Smells like bank holiday Monday – Clash of the Titans (2010)

Our favourite robot Sam Worthington battles his way through this latest Hollywood remake with muscle. The starry cast adds to the overall blockbuster feel and when you are through with star spotting let the holes in the story wash over you. The special effects and 3D will keep you engaged to the end. Don’t expect any outstanding performances with the wobbly dialogue but it is a visual feast and one of the better offerings so far this year. Switch off your brain and enjoy the ride.

Sam Worthington has graced our screens as a cyborg, an alien and now a demi god. His blank expression suits these non-human roles perfectly but in Clash of the Titans you might feel yourself wishing he showed a bit more heart. With a stellar cast to back him up the film manages to hold its own as a big budget remake of the much loved (and endlessly repeated on TV) original 1981 film that showcased Ray Harryhausen’s amazing special effects work.

Worthington plays Perseus, son of Zeus (Liam Neeson) and a mortal Queen, who volunteers to go on a hopeless mission to find a way to defeat the Kraken before it destroys all of Argos (unfortunately not the high street chain of big blue shops). Victory for the Kraken also equals victory for Hades (Ralph Fiennes) God of the Underworld. With a motley crew Perseus battles demons and other beasties to try and save humankind from a hell on earth.

The 2010 special effects replete with 3D are a joy to behold but nothing we haven’t seen in the last few months. A memorable battle involving giant scorpions was the first impressive outing and the 3D aspect was not too overwhelming; it felt like a normal film going experience with only a few stand out moments when you are aware of its use. The mighty Kraken was well designed and was the highlight of all the monsters; compare it to Medusa who was not nearly as frightening as she should have been.

Liam Neeson is carving out a niche for himself playing Gods; adding to his Aslan with a magnificent beard and shining armour as Zeus; he practically phones in the role as does Ralph Fiennes who shamelessly seemed to simply reprise his Voldemort turn in Hades. Gemma Arterton as Io was the only woman who had any fun or frankly dialogue in this film and she was well cast. The supporting characters added a much needed lighter tone to the film and more could have been made of them; it was hard to feel particularly bothered when anyone died and the familiar faces doing cameos felt a little thin.

Ironically this film felt a little short at 105 minutes (no Avatar-arse numbness) with many parts of the story seemingly rushed over and the pace did nothing to build up any excitement or real peril. There was a sly little nod to the original film which gave those over a certain age a giggle. If only the character of Perseus had been cast more intelligently this might have been a very different film; as it was Sam Worthington did not engage and at no point did he feel more than a cardboard cut out going through the motions. The sometimes hokey dialogue may not have helped but it never stopped Harrison Ford from being charming in the Star Wars films.

Overall though this is a good action film. It does exactly what it says on the tin – there are plenty of battles and special effects and one liners to carry you through what is perfect viewing for the bank holiday weekend – just like the original.

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