Director:Louis Leterrier Release Date: April 2 Review by Andy Edwards Many of us of a certain age regard the 1981 Clash of the Titans as a classic. Not because of the hammy acting, or the mechanical owl that was added in the belief that all blockbusters needed to feature an R2D2-style comic sidekick. No, it’s pure and simply because of Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion creatures. Along with Jason & the Argonauts, this was our introduction to the monsters of Greek myth - and COTT brought us enduring images of The Kraken, Medusa and Pegasus. And some giant scorpions of course. The modern remake wisely retains all these elements - though obviously now rendered in charmless CGI. Around these set-pieces, the plot is fundamentally based on the same mish-mash of Greek myths as the original too, but there are enough changes of emphasis and characters to make this a proper “reboot” rather than a slavish copy of the original. The soap-opera world of bickering gods in Olympus has been reduced down to a much more Judaeo-Christian battle between Zeus (Lord of the Heavens) and Hades (Lord of the Underworld). Whilst Hades (Ralph Fiennes, revisiting Voldemort) is clearly evil, this does leave Zeus (Liam Neeson channeling Qui-Gon Jin) as a much more confusing figure - he instructs Hades to “release the Kraken” in the first place, then spends half of the film helping Perseus to kill it with magic swords and suchlike. By attributing all the actions that were the work of competing Gods and Goddesses to Zeus, he’s rendered much more like the “mysterious ways” God of Christianity - alternatively smiting people Old Testament-style or giving up his son to save humanity. Personally, I miss the squabbling Hollywood legends of Mount Olympus past - they made a lot more sense. The other main plot change is that there is now no longer the love triangle between Perseus, Andromeda and the monstrous Calibos. The princess and Calibos are reduced to smaller roles - Perseus this time is motivated by revenge (Hades kills his adopted family), and the love interest is now a character called Io played by Gemma Arterton. Her character, like many in this film, is pretty vague - she seems to be some kind of supernatural being whose power is keeping her dress impossibly white. Which brings us onto the lead - Sam Worthington as Perseus. Sam’s obviously the go-to man of the moment for standing in front of a green-screen and fighting CGI aliens/robots/monsters. This is kind of the problem - take away the CGI and it would be impossible to work out which film he’s in - playing each character identically. This isn’t helped by the fact that everyone else in the film has standard-issue historical-epic flowing locks, and he’s still sporting the buzz-cut he had in Avatar and Terminator Salvation. Maybe he can act, but he’s never been asked to? Who knows, but you don’t get an answer from Clash of the Titans. Not that he’s particularly bad in it, he does as good a job as in Avatar and Terminator - it’s just he always seems like a bad-boy actor from Neighbours who’s slightly out of his depth. To be fair, he’s not helped by the script which is seemingly unsure of whether to go for camp or serious and often just ends up purely functional, and often repetitive in case all this mythology is too highbrow for today’s audience. Add to that a lack of jeopardy caused by the film’s confusion over who Perseus is - is he a man who can be killed at any time, or is he immortal? Does he have special powers or not? He says he can’t use the magic sword for fear of the consequences, but then uses it, and er, nothing happens? (These are just some of the questions you need to not ask if you want to enjoy the film in any way). Overall, it’s not a travesty, but it’s not a triumph. It’s a fair stab of a glowing sword at updating a film, that Harryhausen aside, is probably more fondly remembered than it should be (I’ll always maintain that Jason & the Argonauts is by far the superior movie) It’ll just about while away a wet Wednesday afternoon, but that’s about it. Just before I ride off into the sunset on a winged beast, a quick note about the 3D. As I’m sure you know, off the back of Avatar this has been given a 3D botch-job make-over. I saw it in 3D and the results vary between OK, to a blurry mess, to scenes when they just didn’t bother. It’s nothing more than an excuse to add another few quid to the price of the cinema ticket, so if you have the choice, see it in 2D then use the £3 you save to buy a quarter of a small bucket of popcorn. Rating:5/10