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Clash of the Titans (2010 film)

A 2010 remake of the 1981 film, directed by Louis Leterrier

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This is NOT Greek Heroic Mythology... But Hollywood Mythology!

  • Apr 2, 2010

Most of us know a little about Greek Mythology and even more of us have seen the 1981 classic film “Clash of the Titans” based on the tale of Perseus. Many would argue that the classic movie needed an update given our advancements of visual effects while many would say to leave the original film alone. I do think that the story of Perseus needs a film update, as long as it remains faithful to Greek Mythology. Ok, the 1981 film wasn’t 100% faithful to its source material, but the myth of Perseus at least remained intact. Well, director Louis Letterrier and writers Lawrence Kasdan and Travis Beacham rendition of “CLASH OF THE TITANS” is pure mainstream popcorn entertainment; boasting of stunning special effects, gorgeous set pieces, 3D gimmicks and sword-swinging action. 2010’s Greek mythological version aims to make the story of Perseus Bigger, Louder and Stylish. Is this a good thing and is this remake necessary?
In a time when men have began to question the Gods, that kings dare to challenge Zeus (Liam Neeson), the king of Olympus, with a war threatening to destroy both; a young demi-god called Perseus (Sam Worthington) loses his adoptive family during a skirmish between Hades (Ralph Fiennes), the lord of the underworld and the army of Argo. Back in the land of Argo, Perseus is brought before its king who challenges the gods themselves. Hades once again appears to bring fear to the mortals as he condemns Argo for destruction at the hands of his child, the Kraken or for Argo’s princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos) to be sacrificed. Desperate and angry, Perseus volunteers to mount an assault on Hades and to seize power from Zeus. He leads a small group of warriors (including a mysterious woman) to seek the wisdom of the Stygian witches, journey to the underworld to take Medusa’s head, kill the Kraken and to stop Hades…a demi-god’s work is never done.

Sam Worthington in "Clash of the Titans."

          Sam Worthington as Perseus, Hans Matheson as Ixas, Ian Whyte as Sheikh Suleiman, Gemma Arterton as Io and Liam Cunningham as Solon in "Clash of the Titans 3D."

                         Sam Worthington as Perseus in "Clash of the Titans."

                                   Ralph Fiennes as Hades in "Clash of the Titans."
1981’s “Clash of the Titans” was a grand display of special effects for its time; true, it may be a little dated in these days of polished CGI effects and HD technology, so it was safe to assume that it was only a matter of time before Hollywood does a remake. I thought the original film stuck much closer to Greek mythology, sure there were small differences such as the mechanical owl but the film served up several creatures in Greek mythology that were so much fun to see. Well, 2010’s version is a bigger update but it also strips the screenplay of the spirit of Greek myth.
Louis Leterrier’s version has a plot that leaves most of the original’s devices intact, but it doesn’t expand on Greek mythology but actually takes several short cuts. The gods of Olympus in the original were noble, proud, impishly selfish but considerate; this time around, they were selfish, uncaring (despite the fact that the movie says Zeus loved men), arrogant and they demand worship to keep their immortality. This time around, Perseus is not the heroic love-stricken son of Zeus but one driven by the desire for revenge. Instead of Poseidon who commands the Kraken, Letterrier opts to make Hades the father of the beast from the sea. Pegasus is an ebony horse and the not the last flying white horse, Acrisius and Calibos’ characters are one and the same, no riddle to be solved, no helmet of invisibility, the shield of Perseus isn’t fashioned by Hephaestus, Bubo the mechanical owl makes a cameo, Argo is the one in peril rather than Joppa, no angry Thetis, and the other gods of Olympus are present only for show. There are a lot more changes to the plot but none proved to expand the mythology; some new characters were introduced such as Lo (sexy Gemma Atherton), Draco (Mads Mikkelsen) and there’s even a Djinn?! (There are Djinns in Greek mythology?) 

        Sam Worthington in "Clash of the Titans."

                 A scene from "Clash of the Titans."

