Box office Titans

With Hollywood apparently running out of original movie ideas, there has been a glut of remakes hitting our screens. The Easter holiday was no different with Clash of the Titans, the big box office winner.

I grew up with the original, released in 1981 and starring Laurence Olivier as Zeus. It was a favourite on our family’s television at Easter. Along with Jason and the Agronauts, it gave me a foundation of classical history lessons before my teachers took over. With a son at roughly the same age as I was when this classic was first released, there was only one movie for us to see this Easter.

We opted to see the 2D version, I’m not wholly convinced about the merits of 3D and, in certain action movies, I feel it can detract from the story. With Aussie man-of-the-moment, Sam Worthington, leading the cast as Persius, illegitimate son of Zeus, this time played by Liam Neeson, I had high hopes. The effects were all there, giant scorpions, Medusa with her serpent heads and dangerous eyes, Hades and his wrath against the Gods and, of course, plenty of green goo masquerading as mythical animal blood.

Titans has certainly been dumbed down, for what reason I’m unsure. Perhaps the cinema-going audience don’t want to be engaged by movies any longer. The movie lacks emotion and tension. Some of the great fight scenes from the original descend into a bit of a farce. The effects may be more sophisticated in this version, but the under-use of great actors, such as Neeson and Ralph Fiennes (Hades), is very much to the detriment of this movie.

The memories of wet afternoons in the Easter holidays, huddled around the television, waiting for Medusa to lose her head, are what got me through this version. It was watchable but not the masterpiece it could have been, and not enough to evoke the same emotions in my son as experienced by me all those years ago.

I think next time a classic is remade, we’ll just wait for the digitally remastered version of the original and watch it at home.

Bring back the mechanical beasts!

Reviewed by Debbie McTaggart

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