in the new version. Not a single goddess delivered an argument in this film. But still, Io is able to fill the missing part of the movie, showing more reasonable and more likeable female character and love interest than Andromeda.
Moreover, I find the movie drew a cast of familiar faces. Sam Worthington showed only one emotion throughout the movie, seriousness, as Perseues, the most important character in the film. Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Dunny Huston portrayed as the three main Greeks gods: Zeus, hades and Poseidon. Not much participation for Neeson and Huston has very little to do with the movie. Character of Io, played by Gemma Arterton, a woman cursed with agelessness and watch over Perseus through his mission. Alexa Davalos as Andromeda, the princess offered as a sacrifice for the Kraken.
In over all, Clash of the Titans is perhaps the first 3-D movie intended to the generation of today. However, it is very hard for me to visualize that this movie will incarcerate wider audience since more of the viewers will undoubtedly attend for its nostalgia value. Moreover, it offers no-frills approach for classical movies with monsters, chaos, and violence abundantly with just enough limits not to over step the leap of the PG-13 rating. For those viewers who will watch this movie in 2D might debate that it harkens back some of the classic fantasy adventure in the middle decades of the 20th century. Thus, I find the movie a flawed but a very entertaining remake of the Greek mythological elements.
Covert, Colin. “Review: “Clash of the Titans” is action-packed fun”. Star Tribune. 11 April 2010. p. 7.
Puig, Claudia . “‘Clash of the Titans’? The gods must be crazy”. USA Today. 7 April 2010. p.8.
Turan, Kenneth. “Movie Review: “Clash of the Titans”: 3-D Makes the Film More Difficult to Follow in Places, and So It Crashes to Earth.”. Chicago Tribune. 2 April 2010. p. 14
Wayland, Sara. “Director Louis Leterrier Interview CLASH OF THE TITANS”. The Collider. 28 March 2010. P7.
Sara Wayland. “Director Louis Leterrier Interview Clash of the Titans”. (The Collider. 28 March 2010). P7.
 Kenneth Turan. “Movie Review: “Clash of the Titans”: 3-D Makes the Film More Difficult to Follow in Places, and So It Crashes to Earth.”. (Chicago Tribune. 2 April 2010) p. 14