                             Sam Worthington in "Clash of the Titans."
The characters in “Clash” are a little too stereotypical for my tastes and I sure wished that the director didn’t make these changes. Note to Hollywood: Don’t fix something that’s not broken. Letterier and company would have done well to keep most of the elements of Greek mythology intact. They could’ve just made the film more faithful to the original while expanding on the myth with a more serious, darker mood and tone. I guess Hollywood opts for the easy way out than to be more creative and rely heavily on visual effects rather than the development of characters and story. Why man would provoke the gods wasn't fully developed--except that "don't be like them". Perseus and Lo made an interesting duo while Andromeda makes for a minor role here. The premise of Greek mythology is really kept to a minimum here. I wouldn't mind some changes, as long as they were clever and inventive; but in this case, they were pretty clumsy. The development of the story is essential to make a truly epic excuses; grand special effects DO NOT make a film truly epic.

                       Polly Walker as Cassiopeias, Vincent Regan as King Kepheus and Alexa Davalos as Andromeda in "Clash of the Titans."

                       Medusa and Sam Worthington as Perseus in "Clash of the Titans."

                      Alexa Davalos as Andromeda in "Clash of the Titans."
The screenplay in 2010’s “Clash of the Titans” is stripped bare to make the movie leaner, louder and brisk whose focus are the special effects and action. The promise of immortality in song and stories because of heroic deeds are left for a simple desire for revenge that leads to heroic deeds. I actually didn’t mind this change if only the characters were the essential part of the story rather than the action. The main draw of Letterrier’s “Clash” are the set designs and just how monstrous he made the creatures; and on this he does succeed. The giant scorpions were indeed scary and intimidating. The battle with them served up the film’s most intense and exciting moment that I almost forgave the film’s flaws (but they were played too early). The Kraken is indeed HUGE and looked very, very cool. Medusa was quick and deadly, but she wasn’t that bad to look at; she looked like a refugee from one of those video games. I did like the effects of the transformation of flesh to stone and the encounter in Medusa’s temple was decent. I was also amused by the river styx and the underworld; they looked real grim and nasty. But the 3D effects were obviously a mere gimmick to capitalize on Avatar’s success.
So is 2010’s “Clash of the Titans” a worthy remake? I would have to say no. It did play homage to the original movie but as a film supposedly based on Greek Mythology and legend, it just didn’t hit the spot. Letterrier’s rendition is another film of “escapist” elements and comes so short of becoming epic save for the louder, grander visual effects whose goals are simply to entertain and awe with its modern technology. “Escapism” is just an excuse to make a crappy film, but to its credit, the film does entertain. The film may prove really impressive for those folks who’ve never seen the original or familiar with Greek myth; it has that comic book feel that does satisfy but never really fills you up. It is hard for me to recommend this movie to be seen in theaters but that “Kraken” needs to be seen in the big screen.
I guess 2010’s “Clash of the Titans” is total escapist, popcorn entertainment. While not a bad movie, it just falls so short of the supposed “outdated” original 1981 film. While not essential, it is a fun diversion. Just remember, it is NOT Greek mythology but Hollywood Storytelling.
Recommended with Caution [3 Out of 5 Stars] Flawed with some Redeeming Qualities; But a Rental First is Advisable.
HYPE LEVEL: Very High. Today’s revolutions in visual effects demand movies that delve in fantasy to be made but 3D should never be the main attraction for movie enjoyment but creative storytelling. I feel that the film didn’t meet expectations and lived up to its “Hype”.

This Review is a Exclusive (Need I even say it?)

