D: Louis Letterier. DP: Peter Menzies Jr. W: Travis Beacham, Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi. Starring: Sam Worthington/Laim Neeson/Ralph Fiennes/Gemma Arterton/Alexa Davolos/Mads Mikkelsen/Liam Cunningham/Jason Flemyng/Hans Matheson/Pete Postlethwaite/Elizabeth McGovern.
The 3D craze in on and as the summer months and movies role in, this film is surely indication of what is to come.
Converted to 3D in post production, Clash of the Titans represents the new age of action/science fiction/fantasy films that want their action sequences to be on the next level. However, since the film was not shot in 3D there is a whole filmmaking element absent from Clash of the Titans and its action sequences. Unfortunately, the mythical element would have been enhanced if the film had been thought through in 3D and really used it to the story’s advantage.
Regardless of the action, the film relies heavily on voice-over, characters like Io (Arterton) giving verbal instruction and back story to everything. Although part of mythology is the concept of story, prayer, and verbal history, the film doesn’t have enough substance to survive this construct. Sam Worthington’s Perseus seems more conflicted about where he should go more than the meaning of his life. Unable to decide if he is to have an American or his own Australian accent, Worthington wields a sword, wears a tunic well, but has no depth. Arterton’s Io acts as his mythological guide, striking with her dark hair and white tunic, but crippling Worthington’s ability to figure things out on his own.
Worthington is flanked by adept soldiers of Argos who surprisingly appear to know very little about the gods they are defying and the creatures they are fighting. With fantastic make-up these ghouls and grizzlies of ancient time are great, with the exception of a too digital Medusa. But the gods the people of Argos are defying (thus causing the release of the Kraken and Perseus demi-god journey) have little depth as well. Liam Neeson’s Zues makes simple decisions without a motive to really show for his ill use of his brother Ralph Fiennes’ Hades.
Sadly, the film’s concept has true potential and even a 1981 film to fall back on. Specifically, the film’s script could have been deliciously complex and political as the gods not only sport a rich history, but a violent and dramatic one. The Zeus and Hades feud is given a voice-over history, but their brother Posiedon is never shown and up on Mount Olympus other gods are shown, but never identified. Neeson and Fiennes clearly embrace their role as gods, but its all too simple.
As larger more epic and action packed films attempt 3D it will be fascinating to see what stories truly embrace and benefit from the new technology. And if films like Clash of the Titans economic success will prompt more projects like this to come about or even more films to simply be converted to 3D in post production. Anyone who experienced the Avatar film in theaters and now sits in a converted 3D film knows the difference. And that is what we shall see, a difference in cinema. Let’s just hope it’s a good one.