Blu-ray Review: Clash of the Titans (2010)

Clash of the Titans
Blu-ray | DVD | Video On Demand
Directed by Louis Leterrier
Starring Sam Worthington, Gemma Arterton, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Mads Mikkelsen
Release date: July 27, 2010

Hollowness is found at the center in director Louis Leterrier‘s Clash of the Titans. What should be a glorious and romantically fueled approach to the classical Greek myth succumbs to the travesties of CGI. It results into an unnatural depiction; one in which charts Man’s rebellion against the Gods. The 1981 film of the same name managed to depict the same premise so naturally by using special effects of the older Hollywood tradition (stop-motion effects). Greek myths are almost impossible to re-imagine. Their fluency and fantastical aura surrounding them makes such tales inadaptable to the big screen. Their qualities work best when they are intertwined within a contemporary story and setting, working successfully as metaphors and allegorical tales. Leterrier’s version doesn’t depend on adventure tactics and characters’ motives. Its reliance is on solely adhering to so much CGI.

Leterrier imposes upon himself the duties of mythic storyteller. So burdened with this task he tries to elude previous depictions of this myth and venture out on his own limb and recreate the myth from his own vision. He does not want to stay in accordance with the 1981 film. All the more respect for him. But most of the time an untidy representation of this mythical world pervades Leterrier’s entire picture. His picture suggests no orderly activity, offering sporadic moments of engaging action set-pieces and others that hit rock bottom. The 1981 film feasted on extravagant action sequences that felt real and looked plausible enough to represent a Greek myth. Most importantly that film cashed in on the romantic and emotional qualities that managed to drive the film toward recognizing the different uniforms of humanity. Deliberate attention was paid to the emotional aspect whereas the 2010 film shows no inquiry into this subject, resulting with characters that manifest no worthy sentiment. We find our lack of caring and emotional attachment towards the film’s characters deriving mainly from their inabilities, or the script’s (either one), to evoke the slightest notion of feeling.

These are all essential ingredients to make a false rendering of a Greek myth, which is only made more fallible due to the lackluster acting by acclaimed actors Liam Neeson (playing Zeus) and Ralph Fiennes (playing Hades). Both play their roles miles below the stature in which they should. Neeson’s Zeus is one who possesses little emotion. When the people of Argos are beginning to express their hateful feelings toward the Gods, Zeus’ disposition never changes. He is cool, calm, and collected. That sounds fine for Zeus — not allowing panic to overtake his demeanor. But when Zeus does get inflamed his disposition remains neutral. He shouts, yells, and cries in the exact way in which he shows love, care, and gratification. Seeing him condemn the people of Argos just isn’t believable.

When Hades receives word of Man’s malicious behavior he relishes it. But not in the way we would assume. This is the opportunity for him to rise from the underworld and rule Earth. Hades doesn’t foam at the mouth or even show a sense of maniacal enjoyment. Fiennes’ Hades is subdued, allowing no admiration into his character. Lord Voldemort would have been the better Hades. But Hades does what he does but with little emotion and conviction. He releases the Kraken, his beast of a creation from the bottom of the sea, on the people of Argos. They are outmatched because they can’t contemplate the strength the Gods actually possess. Lurking, though, in the crowd of the Argos people is a demigod named Perseus, played heroically and competently by Sam Worthington.

Worthington commands screen presence. We saw him last winter as the star of Avatar. Like in that film, Worthington proves he can entertain and be the serviceable hero our generation needs. Other actors around him in Clash of the Titans fail miserably (save for Mads Mikkelsen as Perseus’ fellow soldier) in their attempt to convey human emotions and God-like stature. He allows us to peer into his past where he was neglected as a baby in a casket drifting out to sea. The pain he feels after his step-father who raised him dies due to Hades’ wrath we feel that Perseus is a human being and a god. It is a strong performance on Worthington’s part as he has to convey earthly emotions and Godly ones.

The new Clash of the Titans does have an occasional pulse. The scene that takes place in Medusa’s lair offers a much needed escape from the mundane and horrendous. But the lack of emotional interest is what bogs down the film. The romance between Perseus and Io (Gemma Arterton) never reaches the height Leterrier wants it to. Worthington leading a crusade against the Gods can only go so far. His emotion is exhausted because those around him show no courtesy in engaging with him in his rage and glory. The one thing we do receive out of this remake is further evidence that Worthington is a major action hero.

