Comfortable and Furious

Clash of the Titans (2010)

Clash of the Titans fails to pass the Turing test. Though it gives some indication of having humans involved at some point in its production, there is no human touch behind the spare parts welded together from other films. It is a copy of a copy, with confused stars in borrowed skirts reciting the same few lines repeatedly in front of a videogame cutscene. Gods are referenced, the rhythms are similar to other films that aspired to epic status, but the core is a frigid calculation.

Perseus is the Chosen One, adopted by Parents Who Will be Murdered, on his way to be Trained By A More Experienced Warrior Who Will Definitely Die, fall for a Woman Who Will Also Definitely Die, and save an entire city of morons who, when notified their city will be in ashes in a week, decide against at least relocating to the suburbs. One CGI boss battle after another is played out while people stand in the foreground waving swords going ‘ARRGH’ and this gets very old very quickly.

Throughout this dull trifle, you sit there fully aware that this was a foregone conclusion. A group of bored producers sit around a table deciding what middling movie from the 1980s needs to be remade next, and the wheel o doom stops on Clash of the Titans. The man with the most skilled coke dealer sighs. “Well, start drawing a Kraken, I guess.” The entire group of suits shuffle quietly from the room, ready to feed the requisite task into the requisite protocol to yield the equation that is Clash of the Titans, a film devoid of any personality whatsoever. And who best to fill the short skirt of Perseus but Sam Worthington? At least in Avatar he was well cast as a meathead who lucked into a job opportunity with no talent to provide other than the willingness to betray those stupid enough to trust him. In this film, every element of his being is an informed attribute. A demigod, you say? Proof is not provided other than not getting killed in the first boss battle.

The original movie was crap, but it had the fucked up human touch. The clockwork owl was some weird shit, but cool to the eyes of a ten-year-old. In the remake, said owl is mentioned and tossed aside quickly, as the sort of thing a computer would come up with upon encountering a line of code instructing it to write a joke. The movie is filled with moments that would amuse someone on the autism spectrum.  They sort of come up, pass by, and the monotone mode of the film just slides past without looking back. One suspects that the director, allegedly one of flesh and bone, never once met a single actor, coordinated shit with the vast army of animators residing in Bangalore, or even awoke from the coma that began while perusing one of the dailies.

The audience I sat with watched in polite silence, with a couple of awkward titters here and a lonely cough there, and as the end credits played, one person started clapping briefly, silenced by the tomb that was the theatre. The only other noise was the shuffling of feet to the exit. Clash of the Titans was a shambolic affair stapled very badly on the original script from the 1981 film with some Lord of the Rings stylings. Everyone seems as eager to be a part of it as they would a colonoscopy. It doesn’t kill you, but it isn’t pleasant and there is a lot of shitting involved. At no time does tension ever rear its detestable head. The stone figures of Medusa’s temple were from the first test audience, one would suspect.


The film is not incompetent (nothing looks bad after GI Joe), but it is furiously assertive at its adequacy. A sick sense of humor and a taste for the macabre is what saved Lord of the Rings from being this bad, but that trilogy also had a grasp of the epic scale of the story. You get the idea that a great deal is at stake. In Clash of the Titans, you have little reason to care about the outcome, except the dickheads of the city to serve as Kraken food deserve to die. Oh, Zeus needs the love of mankind while Hades thrives on its fear. Get used to how dumb that sounds, because you will be hearing it a lot. Every word of dialogue is blocky exposition enroute to the next setpiece. There is no action because your perspective is in the middle of every fracas, meaning you see nothing. You know the worst place to watch a boxing match? Between the fucking fighters. Well, that is the only seat in this house, so enjoy that shit.

Movies like this clearly divide the adults from the kids, because children love this crap in ways anyone old enough to have had the clap could never understand. Knowing that literally anything can and will happen with the magic of CGI makes tension difficult to generate, and action impossible to follow. Yes, the hero flying amidst the airborne objects will make it to the other side without a scratch. And yes, that monster will scream repeatedly rather than simply killing whatever is in front of it. Even the human element is lifeless, as they just mouth the words necessary to move to the next destination, motivational speech, then yargh the battle with whatever is joined. The only bright spot was Mads Mikkelson, who appears visibly angar at being in this piece of shit. Whatever. Here are some other reasons to hate this.

1. Fuck you for even mentioning the owl. Just fuck you.
2. Why can’t anyone decide to fake a similar accent? Every single former British colony is represented except Kenya, and I think the blue-eyed tree people were supposed to be African stand-ins.
3. Were men’s skirts really this short? I saw Worthington’s ballsack at least twice.
4. Meanwhile, the women are in burqas. If a movie is going to be this gay, it needs to commit itself and break out the oil.
5. Speaking of gay shit, an action hero has not been this repulsed by a woman since Bronson assured some chick his pants were definitely going on. Perseus saves Andromeda, who is moist enough to wet the ocean, and he could not run away fast enough. The stunning Gemma Arterton is brought back to life and is about to plant one on our hero, and we go to a very wide shot before Perseus becomes visibly ill. Even in Avatar, Worthington could only fuck a woman using a blue stand-in. Still, he never bares his chest, and so the closet remains occupied.
6. Liam Neeson can be brilliant at being in ridiculous trash, and made Taken a classic for this reason. How the director fucked this up and left him bored and stranded in glitter armor is unforgivable.
7. Flying a helicopter over a landscape does not leave me hyperventilating in awe. You need to discriminate and pick shots that actually look good or give me a reason to care. After the fiftieth pointless establishing shot, I fell asleep. These establish nothing other than that this clot of redshirts is in the middle of nowhere – like they have been for the last fucking hour.
8. Nobody was going to win an Academy Award for this, so why be so fucking serious and dramatic? I blame Ridley Scott.
9. Why can’t women run from danger without being dragged by the guy? Even real women aren’t this fucking stupid.
10. A film where the hero spends the vast majority of time falling down or being thrown like a ragdoll is not fun to watch. A demigod – I am overfuckingwhelmed. Fuck this movie and anyone who pretended to enjoy it.