Like a preppy teenage girl, Clash of the Titans is pretty on the surface, but is terribly shallow as a film.
If you've seen the 1981 version, you know that it follows half man-half God Perseus on a mission to save his beloved Andromeda from the monstrous sea creature, Kraken. In order to do so, he must cut off Medusa's head in order to turn the creature to stone before Andromeda can be sacrificed. Along the way, he encounters giant scorpions, witches that look like Star Jones after the surgery, and Silver with wings. For Louis Leterrier's 2010 remake, a lot has been kept the same about Perseus's jouney. You've got Andromeda being sacrificed. You've got the witches, Medusa, the scorpions...but a lot has been changed. Perseus's journey this time around is more personal. He's on a quest for revenge, not love, meaning Harry Hamlin's consistently dumb, pretty boy expressions are replaced by Sam Worthington's consistently dumb, hard-ass expressions. Pegasus is black(I'm gonna say it's because he's a male to make myself feel better), and Bubo the owl shows up for five seconds. The humor and fun that mechanical bird brought in the original is replaced by amusing one-liners.
Perseus no longer cares about Andromeda. In fact, they encounter each other twice only briefly. Andromeda has been reduced to a small factor in this hero's quest, a shame seeing as how she's the one he ultimately has to save, whether he loves her or not. She gets little screen time, and her female presence is replaced by some girl named Io who's only good for voice overs. I realize this is a movie, but if you're going to introduce ideas for a remake, at least make sure those ideas make sense. In Greek mythology, Perseus marries Andromeda. There is absolutely no reason that this couldn't have happened at the end. Io's presence in this film is completely pointless, and as far as I know, she had no connection to Perseus in Greek myth. It's a shame Andromeda is so underused in this remake, because it's not as if they made Io a worthy replacement for Perseus's love.
In the rare scenes where Alexa Devalos actually appears as Andromeda, I like her better than Io. She's not your typical princess, and she had a lot of potential to be someone you really care about, so when she's hanging in a rather King Kong-like state of sacrificial helplessness, you don't want to see her devoured by the Kraken. Alas, that's not the case, and when Perseus finally arrives with the head of Medusa, you couldn't really give two sh*ts.
In fact, the Kraken and Andromeda seem like they're only in the movie because they were in the original. The main driving force behind Perseus's quest is his hatred for Hades, who killed his entire human family. Fine. Dandy. So where do the other Gods fit into this? A very brief cameo by Danny Huston as Poseidon? Why even hire an actor of his caliber if he gets one line? While I liked Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes in the film, it was mostly because they were Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes, because neither does a stupendous job of convincing me they're Greek Gods.
Worthington's Perseus is a stale piece of bread, barely giving us a reason to cheer for him. The idea of turning him into this lone-warrior/revenge driven demi-God was a great one, but Worthington ruins any chance of us actually caring about the outcome of his perilous journey. He carries one expression for the majority of the film, as if he literally has a rock up his butt. The best performance goes to Mads Mikkelson as Draco, a warrior that accompanies Perseus, but for the most part, I don't even think the actors knew what their characters' true motivations were, and in that sense, I don't expect the audience to.
In the original, the special effects were below average, even for it's time. It's been acknowledged by fans of Ray Harryhausen's work that it's not his best. In that aspect, the film benefits from his remake. The creatures are better looking, and more believable. Like with Peter Jackson's King Kong, their size has been enhanced to give bigger action. The Kraken, in the brief scene that we finally see it, is stunning. However, Medusa could have been better. She's clearly computer generated...and am I the only one who thinks she's more attractive than she's supposed to be? Anyway, where the effects have been improved, the whole 3D thing? Yeah, what was that about? I'll tell ya what: Leterrier sold out after the success of Avatar, and the end result is an obviously rushed conversion process. Nothing popped out at me. Wearing your 3D glasses serves no purpose save for getting rid of the red and blue blurs on the screen.
Overall, Clash of the Titans is an entertaining but hopelessly flawed two-hours. By the end of the movie, you have to ask yourself...was their a point to this nonsense? Hades is poised to make a return and Andromeda is cast aside like expired milk...at least the original-even with its cheesiness, below-average effects, and a Harry Hamlin who's expression is forever fixed in the clueless state-still managed to tell a story where everything tied together by the end. Why is Io in this movie? Why is an actor of Danny Huston's caliber even cast if he gets one line? Why is Pegasus black? By the end of the film, I don't really care about the answers to these questions, because it's clear the creators didn't care either.