High-Def Picture: Clash of the Titans (1981) is a Blu-Ray transfer one can sink its teeth into. You salivate over the Technicolor that was used in that film. Vibrancy was in full effect, and that was made in 1981. The 2010 Blu-Ray transfer is more subdued and the vibrancy is toned down a bit. There was a 3-D version that was out in cinemas earlier this year but Warner Brothers decided to release the 2D version of the film on Blu-Ray. The differences aren’t paramount. This transfer contains scenes of extreme clarity and those of colors colliding with one another. The scenes worth mentioning are those that take place in the forest where Pegasus is introduced to us in a fantastic image of the horse swooping down from the sky. The other scene takes place in Medusa’s lair. The Blu-Ray does a wonderful job at making evident every detail possible inside this fire-laden cave while chaos ensues. Pillars crumble, fire bursts out from all directions and Medusa’s breath is seen in crisp fashion. The atmospheres of such scenes are radiant and lure the viewers in unhesitatingly. Problems occur when the Kraken is introduced and when individuals’ skin pigment becomes distorted due to the heavy lighting. Skin tones become too radiant and obtain an orange tinge to them. The Kraken sequence seems to convey top notch video games. But that is all to be blamed on CGI. The natural beauty (which is the most important) of the film is enhanced on this Blu-Ray transfer.

Special Features

Deleted Scenes (HD); 19mins– The only feature found on both Blu-Ray and DVD. It consists of six deleted scenes.

Blu-Ray Exclusives: Maximum Movie Mode– This is like a commentary track but with visuals. The movie plays while a picture-in-picture displays director Leterrier, the screenwriters, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Sam Worthington, and many more. Each offers their perspective of the film and the production process of it. The special-effects are displayed and make-up artists chime in as well. Pre-visuals and pre-production are displayed in the PIP while the finished product is being shown in the larger screen. A pretty fun feature that lets you dive into the film for an immersive experience.

Focus Points (HD); 35mins– Within the “Maximum Movie Mode” are six focal points that allow us to get even closer to particular information about the film. These include: “˜Sam Worthington is Perseus,’ “˜Zeus: Father of Gods and Men,’ “˜Enter the World of Hades,’ “˜Calibos,’ “˜Tenerife: A Continent on an Island,’ “˜Scorpioch,’ “˜Actors and Their Stunts,’ “˜Wales: A Beautiful Scarred Landscape,’ “˜Bringing Medusa to Life,’ and “˜Prepare for the Kraken.’

Sam Worthington: An Action Hero for the Ages (HD); 8mins– Want to know how Worthington prepared for the film? Here is your chance. We see him prep his stunts and train to get into the top-notch shape in which he is seen in the movie.

Alternate Ending (HD); 5mins

DVD version and Digital Copy

BD-LIVE- Accessed via online.

MOVIE: *1/2 out of ****
HIGH-DEF: **1/2 out of ****
Special Features: **1/2 out of ****

Verdict: For Fans Only


  1. “…a demigod named Perseus, played heroically and competently by Sam Worthington.”

    Not really sure what movie you were watching, he was just as bad as the rest of the cast.
    This is the third time (Clash, Avatar, and Terminator) that he has played the same soldier living a dual life and this is the third time he has bombed the role.
    I am sure he will be thrilled that he can still count you among his ten fans though. :)
    There is really no reason to see this movie much less buy it, go rent the original which still stands as a well told story.

    Comment by Brian — July 30, 2010 @ 8:10 pm

  2. The original will always be my favorite.
    The remake is pretty wretched.
    Excellent review.

    Comment by Jerry — July 30, 2010 @ 9:08 pm

  3. i dont see what everyone is blabbing about that is was such a bad film. it was not at all . sure Zues acting was sort duel with no emotion but it was all played out woderfully. i would chose this film over the original anytime. the original is to ficitonal… OOH THE BRAVE SOLIDER FIGHTING FOR THE LIFE OF THE PRINCESS. its so typical and the effects where so bad.. where as in the 2010 version they seem more real. were lving in the times of new digital effects not paper pictures of Krakens

    Comment by Tere — July 30, 2010 @ 11:01 pm

  4. I thought the action sequences were all pretty good. Everything else about the movie – the acting , the script – were dire. Absolutely terrible. Worthington failed to elicit any sympathy from me. His quest didn’t even seem logical, he went on it merely because the plot said he should. Same as all the character motivations. There was no sense of a living mythological Greece, nor any kind of civilization. Just locations for stuff to happen. Even the central theme of ‘Man vs the Gods’ was muddied and deflated by the end so that it failed to have any meaning whatsoever.

    Terrible, terrible film, punctuated with decent fight scenes.

    @Tere when you get older you may learn to appreciate the deep charm in Harryhousen special effects and old movies.

    Comment by Shilling — August 1, 2010 @ 6:58 am

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