Clash of the Titans 2010 Review

As excited I am to see Greek mythology in modern media (and media inspired by mythology, like Percy Jackson), and as much as I like many of the actors in this movie, I was underwhelmed by this movie. Warning: spoilers below…

Now, I’m pretty generous when it comes to film and TV. There is usually something praiseworthy in a given story. I’ve only walked out of one movie, ever, because even a bad movie inspires discussion. it gives a point of reference to compare the good movies to.

On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being so terrible I walked out, and 10 being it changed my life, and 5 being satisfactory but not inspiring, I’d give Clash of the Titans a 3.5.

Strong Points:

Medusa in Clash of the Titans 2010

  • Medusa was well done. I like the way her hair/snakes were rendered and her entire body was more snake-like than in other films. She was much more believable as a monster compared to, say, Medusa in Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.
  • The Stygian Witches were nicely done as well. They came across as other-worldly, creepy, and self-interested.
  • Perseus meets the Stygian Witches in Clash of the Titans 2010

  • I liked the effect of Perseus’s sword (the one gifted from Zeus). With the exception that it lacked a cross-guard, I liked how it interacted with light and behaved as if it were a thunderbolt in the final battle. It was a good nod to where the sword had come from, as if it were forged from Zeus’s thunderbolt for His son.
  • I liked how Io played a strong supporting role. She was neither a very strong fighter, a modernized version of the myth, and neither was she a weak damsel in distress. I think the team stretch a good balance with her character.
  • I liked the impact of hubris on the story. Even though the princess Andromeda wasn’t too proud, her parents’ pride doomed her (ok, maybe not doomed, but it did incur the wrath of the gods upon her).
  • Weak Points:

  • The gods’ armor. It was hideous. It looks like the costume designer wanted to make the gods look heavenly through using highly reflective armor and over-exposing the actors with light. That could have been better (and more subtly) achieved with white khitons (male tunic), maybe with gold or silver trim. The armor wasn’t anything close to historically accurate and it looked flimsy – like a good jab with a fork could puncture it. Besides, why would Zeus need to be in armor anyway?
  • It was good that at least one god objected to obliterating the humans, which emphasizes that the gods do not take uniform stances, but Aollon’s objection could have been better voiced by Persephone (trying to assuage her husband) or by Athena Polias (“Athena of the city”). Even if Argos wasn’t her city, she would have had a clue about Hades’ motives.
  • I did NOT understand why or how King Acrisius was turned into a monster Calibos in the movie (and a pretty unconvincing one at that). And on the subject of Acrisius, Danaë (Preseus’ mother) was Acrisius’ daughter not his wife. Danaë also survived with Perseus to be discovered by Seriphos in the myth.
  • In mythology, Io was not cursed with never aging and immortality, she was turned into a heifer.
  • Overall, the movie wasn’t very compelling. It was entertaining, and I enjoyed the make up and special effects. But beyond that, it didn’t motivate me to care very much for the characters or get absorbed into the story to suspend disbelief. I fault the script and directing with this, because I know Liam Neeson, Ralph Finnes, and Pete Postlethwaite can perform MUCH better than they did in this movie.

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