Thursday, January 3, 2008

Clash of the Titans

Clash of the Titans; Fantasy, USA, 1981; D: Desmond Davis, S: Harry Hamlin, Judi Bowker, Laurence Olivier, Claire Bloom, Maggie Smith, Ursula Andress, Jack Gwillim, Susan Fleetwood

King Akrisius of Argos, angry for Zeus impregnating his daughter Danae, casts her and her son Perseus in a coffin out in the sea. But they survive and Argos gets destroyed by Zeus, who also punishes Calibos, the son of Thetis, the goddess of the sea, by transforming him into a monster for hunting his flying horses. As a grown man, Perseus finds himself in Joppa and finds out that princess Andromeda is ransomed by Calibos who doesn't want to let her go so that she can marry someone else. But Perseus solves the riddle and marries her. The angry Thetis orders the people to sacrifice Andromeda to the Kraken, so he goes to cut off the head of Medusa and stop the sea monster hurting her.

"Cinema was made for fantasy, not for normal, everyday stories", says the legendary special effects master Ray Harryhausen on the special feature bonus on the DVD of his last film, "Clash of the Titans", a nostalgic, dreamy ode to Greek mythology and trash. He has a point - such amazing creatures of the fantasy genre can only be admired on big screens - but sometimes normal, everyday stories actually have more magic in them than the other ones. As always, Harryhausen created top notch monsters - Medusa, giant scorpions, a two-headed dog, Kraken, Pegasus - which are exciting and weren't just made up, but were borrowed from real mythology, which is another plus point. The story is rather fun to watch, but it's slightly amateurishly made, too serious and without real drama or life, except for the already mentioned monsters or fantasy creatures, like the cute golden owl Bubu that reminds of R2D2. The main protagonist Perseus is a stiff, bland blob of boredom, which is a pity since he was suppose to be one of the most interesting characters as the main hero - actually, the only character that really acts like a real human is, ironically, Zeus, maybe because he was played by a real star, Laurence Olivier, who managed to give him more charisma and charm than it was written in the screenplay. "Titans" are never the less still a solid entertainment with enough rousing spark to enchant the viewers.


1 comment:

J Luis Rivera said...

Ah, I loved this film as a kid! I gues sI'll have to rewatch it.

cheers mate!