Sometimes something can seem too good to be true. After witnessing the likes of Monsters vs Aliens, Up, the Toy Story double feature re-release, Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, How to Train Your Dragon, and to a tiny degree even The Final Destination, I was finally starting to fully give 3-D the benefit of the doubt. For the most part – some of Alice in Wonderland – with the 3-D being implemented from the film's greenlight, it was used to fully immerse the audience and not just a gimmick where objects are thrown at your face.
However, just when you think things are finally looking brighter for the future of 3-D technology and films, something is bound to rain on your parade. Warner Brothers' new epic, Clash of the Titans, was not made in 3-D. It was filmed just like any other film on the market then the studio heads saw how much money could be made from a 3-D feature and decided to convert the entire film into the third dimension.
While director Louis Leterrier has concocted a fine retelling of the story of gods versus mortal man, had it not been for the final showdown with Perseus (Avatar’s Sam Worthington), the complete use of 3-D would have been a total bust. Recently James Cameron has spoken out about his fear of studios releasing inferior 3-D films leaving audiences with a bad taste in their mouth and some in the online community have started to fear that Cameron was headed for the CGI dark side a la George Lucas. Folks, Cameron is right. The 3-D conversion just doesn’t work. Every frame looks as fake as a William Castle flick. Sorry, but it’s true.
Once again we have the now age-old story of Perseus (Worthington) being found at sea in a floating coffin of sorts with his dead human mother. He is raised by a human mother and father but when another child is on the way, Perseus fears that his parents won’t love him as much as they used to as they are delivered a child of their own conception.
While out to sea, Perseus and family are headed for the shores of Argos and watch, to his families’ detriment, the people of Argos destroy their statue of Zeus (Liam Neeson) and declare war upon the gods. After an attack brought upon them by Hades (Ralph Fiennes) the Argos warriors are killed off along with Perseus’ entire family. Stranded on the isle of Argos he is brought before the King where the Lost smoke monster appears and kills a lot more people where Hades finds it “interesting” that Perseus is not among the dead.
Hades returns to Olympus to inform Zeus that his son is now amongst the mortals and they also discuss that the people’s revolt against the gods needs to be fixed and their attitudes adjusted or the gods will lose their powers. Hades gives Zeus an ultimatum to try to instill fear back into the mortals and if all else fails they should release the Kraken as a death blow so to speak. Meanwhile, Perseus sets out with his fellow warriors to defend the island against the gods and their impending doom by beheading Medusa (Natalia Vodianova) to use her stony gaze to defeat the Kraken and save the day.
For those who have a hard time with shaky cam we have that here as well. And for those who hate 3-D, it’s obviously being pushed by the studio to see it this way. Well, for anyone who doesn’t like either of those things, thankfully you have the 2-D version. I may have seen the film in 3-D but I can warrant that the standard version is the way to go. If you thought shaky cam was hard enough to follow normally, wait till you see it in 3-D.
The cast work is fine all around and no one delivers their dialogue badly enough to make you roll your eyes. After delivering some fine action work with the first two Transporter films, Jet Li’s Unleashed, and (whether they admit it’s a sequel or not) The Incredible Hulk, Leterrier again gives us some fine spectacle to behold. Where everything fails is with the studio's decision to add the 3-D.
Whether it’s gigantic desert scorpions, eyeball-sharing witches, flying Pegasuses, or even the Kraken waking from its dormant lair under the sea, nothing here really deserves the extra dimension. Save yourself some money, folks, and show Hollywood that you do care about the quality of your 3-D or else suffer the stroke of a new technology blunder before its time. Just when it started to work and we all thought it could move forward, one studio takes the evolution a few steps back.
I suppose in hindsight I did learn a few things; apparently the Lost island is Argos, the smoke monster is Hades, all human sacrifices are served up like an appetizer plate for King Kong, and Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief was the first remake of Clash of the Titans to be released this year.