Clash Of The Titans: Why? How? Oh Never Mind...
I was expecting awful yet I only got mediocre. Consider me happily surprised. Clash Of The Titans is not a good film by any means, in fact it is a rather jumbled mess of spectacle and noise that belies the obvious post-production tampering that it went through. Still... It isn't awful. That's my poster quote for this one.
Reports from the cinema release spoke of the 3D in this being absolutely horrid so I think I made the right decision in waiting for DVD. In its regular 2D version the film is relatively watchable. The plot is a complete mess so it isn't worth getting into here. Sam Worthington plays Sam Worthington in another of his increasingly bad run of blockbuster performances. He is in danger of becoming a cliché and one hopes he chooses some smaller nuanced films soon as my memories of him being a half-decent actor are fading fast.
Director Louis Leterrier makes some startlingly strange decisions in Clash Of The Titans, one of which is letting all his actors speak in their native accents. I'm not one who is usually bothered by this. We are all pretty used to watching period films filled with American accents but in this film it's a really confronting decision. Worthington for the most part uses his Australian accent while his on-screen allies seem to be cast from all over the world. In one scene we have a group of men standing around talking and we hear Australian, Italian, English, American and Scottish accents. A very lazy and odd choice that takes away from any real connection one can have to the film.
Of course this is just splitting hairs as the film itself is more concerned with moving from monster set-piece to monster set-piece as quickly as possible. In that regard the film does deliver. It is relentless and loud, rarely stopping to explain much of anything. The only breathing times we get are during the multiple Lord Of The Rings style sweeping panoramas that Leterrier seems obsessed with giving us every 10 minutes or so.
This reeks of studio interference and Devin Faraci at C.H.U.D writes a fascinating piece detailing the amount of post-production rejigging that was done to this film. It's a really interesting and highly recommended piece as it illuminates the bizarre re-tooling that this plot was given. For those interested in the mechanics of studio tinkering it almost makes the film worth watching as many of these retooled plot points are still visible in the finished product resulting in a weird, semi-coherent film. One of the more confounding changes that was made was turning one relationship in the film that was originally a platonic brother/sister style plot into a romantic relationship.
Most of the interesting thematic lines in the film seem to have been excised also. The general concept of the film is that humans have stopped worshiping their gods and their gods have become angry. Not only are humans not praying to their gods anymore but they have actively started warring with them as they feel betrayed and used by their powerful overlords. This is interesting stuff but it is totally played down in the final cut to the point where it is almost irrelevant.
Clash Of The Titans is a strange mess of a film. Interesting at times and not really as bad as it has been made out to be but still it's an unsuccessful mediocre grab-bag of spectacle and noise. I recommend those interested in the mechanics of how Hollywood tailors its films to be vanilla products should see it, and then read the above linked article. It will salvage some kind of value in the time you spend staring at this jumble of a movie.