“Titans” clashes, crashes and burns

Courtesy of imdb.com

Don’t bother bringing your Greek mythology to this one.

“Clash of the Titans,” directed by Louis Letterier (of 2008’s equally awful The “Incredible Hulk”), strays far from its title’s origins. The brothers Zeus and Hades, according to myth, worked in harmony: there could not be one without the other.

“Clash” shows Zeus and Hades (Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes, respectively) acting more like God and Satan, eternally fighting for mankind’s souls. These two superb actors make what is otherwise a pretty ridiculous movie somewhat enjoyable.

Fiennes, who also plays Lord Voldemort in the “Harry Potter” franchise, seems to have signed on to portray every villain that Warner Bros. can dream up. Keep ‘em coming, Ray. Neeson drew the short straw, unfortunately: he bellows out “Release the Kraken” and cements his place in cinema campiness forever.

The other actors do not fare as well. Sam Worthington (you may remember him from “Avatar”) as Perseus spends most of the movie trying to convince us that he is worthy of the Action Hero title.

I hope he took some time out from acting cool to learn some actual craft lessons from Fiennes and Neeson. Worthington’s natural Australian accent may make the girls swoon, but it is distracting among all the standard British ones.

Perseus’s big adventure begins when he finds out Zeus is his true father. He alone can save the mortals from Hades and the terrible Kraken.

The rest of the movie is pretty predictable: minor obstacles emerge, including battles with monstrous scorpions and the half-serpent Medusa.

A dull romance between Perseus and his muse, Io (Gemma Arterton), is attempted and ultimately squashed by the lack of chemistry between the two actors.

The final battle between Perseus and that mean old Kraken comes as a relief if only because it means the movie is almost over.

And here’s a tip about that much-awaited Kraken, advertised heavily by the studio as the big 3–D draw: it’s just not worth it. You can leave your 3–D glasses behind.

It may be unfair to compare every second rate movie claiming 3–D graphics to the standards set by “Avatar,” but it is impossible not to. The downfall of the 3–D genre will be movies like “Clash,” which move away from art into straight out gimmick.

Filmed on regular cameras and then converted into 3–D after the success of James Cameron’s blockbuster, “Clash of the Titan’s” effects simply distract from an already ludicrous plot.

Save your extra cash and see it in 2–D — too many of the scenes were just as good, if not better, without the glasses.

The end of the movie sets up the possibility for a sequel. Who do I have to talk to so that this won’t happen?

Send “Clash of the Titans” – and all the other “3–D” movies that are no doubt biting at the leash for their chance to exploit the success of “Avatar” — back where they belongs: Hades.