It's doubtful that records are kept about this sortof thing, but consider the possibility that "Clash ofthe Titans" is the first film to be made worse bybeing in 3-D.
Not that this remake of the creaky 1981 original,best remembered for a slumming Laurence Olivierand Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion animationmonsters, was ever going to be something to writehome about.
For one thing, as directed by action junkie LouisLeterrier ("Transporter 2," "Unleashed") andwritten by Travis Beachamand, Phil Hay and MattManfredi, this "Clash" has dialogue so plodding ahalfway decent line such as "You have insultedpowers beyond your comprehension" sounds likesomething out of Noel Coward.
Obviously, no one comes to a movie like this forrepartee, but even the action scenes, with ancientGreek hero Perseus ("Avatar's" Sam Worthington)facing off against a menagerie of mythicalmonsters, come off as lethargic.
Possibly because this film was converted to 3-Dlate in the game, the third dimension, especially inthose action scenes, is more of a distraction thanan enhancement. While some creatures, especiallyPegasus the flying horse, flourish, 3-D cluttersup the film's innumerable battles.
"Clash of the Titans" is also burdened by anumbskull plot notion. The idea is that thoughthose ancient Greeks lived in a world where thegods were quite real and unimaginably powerful,these idiots decide to declare war on them.
Though it's not clear why they agreed to participate,having top actors play the gods -- Liam Neesonis Zeus! Ralph Fiennes is Hades! -- doesn'thelp things. Neeson looks lost in the costumes, andFiennes, perhaps hoping no one will notice it'shim, speaks largely in sinister whispers.
While the gods are going through their pacesand bemoaning the absence of human worship,Perseus, a demi-god like his namesake Percy Jacksonin the equally pedestrian "The LightningThief," is making his way in the world and discoveringthat he is the son of Zeus.
Perseus spends years with the adoptive fisherfolkparents Spyros and Marmara (the odd couplepairing of Pete Postlethwaite and Elizabeth Mc-Govern) who found him floating in the sea. Spyrosis one of those fed-up-with-the-gods folks who isfond of ominously saying, "One day, someone isgoing to have to take a stand." Guess who?
Back in the Greek city of Athos, the anti-godmovement is moving full steam ahead. Hadescomes to town and puts a good scare into the populace,telling them that unless they sacrifice theirbeloved princess, Andromeda (Alexa Davalos), hewill unleash the dreaded Kraken, and Athos willbe destroyed.
Because he is the only demi-god in town andbecause he is irked beyond measure at the Olympiansfor their part in his parents' death, Perseusagrees to look for a way to kill the Kraken. Hetakes a crack team of warriors with him, includingthe canny veteran soldier Draco, nicely playedby Mads Mikkelsen.
Guided by the ageless but attractive Io (GemmaArterton) and dogged by the horrific Calibos(Jason Flemyng), Perseus and his pals take on anentire Noah's ark of inhuman adversaries, includingenormous scorpions on steroids calledscorpiochs and the deadly Medusa.
As played by Worthington, Perseus insists hewants to defeat Kraken as a man, not a god, whichis a bit of wishful thinking that we all know can'tbe sustained forever. Neither, as it turns out, canour interest in this middling effort.
MPAA rating: PG-13 (for fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief sensuality)
Cast: Sam Worthington (Perseus), Liam Neeson (Zeus), Ralph Fiennes (Hades), Alexa Davalos (Andromeda), Mads Mikkelsen (Draco)
Credits: Directed by Louis Leterrier; Laurence Olivier; written by Travis Beacham, Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi; produced by Basil Iwanyk, Kevin De La Noy.
A Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Running time: 1:58Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times