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.

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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.

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– Kenneth Turan

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

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