Is it my imagination or have there been some major advancements in the art of special effects since we last caught up with Perseus in 1981? I’m no expert on such matters but from what I can tell there has been a particular surge in the area of crafting giant scorpions. I know, I know, there’s nothing quite like the sublime beauty of RAY HARRYHAUSEN’s stop motion animation but let’s be frank, by today’s standards it’s looking a bit, how do I say this politely…crude. Pelt me with whatever you like, you were thinking the same thing.
Since my cards are on the table I’ll add that even as a thirteen year-old watching the original CLASH OF THE TITANS, I thought the effects were pretty unconvincing. Still, that never stopped them from commanding my full attention. In fact, I was well aware that the entire movie was shoddy but that just made me hold it that much tighter to my chest. C.O.T.T. is fucking sweeter than a crayon drawn Valentine. It’s a cynicism free, hokey, golly-gee hayride that, like all bright-eyed innocents, was spat upon and jeered on arrival. It may not be good but as I’ve said before, good movies can bite me.
My big fear in taking in the 2010 CLASH remake was that our story would be flared with cool dude, pseudo-butch crap and phony baloney Dark Knight posturing. Hey look how modern I am because I’m dingy and I’m all growed up now because I’m a nihilist! Ptooey and ptooey and further more ack!
I’m happy to say that the new CLASH is just as dorky craptastic as its source material and even though there are more than a few missed opportunities (how about a bit more time getting to know Pegasus people?) it’s a fun, giddy Saturday afternoon, dumdum adventure that didn’t make me wish I’d bought a hoagie instead. Some beloved characters do get shafted big time but I can’t really complain as several others were given much more due. The rag-tag gang that joins Perseus on his adventure may all be red shirts, but at least they are mourned and acknowledged. I’m not sure who or what the rock-faced, magical djinn are but I do know that if I was still 13 that they would be first on my must-buy action figure list. Of course it would have been even ballsier to include Bubo the maligned, mechanical owl in on the Monster Mash, but baby steps people, baby steps. I have to give praise for any small ember of corniness still allowed to glow in a modern fantasy adventure and CLASH, although no great success, is at least amiable enough to bow hard on that ember.
So yeah, you’re going to hear that this is crap and your reply should be, “Good, when’s the next showing?” If you are so far gone and removed from your younger self that you can’t get spooked out by the hideous witches, awed by the stomp on CLOVERFIELD Kraken, glory in a horse with wings, thrill at a snake lady like Medusa, or even just note the hilarity that this is LIAM NEISON and RALPH (pronounced Rafe because he’s not a Cretin) FIENNES’ second clash following SCHINDLER’S LIST, well I can’t help you. Get the to the comic shop and lighten the Hades up.
NOTE: I should also add that I really like the hurt, injured and mostly quiet Perseus as performed by SAM WORTHINGTON. I dug that he wasn’t the standard dickweed narcissist we usually have to put up with in adventure movies. My favorite moment in the whole movie may be when his dad Zeus opens up his wallet and gives him some spending cash (a gold coin) to take on his ski trip.
Also, yes, Perseus! Ethereal tomboy Lo (GEMMA ARTERTON) is a keeper, who needs Andromeda? Now you two lovebirds go off into the sunset but if you leave behind Bubo again, I’ll never forgive you.