‘Titans’ clash with taste

David Wiens / Washburn Review

With all the special effects of the original 1933 “King Kong” and laughably rigid dialogue, I didn’t think there was any way the 1981 version of “Clash of the Titans” would wind up looking like the more interesting film when compared to the 2010 remake. I was wrong.

The recent release of this newer “Clash of the Titans” has me questioning its very creation; it was not as if there was a big demand for an updated version of the movie and, judging from how little of the original plot survived, the filmmakers were not great fans of the storyline. That is not to say the visual effects were not mildly interesting, but the presence of less-laughable monsters does not a movie make.  In 1981 this story stood, unsteadily, on the romance between Perseus and Andromeda, the frivolousness of the gods and a dense thicket of intermingling Greek myths. The 2010 version contained none of these.

Still, it would be unfair to criticize “Clash of the Titans” solely on how close it follows its predecessor, so I will have to try and criticize it as a stand-alone, tough as that may seem. Now let me see . . . The theme was beat on thick and flat with no room for movement, practically all the characters were grossly underdeveloped, the dialogue was lazy and predictable, and the once-numerous collection of bickering gods was replaced by an overused Zeus/Hades argument with a lot of cartoonish scheming by Hades. Oh, and in the end when Zeus gives Perseus his final “gift,” I only managed to suppress my laughter out of courtesy to the other people in the theater. Half of the background characters seemed like ripoffs from the “Lord of the Rings” franchise, and the other half were forgotten the moment they left the screen.

“Clash of the Titans,” from a critical standpoint, at least, is an utter failure. It seems a sad fact that this movie broke the Easter weekend box office record, until you realize that the record it broke was held by “Scary Movie 4.” I will not say that it is impossible to enjoy “Clash of the Titans,” but that is only because there is an overabundance of moviegoers with very low standards.