Julie and I went to see this yesterday. When we went to buy our tickets, we discovered we'd gotten tix to a 3-D presentation. Cool--I hadn't yet seen a modern 3-D flick.
Before we went in, Julie said, "I heard mixed things about this."
I replied, "It has giant. fucking. scorpions. 'nuff said."
And it's true--Clash of the Titans is this:
1. Giant fucking scorpions
4. The Kraken
Don't even go looking for a really good story. The original had a WAY better story. Just go for a 2.5-hour roller coaster ride, steeped in hardcore Atheism with a glimmer of agnostic hope at the end...and enjoy the cameo from the original Bubo, even if it is a bit (inadvertantly, I suspect) insulting to Ray Harryhausen in its implementation.
It pissed all over Greek mythology even worse than the original, the "Gods vs. Man" story was WAY too epic for Greek myth (and muddy, to boot), Kalibos is completely lame in this, and the 3-D was "meh" at best...but God damn if it wasn't fun to watch.
I feel bad for Ralph Fiennes. That poor bastard is going to be stuck playing Voldemort for the rest of his life. I'm not kidding, either--Hades is Voldemort with a nose. He even appears and disappears in that cloud of black Death-Eater smoke. And he seems to have a similar, "I can't kill you" vibe with Perseus that Lord V does with Harry. But hey, he pulls it off well, so good on him, I guess.
Liam Neeson is awesome as Zeus, who at times does a great Odin impersonation (yes, yes, I know...the two aren't all that dissimilar to begin with). But then, he's awesome in everything.
Perseus is very 2-dimensional. He's a testosterone-ridden hero along the lines of John Carter of Mars. He has muscles, he can naturally fight because he's a demigod, and he's pretty much there to scream about how he chooses to be a man rather than a god. But he does kick ass. And take names.
Pegasus feels way too tacked on, as does Perseus' magical sword. There is no helmet or shield (well, he does get the shield eventually, and it's the only item that has a good, solid back story that fits the flick). Bubo, as I said, gets a cool cameo that is accidentally (I hope) insulting to Harryhausen's legacy.
Oh, and as a pet peeve of mine: it's not the Pegasus, referring to a species of animal. Pegasus is his name. The animals are just winged horses. But call me crazy--I dug making him black. Looked cool.
Speaking of looking cool, Medusa looks pretty awesome, as do the scorpions. The djinn, a random insert from Persian mythology, manage to fill their screen time nicely and are pretty cool inclusions, even if they do come out of left field. Perseus's adventuring party all have personalities and faces, now, which is one way it's better than the original flick. When people get killed, you feel it a bit more.
Io (a new character and Perseus' love interest in this one) and Andromeda are both ragingly hot. They chew up scenery very nicely. There aren't enough Greek Gods. You get Zeus and Hades, and cameos by Poseidon and Apollo, with a few other gods scattered around not speaking in the background. Bummer on that one.
Now, as to the 3D. It was very, VERY cool when it worked. But it was clearly an afterthought--this flick wasn't designed as a 3D movie. So it isn't really worth the extra cash to see it in 3D. The thing is, there were places that didn't need to be in 3D which were (the end credits? Really?) and places (like EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF EVERY FIGHT SCENE) that should've been 3D and weren't necessarily (some fight scenes were partially 3D, some weren't).
However, the Kraken rising up out of the water is in 3D and that is pretty damn cool.
The only thing that kept sticking in my craw was the HUGE conceptual story of mankind not needing the gods and deliberately snubbing them, while Hades secretly plots to create Hell on Earth and overthrow Zeus. It was too Atheist and Christian in theme, though they interjected a bit of Agnostic hope at the very end. Greek gods are petty. Their schemes with mortals tend to be small and personal. Greek epics are HUGE stories, but generally start with some god or another getting jealous or pissed off over a minor affront. It was better to see Perseus get screwed because Hera was jealous of Zeus's affair, and because Andromeda's mother idiotically said she was prettier than Thetis. This whole bit about "The gods need our love and prayers, and we don't need them, and we'll prove it" is way too BIG for Greek myth.
It did, however, make for a whomping good fun roller coaster ride.
As with many of Hollywood's blockbusters these days, just a tiny bit of tweaking to the script (or a tiny bit less--who is to say without seeing early drafts?) would've made this a really great movie. As it stands, it's a lot of fun as a popcorn flick. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.