Thursday, 27 January 2011

Movie Review: Clash of the Titans, Original

Director: Desmond Davis, 1981

Pros: Ray Harryhousen's creatures, good story, strong female character in Andromeda

Cons: some very cheesy special effects

Perseus, mortal son of Zeus, is given his father's favor when he sets out to fulfill his destiny.  He encounters the cursed Andromeda, whose fiance, Calibos, displeased Zeus and was turned into a beast.  Now, any suitor who attempts to claim her hand must answer a riddle posed by Calibos.  In order to save Andromeda from Calibos and his revenge, Perseus sets out to find something that can kill a Kraken before his lady love can be sacrificed to it.

Campy special effects make this movie sometimes cringe worthy and other times a laugh as the film doesn't take itself too seriously (especially when Bubo shows up).  They did a surprisingly good job animating the wings for pegasus - my favourite of the creatures (which include the kraken, Calibos and Medusa).

Harry Potter fans will recognize Maggie Smith (Prof. McGonagle) as the goddess Thetis.  I enjoyed seeing Burgess Meredith (the Penguin from the 1960s Batman) as well.

The script is well written and brings forth the spirit of the Greek gods.  There's a lot of infighting, taking place mostly on earth, between the favourites of the gods and those who have lost influence.

Andromeda is portrayed as a rather strong woman.  She accompanies Perseus on the start of his quest, and later in the film, when the Kraken comes for her, she doesn't scream, making her braver than most people would have been.  (I'm also impressed she didn't just try to run away with Perseus to avoid her fate.)

The movie's worth seeing, but don't expect too much from it.

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