And so, as Avatar seems to have achieved world domination regardless of the Oscars, 3D certainly looks set to be at least a part of the future of cinema. The latest expensive 3D blockbuster, Louis Leterrier’s remake of the 1981 epic Clash Of The Titans, sees Perseus, the bastard son of Zeus, caught in the middle as an ancient humanity declare war on the Gods with very big-screen consequences. Unfortunately, Clash Of The Titans also sees a cast of usually solid actors crippled by an embarrassingly poor script. Ralph Fiennes’ rendition of Hades is merely a hairier Voldemort who rasps instead of hissing, Liam Neeson’s Zeus is a harsher Aslan in a more human form and Pete Postlethwaite’s father figure is an amalgamation of every cliché in the ‘Hollywood inspirational father’ book.
Of course, the special effects are impressive and sometimes spectacular, but never breathtaking. It seems that already such effects are losing their novelty, and Clash Of The Titans lacks the imagination to give the effects that magical quality. In terms of imagination, there’s little more on offer here than giant scorpions, a few people made of wood and the disappointing CGI centrepiece of the Kraken, the mythical beast which Hades plans to unleash upon humanity.
As the story is predictable and practically nonexistent, and the wasted cast fail at portraying any more character development than your average pantomime, at no point do you feel the need to root for Sam Worthington’s personality-devoid hero or indeed any of the characters when the action kicks off. The only aspects of any real interest at all is Mads ‘the creepy one from Casino Royale’ Mikkelsen’s turn as a vaguely cool, dignified hard man and the film’s penchant for unexpectedly killing off characters. Such a lack of depth makes Avatar look almost philosophical.
And in a film that takes itself so seriously, the only laughs are unintentional. While it may be that the writers were sticking by the names from the mythology, Postlethwaite’s declaration that “they are soldiers from Argos”, or Gemma Arterton’s promise that “the fate of Argos is still in your hands”, as if Perseus is some kind of heavenly recession-battling saviour of retailers, raise more of a smile than any of the films attempts at humour. It is a real shame that such potential has been wasted here. With a little more focus on the script, Clash Of The Titans could have been a fun piece of fantasy entertainment. As it is, even in 2D, the film has more dimensions than the story and it’s characters. Let’s hope that this isn’t the template for the future of cinema after all.