Turan review: ‘Clash of the Titans’ has ‘distracting’ 3-D and ‘clunky’ action

April 02, 2010 | 4:11 a.m.

As early crowds settle in to see the movie, Los Angeles Times movie critic Kenneth Turan weighs in on “Clash of the Titans” with little enthusiasm about the remake of the “creaky” 1981 stop-motion animated classic.


It’s doubtful that records are kept about this sort of thing, but consider the possibility that “Clash of the Titans” is the first film to actually be made worse by being in 3-D.

Not that this remake of the creaky 1981 original, best remembered for a slumming Laurence Olivier and Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion animation monsters, was ever going to be something to write home about. At least not for anyone older than 10.

For one thing, as directed by action junkie Louis Leterrier (“Transporter 2,” “Unleashed”) and written by Travis Beacham and Phil Hay & Matt Manfredi, this “Clash” has dialogue so plodding that a halfway decent line like “You have insulted powers beyond your comprehension” sounds like something out of Noel Coward.

Obviously, no one comes to a movie like this for repartee, but even the action scenes, with ancient Greek hero Perseus (“Avatar’s” Sam Worthington) facing off against an entire menagerie of mythical monsters, come off as lethargic and clunky.

Possibly because this film was converted to 3-D late in the game, the third dimension, especially in those action scenes, is more of a distraction than an enhancement. While some creatures, especially Pegasus the flying horse, flourish, 3-D clutters the film’s innumerable battles, making them harder to follow rather than exciting.

“Clash of the Titans” is also burdened by a numskull plot notion. The idea is that though those ancient Greeks lived in a world where the gods were quite real and unimaginably powerful, these idiots decide to declare war on them, which is the short-sighted equivalent of teasing your younger brother even though he has the power to snap his fingers and turn you to stone.


— Kenneth Turan

Photo: Sam Worthington as Perseus in “Clash of the Titans.” Credit: Warner Bros.


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7 Responses to Turan review: ‘Clash of the Titans’ has ‘distracting’ 3-D and ‘clunky’ action

  1. MikeVee says:

    I'm a big fan of Harryhausen and stop-motion animation. I've seen Jason and the Argonauts and Seventh Voyage of Sinbad about 20 times each. But I've only seen Titans once or twice – it's not a good movie. I think 1981 was also when Empire Strikes Back came out. The stop-motion in that was great. Star Wars 'chess game' was also a great sequence.
    Based on reviews, I will not see the new Titans in 3D. I'll wait 3 or 4 weeks and see it with a 'free' movie pass that my boss gave me.

  2. Normally i don't watch movie much but while on a easter holidays cyprus i saw the Avtar it is superb movie.

  3. chris says:

    really maybe if it had been made in 3d and not just shown in 3d it would look better in 3d stupid.

  4. Thom Obarski says:

    X-Games 3D was made worse by the 3d in specific sections thru-out

  5. jovin says:

    Special effects great but movie story handling below poor. First Clash is way superior.

  6. rayfan says:

    Ray Harryhousen's work was featured in the first Clash of the Titans film. Being a fan of his groundbreaking special effects work, gave the first film and other films of his a charm and atmosphere, that movies today lack. This time around it's hollywood cgi at work, and in this case it works very well. Not comparing the two films, the new Clash film has special effects that are very well done. The 3D in this case may hinder the movie experience, but is still worth seeing. The 3D effects seem to have been rushed in to cash in on its current appeal, instead of carefully placed enhancements. This film will hold up fine in 2D. The story is out of greek mythology, tweaked by hollywood for effect. Really this is matinee glory. It's just what i like most, total escapist fare at its best. This movie delivers the goods, very much worth seeing if you like this type of film.

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