Clash Of The Titans (12A) Director Louis Leterrier updates the 1981 swords and sandals epic based on Greek mythology, made famous by Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion creatures.
With all of the new-fangled technology at his disposal, Leterrier bombards the screen with computer-generated giant scorpions, flying demons, a slithering Medusa and a gargantuan Kraken.
However, all of that slick digital trickery cannot replace the personality or the wonder of Harryhausen’s painstakingly-crafted models.
The title may be the same, but this Clash Of The Titans lacks excitement and soul, and the climactic battle with the hellish sea monster is a huge anti-climax.
Australian actor Sam Worthington, last seen as the paraplegic hero in Avatar, perfects a macho scowl as mankind’s reluctant saviour, but there is scant indication of the grief that drives his character.
A romantic sub-plot with Gemma Arterton’s spiritual guide barely catches fire, and the script doesn’t generate a sense of dramatic urgency despite the imminent threat to the city of Argos.
As a baby, Perseus (Worthington) is rescued from the sea by fisherman Spyros (Postlethwaite) and his family, unaware that he is actually the demi-god son of Zeus (Neeson).
Hades (Fiennes), the god of the underworld who intends to usurp Zeus on Mount Olympus, causes the death of Perseus’s new family and the grief-stricken young man vows revenge.
He gets his chance when Hades curses Argos and its rulers, Kepheus (Regan) and Cassiopeia (Walker), and threatens to unleash the Kraken upon the city unless they sacrifice their beautiful daughter Andromeda (Davalos) to the behemoth.
“You were born to kill the Kraken,” reveals Io (Arterton), who has kept watch over the demi-god his entire life.
If Perseus can slay the Kraken, Hades will be weakened enough for him to strike a fatal blow.
However, to defeat such a powerful foe, Perseus must seek counsel with the Stygian witches, accompanied by Argon warrior Draco (Mikkelsen) and his men.
Clash Of The Titans is a series of mediocre action sequences, glued together by scenes on Olympus between Zeus and Hades.
Unusually, the 3D adds nothing to the visceral experience.
There isn't a single scene that has been orchestrated with the format in mind, and a climactic airborne sequence, following Perseus and Pegasus as they swoop through the coiling tentacles of the Kraken has no sense of depth or speed.
Considering the premium levied on 3D tickets, save your cash and watch the 2D version instead. You’ll be equally disappointed.
All text and images © Copyright 2013 Newsquest (Oxford) Ltd.