Once in a while, I do stuff that I would never otherwise pay for or do. Like go see movies I have no interest in seeing.
So, a friend scored passes to a press screening of “Clash of the Titans.” Now, I had no interest in seeing “Clash of the Titans,” and I never watched the original, which I’ve heard is bad but in an awesome way), but on a shitty Monday night, when I got that e-mail, I was like, “Hell, yes. I need to see a giant mess of big monsters tearing apart men in skirts.” Like everyone else on the planet, I’m not oblivious to the charms of Greek mythology, and all its sexin’, incestin’, battlin’, lovin’ action—especially when it’s all mashed together and blown up in 3D.
And now, a quick recap of what you can expect from “Clash of the Titans.”
Oh, little Perseus, how cute! He’s a baby! A baby that somehow floated around in a casket with his mother until a fisherman found him. Then, thanks to the 3D, the little baby is pulled from the waters (note to Warner Bros.: I do not need to see a bulbous baby’s head coming at me in 3D, just one of the many ill-conceived and gratuitously boring 3D shots to come). Perseus’ dad is kind of a wanker—I mean he whines all the time, never really mans up in any situation, etc., but somehow the lil’ demigod thinks his dad is the shit. “This is all I’ll ever need,” Perseus says to his family on the fishing boat. Really, Perseus? You want to spend your days with an old man at sea and your mom and sister, no good times, no chicks to bang?
Anyhoo, they’re fishing, and come upon a statue of Zeus, which some soldiers are taking down! Hades (a very balding Ralph Fiennes) comes storming out of the Underworld and kills them off—along with Perseus’ family. Perseus, he so mad now!
Somehow he gets dragged into Argos, a city of party-happy dipshits, who are defying the Gods, and one crazy street urchin (why does anyone listen to street urchins?) who keeps proclaiming the end of life as we know it unless we start listening to Zeus (a very shiny Liam Neeson). Zeus, who is extraordinarily horny and stupid throughout this entire film, is pissed. So pissed, in fact, that he gives his dickbag brother—who totally has it out for him (hello, did we not learn anything from “The Lion King,” Zeus?)—Hades the go-ahead to get those humans in line.
From there, it becomes a staggering mess—a mess of a stapled together plotline, character names and story points that might as well be written at a third-grade reading level, and so many shots of shiny swords, muscled steeds and Sam Worthington’s (Perseus) muscled thighs, that I’m pretty sure I was turned into a gay man. Or at least wanted to be one by the end.
The monsters aren’t scary—Oh, look, giant scorpions we must battle! Oh, wait, and now the scorpions are our friends! And we’re going to ride them like horses! The fight scenes are dizzying and boring. The shot sequences make no sense and have no timing whatsoever—like, let’s walk through the desert for two hours… then follow it with four incredibly tedious action scenes, one right after another.
Perseus’ ragtag crew of accomplices are characters completely constructed out of one-liners, desperately trying to re-create the “Lord of the Rings” Fellowship, but failing miserably. Then there’s this extremely hot, yet annoying demigod Bitch who keeps following him around—and changing outfits by the way—who is on the fine line of being a mother figure/lover to Perseus, which is creepy, but I guess pretty authentic when you think about that whole mother/lover thing the Greeks had a thing for.
Medusa is a joke—she looks like a cartoon snake. And by the time Liam Neeson yells, “Release the Kraken!” you’re just really finally ready for some awesome huge Monster to Rip Apart that City—and Perseus with it.
Nope, doesn’t happen. Somehow, in quite possibly the most boring climax ever, Perseus flies around Argos on a Pegasus (“No man has ever ridden one before,” says mother/lover Bitch. Oooo, the foreshadowing) chasing down some demon from hell that’s stolen Medusa’s head, which he so painstakingly cut off. He saves the day, kills the Kraken by showing it Medusa’s head, which he then tosses aside (hey, I would’ve kept that thing, surely it’s good for something else). Then saves Princess Andromeda, who is supposed to die. Then, get this, he takes a surfside ride off into the sunset on his Pegasus! The End!
The whole thing is 90 minutes. Yep, 90 minutes. It feels a lot longer, but in that 90 minutes they cram every cheap, visceral ploy they can into this movie. Hey, I like mainlining my entertainment once in a while, much like the rest of America, but this? I still have no idea what this was—I staggered out of the theater confused and dizzy and wishing that I had been high.
And Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes should be ashamed of themselves for taking part in it.