Posts Tagged ‘Fiennes’

They need to be reminded of the order of things” – Zeus

In a time when Greek gods were as plentiful as nuts in a Snickers bar, you’d think that peace and tranquility would reign. Not true. The gods bicker amongst themselves like children vying for the attention of their parents.

Zeus (Liam Neeson) is the head puppeteer in the gods’ plan to gain the undying love and attention of the mortals. Based on the theory that you never appreciate what you’ve got until it’s gone, Zeus hatches a plan to send carnage & devastation to the mortals. To carry out the plan, Zeus forms an alliance with his brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes). Creating a relationship with anyone from the Underworld has never been a good idea, and of course Hades has his own ajenda.

Photo by Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture – © 2010 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Legendary PicturesDown on Earth, in the city of Argos, the mortals have complicated backstories. At times you may feel like you’re watching LOST without the helpful pop-ups. Perseus ( Sam Worthington ) is a demigod, born from Zeus’ dalliance with Danae, Perseus’ mortal mother. It’s good, it seems, to be a demigod, they have some of the powers of the gods, but enough love and compassion to keep them well grounded.

Within short order, Hades overruns Argos with his loathsome bat-creatures and threatens release of the Kraken. Rumored and much feared, the Kraken was the nuclear bomb threat of it’s day. Perseus, it seems, is the only one with enough moxie and special powers to end the threat. In a quest that’s quite typical in Greek Mythology, Perseus is given a laundry list of tasks to carry out. Throughout this quest there’s no end to the battles that Perseus must endure so he can save Argos from destruction.

It’s inevitable that the new CLASH OF THE TITANS would be compared to it’s 1981 counterpart. At that time no CGI existed and special effects were limited to the very skilled craftsmanship of Ray Harryhausen. Using stop motion techniques, the actions of highly detailed models were inserted into the live action film. The downside of this was that a two minute sequence could take several months to film, so action scenes were understandably limited. At times the 1981 film suffered from long “talkie” sequences while we waited for the next thrilling monster scene to arrive. However, with lots of exquisite CGI action, the new CLASH OF THE TITANS doesn’t dissapoint. Well crafted monster sequences are in abundance and will keep any horror film fan on the edge of his seat.

Medusa, a gorgon, is portrayed in the 1981 version, as one of filmdom’s ugliest and most despicable characters. The gorgon, a highly detailed animation model, slowly slithered through the dark castle, hiding behind Greek columns, and picking out her victims one by one.
In the 2010 film version, Supermodel Natalia Vodianova re-invents the gorgon as a lithe, alluring, yet horrifying monster.Photo by Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture – © 2010 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. and Legendary Pictures Her vapid yet mesmerizing stare is all that’s necessary to turn a man into stone. We’d worried that in the new film, given the gift of speed, the gorgon’s attacks would be just too fast to maintain a feeling of suspense. But those fears were abated when we saw the great editing, set design, eerie lighting and the wonderfully choreographed fight. The encounter with Medusa turns out to be one of the highlights of the new film!

The giant scorpions, spawned from Calibos’ blood drippings, are much larger, and more fearsome than their incarnations in the 1981 film. Memorable moments include an extended battle that’s reminiscent of the giant bug fights in STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997).

After much anticipation, we finally get to hear Zeus intone the now over used cliché “Release the Kraken!”. Ominously rising from the depths of the ocean, the Kraken is a behemoth to be reckoned with. Towering menacingly above the city of Argos, the Kraken lashes it’s multiple tentacles and destroys buildings in a way that would impress even Godzilla. In the 1981 film, Perseus fought the Kraken with the assistance of his flying horse Pegagus (who incidentally, was white in 1981) and a flying mechanical owl (more about him later). In the new version, Perseus wages war against the Kraken astride his steed Pegasus (now black) with magical sword in hand. Nonetheless, it’s non-stop action and suspense as the Kraken edges closer to killing the sacrificial Andromeda. At this point it would be unconscionable to reveal the film’s ending, but rest assured the Kraken is finally dispatched!

Trivia – Earlier in the film, when Perseus and his soldiers are picking out shields, he pulls a mechanical owl off the shelf and is told “put that back!”. It’s a nice in-joke, referencing Harryhausen’s 1981 creation, Bubo, the mechanical owl, who was Perseus’ sidekick and comic relief in that earlier film.

CLASH OF THE TITANS is a sword-and-sandals film filled with lots of swashbuckling action, sword fights and monster battles. Very entertaining.

The fight with Medusa, the gorgon …Caution contains spoilers !!

Clash of the Titans (2010)

Cast & Credits
Director: Louis Leterrier

Sam Worthington … Perseus
Liam Neeson … Zeus
Ralph Fiennes … Hades
Jason Flemyng … Calibos
Alexa Davalos … Andromeda

Running time: 118m.
Rated PG-13 – fantasy action violence, some frightening images & brief sensuality.