Clash of the Titans (2010) 1/2*

So, I watched “Clash of the Titans” on a plane.  I am, of course, familiar with and fond of the Ray Harryhausen claymation version, which has its limitations but is still a big part of my childhood.  However, I decided that to watch the new one for shits and giggles.  It was shit, and I giggled.  I can not even express how terrible this movie was.  It goes beyond words.  But, nevertheless, I will give a valiant effort.  Where to begin?  Stylistically, thematically, ascetically?

I'm loving the sword placement here.

First of all, Sam Worthington.  He is like a poor man’s Russel Crowe, less attractive and a worse actor.  I read, about either this film or Terminator: Salvation, that the Australian accent is the easiest in the world to suppress, so it must be on purpose that this Greek Perseus sounds like he’s never been out of the Outback.  At first you think they’re doing this weird, Ancient World so we sound British thing, but he’s actually mega-Australian sounding.  And it looks like they give up even trying about 20 minutes into the film.

So after his adopted family is killed in a shipwreck, (the family that brought him up after he was chucked into the sea.  More on that later)  he arrives in Argos.  He’s just in time to see Queen Cassiopeia blaspheme against the gods by claiming her daughter Andromeda is more beautiful than Aphrodite.  Hades shows up and eats all the soldiers, and demands Andromeda’s life.  Suddenly, everyone in Argos decides that this angsty, orphaned fisherman with his sweet montage skills is the guy to save the city from the Kracken.  I mean, he learned some pretty serious swordfighting in one scene.  He also knows a hell of a lot about riding horses for someone who GREW UP ON A BOAT.

I'm on a boat. Motherfucker.

So they all go to seek the Fates, who tell them to get Medusa to kill the Kraken.  But Calibos, remember him?  the weird mutant man who lives in the swamp with the helmet of invisbility?   In the original film he was the daughter of someone and was punished.  Don’t remember exactly.  So in this, there is no helmet of invisibility, and he’s Perseus’s father, or, like, husband of Perseus’s mother, who was basically sent to the swamp for being an asshole.  And also, Zeus slept with his wife because her husband defied the gods.  AND, he did it disguised as her husband.  That’s getting into some serious King Uther territory, because, if I’m not mistaken, wasn’t Zeus a shower of gold in this story?

 

But that’s cool, I guess.  It’s not exactly true to the myth, but at least it’s reminiscent.  In the myth Perseus’s grandfather hears a prophecy that his grandson will kill him, and thus conspires to keep his daughter childless.  But Zeus foils that by impregnating her as a shower of gold.  I guess having him assume a human, male form makes a little more sense than that.  But here, Zeus is pissed that Calibos has defied the gods, so disguises himself as Calibos and knocks up his wife.  Then, when Calibos

Why am I in this film?

throws his wife and her son into the sea, Zeus strikes him with lightning, turning him into a monster.  Zeus does not take kindly to people defying the gods.  Oh, and Calibos’s blood drops turn into scorpions, which happened in the story to Medusa, not Calibos.  And then they meet these weird djinn in the desert who help them fight the scorpions.  They’re like wicker men who glow blue inside.  And, randomly, Medusa can’t turn them into stone. That makes no sense.  But she can crush them to death.

Eternal youth?

Oh, but the best part, sort of, is that Io has been cursed with eternal youth, (Tithonus was a mortal man who was granted eternal life, but he withered and got so old he became a cricket, and Endymion was a mortal man who was granted eternal sleep, and thus never aged.  Io was just turned into a cow.  None of them have anything at all to do with the myth of Perseus.) So, Io has been watching Perseus grow up.  AND, she decides to go on the mission with him to find the fates.  AND they fall in love.  And she’s killed by Calibos while they’re hunting Medusa.  Bummer.  Are we now returning to the real myth where Perseus marries Andromeda?  No.  After Perseus rescues Andromeda, he turns to walk away and she says, “you’re leaving?  Argos needs a leader.”  this leads to my favorite line, because he’s been protesting his demi-god status

Cow.

the entire film, whining “I’m just a man.  I don’t want to be a demi-god.”  So he tells Andromeda, “I could serve you better as a man.”  I certainly chortled loudly enough to have my neighbor shoot me an odd look.  As if I hadn’t been cackling and talking to myself throughout the entire film anyway.  And then Perseus walks away, choosing not to serve her as a man.  He then runs into Zeus who says that Perseus could join the ranks of the immortals, but Perseus is like, “Haven’t you been fucking listening to anything I’ve said the entire film?  I’m just a man. I hate the gods.”   So Zeus is like, well, if you’re going to live the boring insignificant life of a mortal, you shouldn’t do it alone.  And he vanishes and Io reappears.  WTF?  End of film.

 
So, aside from all that blatant disregard for the story, the entire theme of the film was that the gods should just leave us the fuck alone.  Throughout the entire film Perseus is angsting because gods killed his human family.  And he refuses to ever pray to Zeus, because gods just meddle and suck.  Plus, everyone is using these incorrect Christian terms, like sin, and Hell and shit, when that was so not what Greek worship was about.  And they were wearing their leather skirt things, like all Greek heroes wear, and they were so fucking short.  And even I was like, I don’t need to see this much of your bare thigh, really.  Put on some tights or something.

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