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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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Greek mythology translates poorly

Every day, hundreds of ideas are thrown around Hollywood in hopes of striking on the next big thing. However, not all of them are destined for success — such as Louis Leterrier’s remake of Clash of the Titans. The original 1981 film was popular in its heyday, but the newer version fails to measure up.

The myth begins when a boy named Perseus (Sam Worthington) is found by a fisherman in the middle of the ocean. He instantly becomes a family member searching for the answer to why he was born.

Without watching the older version, the plot line of the movie was difficult to comprehend. I was able to follow Perseus, who was a son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), a mythical Greek god. Perseus was born in an act of one country’s rebellion against the gods of Olympus, due to Zeus’ affair with the queen of that nation.

Later, he discovers his purpose in life: to lead a revolution in Argos against the gods of Olympus and defeat them. Many battle scenes, supporting-character-conflicts and special effects ensue.

Despite Perseus’ identity as a hero, I found it difficult to sympathize with him. It does not help he is a “demi-god,” making him difficult to kill. He whined about this in what seemed like every other scene throughout the movie.

The beginning of the film builds a story which I assumed would hit a dramatic climax, but it was a false promise. After the main goal of the protagonist is established, all that is left is gory battle scene after gory battle scene.

In addition to the violence and confusion, the filmmakers added an unknown species which was crucial to the success of the journey. The creatures had no lines and all that was clear is that they hated humans, but they loathed the gods more. This made for a strange and uninteresting addition to the story.

Additionally, the gods’ attitudes were unrealistic, according to the original Greek mythology. In the movie, Zeus was a god of love and wanted only the prayers and worship of the people he created. In the traditional stories, Zeus is much less sympathetic.

Though it was ruined by the poor writing, Neeson’s acting was completely genuine. I believed for the two hours I watched the film that Zeus was a loving, caring father-figure despite the character confusion.

Unfortunately, Worthington was not as believable. His acting of the character of Perseus only hit the surface. Besides his selfish attitude, nothing else about the character was revealed.

Despite plot and acting issues, the special effects were, of course, much better than the 1981 version. Medusa was frightening with her fast reflexes and realistic snake features. The Kraken was a beast to be feared as well. When he began to attack the city, I knew there was no hope for them.

Although this movie sends the viewer through a few confusing plot loops and the action is sometimes excessive, Clash of the Titans is mildly entertaining. If you’re looking for an average, violent battle film to watch on a night alone, this might be the movie to see — don’t let my reticence dissuade you.

For more reviews, check out Rotten Tomatoes.

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    Laura CasugaFeb 21, 2011 at 12:02 am

    Way to go, Jessica! We’re all very proud of you!