3D Promotional poster 3 ½ Stars: This is NOT Greek Heroic Mythology... But Hollywood Mythology 3 ½ Stars: This is NOT Greek Heroic Mythology... But Hollywood Mythology 3 ½ Stars: This is NOT Greek Heroic Mythology... But Hollywood Mythology 3 ½ Stars: This is NOT Greek Heroic Mythology... But Hollywood Mythology

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April 25, 2010
I think I'm going to start subscribing to the idea that if you're unfavorable towards it... I'm inclined to be even LESS favorable, LOL.  Because when I finally got to see this, I just about hated it.  In my review I described it as a fart... it stinks. 
April 26, 2010
ha-hah. I rated this a star more than you. I can see why some folks can like it, but I sure had mixed feelings about it. It was bettter than staying at home though LOL!
April 07, 2010
Another excellent review WP, I will be seeing this movie this weekend some time.
April 07, 2010
Thanks, man. I see you've been going through my reviews. I left you a message on your profile page. It has been awhile since we've talked (after I stopped reviewing in amazon) Great to see you, man!
April 10, 2010
Indeed it is cool to finally be able to read all your stuff again, finally seen Clash last night.
April 11, 2010
review it here, man!
April 03, 2010
As a fan of Harryhausen and as someone who's been obsessed with mythology since a very young age, I'm skipping this one altogether. Talk about mangling myth and unnecessary remakes! Why'd they even keep the title "Clash of the Titans" if the Kraken is Hades' son? Nonsense! The reason the original had that name was because it was about using Medusa to conquer the Kraken. The original film changed a lot from mythology, since Medusa wasn't even a Titan and the Kraken wasn't part of Greek mythology. But that film was fun and clever. This one, not so much.
April 03, 2010
That bit bothered me too. After all, Poseidon is the king of the seas and the Kraken is a resident of the sea. I am with you, Medusa is a Gorgon, but not a titan. Maybe the word 'titan' was meant as something 'huge' or epic combat? Ok, back to bed for me, my cold has gotten a little worse...
April 03, 2010
Damn, sounds like you need to visit the doctor. Rest up, I have a job for you to do when you're up to it!
April 03, 2010
yeh. the weather's really fucked up here...cold and then warm, sunny then is messing with me. I quit smoking and now I'm more vulnerable to allergies...arrgghhh!!!
April 03, 2010
It's been like that here. 30 one day and then almost 70 the next. It's messing with my allergies!
April 10, 2010
Oh, and Woo, it's not Greek or Hollywood mythology. It's geek mythology! LMFAO! Sorry, I couldn't help myself.
April 02, 2010
Thanks for the heads up on this, Woo! Daaaang, how'd you manage to see and review it before it even came out? :P Great review! Like trashie, I've seen not-so-great headlines about this. Most notably on CNN where it said that it was cheesetacular. Yup, saving it for DVD. Thanks for sharing!
April 03, 2010
I managed to see it Thursday night thanks to a friend of mine. I was going to see another advance screening today but my cold has gotten a little worse. Staying home to sleep it off... :-(
More Clash of the Titans (2010) reviews
review by . July 19, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
*1/2 out of ****    I'm starting to think it's nigh impossible to make a good "Clash of the Titans" movie. The first - and unfortunately not last - was from 1981 and failed to leave anything of an impression on me aside from a few yawns and my admiration for the stop-motion work that gives the film a great deal of its fans. Now there's the 2010 version, directed by Louis Leterrier, which really doesn't have much of a reason to exist other than to upgrade the visual thrills of …
review by . January 22, 2011
This film was stupid, poorly acted, essentially Hercules for adults, and was nothing but a mindless dumb action romp. But to be fair, that's all I was expecting. The movie is nothing more than a CGI action extravaganza and it has enough special effects to please a mainstream audience but the critic in me just kept holding me back. You know how some movies you just have to check your brain at the door for, well I just can't do that, and I feel that if I smashed myself several times in the …
review by . April 25, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Clash of the Titans is like the guy who farts in the room and then decides to leave you with the smell.  It stinks.  After watching Clash of the Titans and walking out of the theater, I felt dirtier than a gas station restroom.  I will need many years of therapy after this one.      Okay, so perhaps Clash of the Titans wasn't THAT bad.  But make no mistake, the movie is bad.  Not enough to make you feel dirty.  Just bad enough that you look …
review by . July 31, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
