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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “‘Clash’ a bloody, titanic distraction”

    Louis Leterrier

    Clash of the Titans

    Warner Bros. Pictures

    Released April 2, 2010

    Score: C

     

    I saw the first 20 minutes of “”Clash of the Titans”” last week in 3-D. Apparently the gods were angered by the proceedings. At just about the point where princess Andromeda makes sex-eyes at a bulging three-dimensional Sam Worthington, the theater sound gave out, replaced by a grotesque hissing that sounded like a Kraken getting his cavities filled. The showing was cancelled, and not a moment too soon — the 3-D was mind-numbingly distracting.

    Trained theatergoers should sense trouble when a 1981 Greek mythology remake is packaged solely on the pretense of cutting-edge 3-D graphics. In the case of “”Clash,”” an unremarkable, ultra-violent action romp is made practically unwatchable by this supposed technological innovation. Someone would have lost his job if the film hadn’t already grossed more than $60 million.

    The remake of “”Clash”” is not nearly as intolerable when viewed in archaic two-dimensional projection, as it was originally intended to be seen. Sometimes, it’s even engaging.

    The story loosely follows the myth of Perseus, a product of one of Zeus’ many “”sleepovers”” away from Olympus. The young god is raised by a humble fisherman who curses the gods for consistent rotten luck, including his eventual deep-sea death after a pissed-off Hades (played by a ghoulish Ralph Fiennes) obliterates his boat. Perseus is rescued by a patrol of warriors from the irreverent colony of Argos and blah blah blah — get to the killing already.

    The bulk of “”Clash”” resembles the quirky, action-heavy progression of other fantasy epics like “”The Mummy”” series or “”Troy.”” Minor characters are brushed off like lepers as one violent set piece leads to another, bridged by obligatory “”we’re walking really far”” montages set to grandiose orchestral arrangements. Perseus learns to use a blade and loses some comrades. He slays a giant scorpion and loses a few more. He goes on a blind date with Medusa and ends up the last man standing. When the time comes, he must weigh his pride as a man against his faith in the gods in the ultimate showdown with Hades’ Kraken, and the results are predictable.

    But plot is the last thing that fills seats for a 3-D remake. It’s the action we want: It’s Sam Worthington yelling bloody vengeance as he plunges his sword into some guy’s neck or Liam Neeson’s Zeus throat-punching an insolent underling before releasing the Kraken. Here, the film delivers exactly what it promises. In 2-D, the action scenes are adrenaline-fueled and hyper-violent. In 3-D, the action scenes are nauseating.

    Ultimately, it is the inconsequential action vignettes alone that will hold your attention until the final throwdown with the Kraken — an anticlimax that too closely echoes “”Avatar”” as Worthington swoops across the battlefield atop a menacing Pegasus. The infighting between Zeus and Hades is a bore, and every character save Perseus is expendable and unsympathetic. If action is all you want, then enjoy. Just bring some headphones and rock out to Mastodon during those extraneous bits of plot.

    And, by the gods, make sure you go in 2-D.

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