   A long time ago there were big, chaotic, uncontrollable gods, the Titans, who ruled the Earth and gave birth to new gods who destroyed them and created man, in order to gain power from their worship.  But men, being men, resented the arbitrary whims of the gods and it was inevitable they'd fight back.  Hades, the god of the underworld, hit upon a plan to bring fear into the hearts of men so they'd worship again.  He'd release the Kraken, a giant sea monster, …
review by . June 06, 2010
After being on this site and checking out some of the reviews I came to a conclusion....I am one of the only people in America who enjoyed Clash of the Titans!!      The movie, as many of you know, follows the story of Perseus as he goes to kill Medusa and journeys to meet the three witches in order to slay the Kraken. The movie had a star studded cast with Liam Neeson, Ralph Finnes and Sam Worthington. With lots of special effects and an oppertunity to see this movie in 3D …
review by . April 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Greek Mythology gets a massive makeover in this overblown, but visally stunning adventure....
The original 1981 Ray Harryhausen special effects designed and produced  fantasy adventure is a film of magic wonder, excitement, adventure and mysticism. The 2010 remake or re-imaging if you prefer  "Clash of the Titans" is centered around a young  fisherman named Perseus  who  after a personal loss  sets  out  to the city of Argos to  take up the task of saving the whole city from the brink of destruction by the hands of the Kraken.  …
review by . October 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The original Clash of the Titans is perhaps mostly remembered for its sheer corniness. This remake by the same name is certainly better and has amped up special effects. On the whole, I'd give it 3.5 stars. The movie does some things very well, such as the monsters. Medusa looks great and perfectly combines beauty and horror. Yet, I can't help but think that the directors wasted this opportunity to make a truly classic movie. Clash of the Titans falls into the trap of many modern movies …
review by . April 06, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I was a big fan of the 1981 movie Clash of the Titans. It had everything I loved: action, excitement, Greek mythology! It was a great film for its time and still holds up at least somewhat today. Sure, the effects have aged, but that's to be expected.    It was also a movie that pushed me even more into my budding interest in Greek mythology; an interest which has continued to this very day. Heck, I got quite an interest in mythology in general and even took a course in it when …
Quick Tip by . November 02, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
If the lord of the rings, the lightning theif, and 300 got togeather and had a child it would be the clash of the titans. Not that it was a bad movie just the similarities where almost to distracting for me to follow the actual storyline
review by . April 05, 2010
   On my blog (, I've set out to work my way through Rotten Tomatoes' list of the 100 worst movies of the last decade. As I've talked to many people about my "quest," I've mostly gotten interest. Only a very, very few people have not really understood why I was choosing to subject myself to these officially awful films. I consider myself a bad movie aficionado, but I don't think I'm entirely unique in that way. Maybe I like them …
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Poster art for "Clash of the Titans."

Clash of the Titans is a 2010 fantasy film which is a remake of the 1981 film of the same name, itself loosely based on the Greek myth of Perseus.  Directed by Louis Leterrier and starring Sam Worthington, the film was originally set for standard release on March 26, 2010.  It was later announced that the film would be converted to 3-D and was released on April 2, 2010.

"Release the Kraken!" Ah, it could only beClash of the Titans, the 2010 remake that retains the instruction to unleash the great beastie from the sea. The 1981 original boasted Ray Harryhausen's legendary stop-motion technique of animating various mythological creatures--it was his final feature project--and given the cornball approach of the movie in general, that was the main draw. The remake supplies new state-of-the-art special effects (released in 3-D) and a nicely muscular sense of momentum. Sam Worthington (theAvatarguy) plays Perseus, a demigod who doesn't know that Zeus (Liam Neeson) is his father. Perseus is selected to lead an expedition to find and slay the Medusa, lest Zeus's evil brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes, in fine slinking mode) rain down misery upon a seaport--and you just know that means the Kraken is coming. Ye gods, it's a mess, and we haven't even mentioned the witches and the harpies and the giant scorpions. But if we did, it would be clear thatClash of the Titansis a perfectly dandy popcorn epic, unpretentious and punchy. Director Louis ...
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