Saturday, April 03, 2010

CLASH OF THE TITANS: The Jack Sack Movie Review

SPOILERS (like this could be spoiled...)

Alright, listen up folks: I have seen the end of the world and it is hollow mediocrity. CLASH OF THE TITANS or HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE DEMI-GODS is a whimsical tale of a bunch of lonely Gods, lonlier demi-gods and scores of humans that have spent far too long in the sun. This entire film is about people who just want to be loved. The land of the Greeks doesn't need a hero, it needs a group therapist who will help everyone work out their resentment issues.  But, a hero Hollywood gives us-- a man who will punch and slice his way to a happy resolution!

Perseus, (played by a demi-human meat popsicle named Sam Worthington) is a boy with a big future ahead of him, or so says his adoptive father, who fishes baby Persy out of the waters in the film's opening sequence.  Ever notice how whenever someone finds an abandoned infant in a movie, they invariably say "This kid may have been someone else's trash, but I'm thinking he's humanity's treasure!" Sure, it was true for Moses and Superman, but not every kid is going to grow up to save the human race. You're just pumping up the kid's self-image a wee bit much is all I'm saying.

Well, Persy don't know much about the Gods, except that they make his family's business (fishing) really tough. Mercifully, his malnourished family is swept off his list of responsibilities in the first 15 minutes by a badass who looks a lot like Voldemort, Ralph Fiennes' Hades.  Hades is evil. How do I know this? he wears black, his eyes glow red and he runs with a pack of hairless winged demons. He doesn't have horns or a tail, so the symbolism is a little ambiguous otherwise, but my intuition tells me Hades is up to no good.

Hades notices his brother Zeus (Liam Neeson!) is down in the dumps about man not liking his really awesome statue, etc. So, Hades suggests that Zeus say "Release the Kraken!" so Hades can, in fact, release the Kraken and mankind would love Zeus again. So, this Kraken must be really cool if it will suddenly get humans to love the Gods again, right? For a good chunk of the movie, I'm stuck on this issue: "What's the Kraken?" Is it a new videogame or social networking website? I'm getting excited watching this movie unfold! The Kraken is coming! Holy shit, I hope it comes with fries!

So, Hades makes some grand entrance at Argos, a seaside retirement community for Greeks that have British accents, and tells the Argosians that unless they sacrifice their hottest resident, Princess Andromeda, he's going to "release the Kraken" on their little town. Wait, so they have to kill Andromeda so they can get this cool-ass Kraken? That's kind of screwed up, right? Eh, I've committed greater atrocities for soft-serve ice cream, so I won't judge them.

Thankfully, Persy is here to force someone to explain this Kraken thingamagig. You see, Persy is a handsome guy, but he's not the demi-god of gray matter, if you know what I mean. He sees a horse with wings and he's completely confused by the whole thing. Dude, I'm not from Ancient Greece and even I know what a Pegasus looks like!  This movie presents a rare occasion- where you could send someone back in time and that person would know more about the setting than the main character appears to understand!

But back to the important stuff- it turns out everyone thinks the Kraken is bad! Wait, wait, wait- the Kraken is not a new Pearl Jam album? Um, no... the Gods in this movie suck at public relations. The Kraken is a 200 500 foot-tall sea creature that has more teeth than a bus full of alligators. The Gods want to scare people by killing them and this will hopefully end in them loving the Gods again? Wha?!? Well, it made sense to Zeus!

But I'm annoyed that everyone assumes this Kraken is just the biggest jerk ever when nobody's even met him!  The whole movie is about killing the Kraken, who has up until now done absolutely nothing to these people.  Meanwhile, Persy is going through his "I'm not a God" angst, and he's killing creatures and making friends along the way. For a guy who says he's not a deity, he sure is a cocky fella. He's also in some weird flirty thing with Io, another demi-god who also happens to be several hundred years old and stuck in the guise of the exquisitely beautiful Gemma Arterton. She calls her predicament a curse! Gods, can anyone be happy in this movie?!?!

But back to whom I feel is the main character of this movie, Mr. 'Ken.  I'm sorry to say we don't get to know him well, if at all. He shows up at the tail-end of the movie to kind of say "Yeah, I'm the Kraken!" to the Argosians and their sacrificial princess, Andromeda. But just as 'Ken is about to have a refreshment and tell everyone he's not the supreme a-hole that everyone says he is, Persy shows up and starts threatening him. What gives, Persy? The Kraken's already sensitive about his body image, and now you're trying to kill him? Well, 'Ken does what he apparently knows best, smashing things by simply moving his body parts indiscriminately. This goes on for about 20 minutes. Princess Andromeda is tied up like Faye Wray from KING KONG but Kraken is just focusing on making big splashy waves, and growing. Where people see evil, I see a cry for help. But these Argosians and their hero, Persy, have to prove a point so they go and kill 'Ken.

How's the acting? Ha! Don't ask. I admit that I had a blast watching this, even though it was not a good movie. It's fun to see crazy stuff go down, even if it's poorly thought-out. If you go to see this movie, expect to be entertained without being engaged. Sometimes that alone is worth buying a movie ticket. So, while I cannot recommend this film in any good conscience, I do not seek to dissuade you either.


Granny Annie said...

Well now I HAVE TO go see it!

Sunny said...

"Holy shit, I hope it comes with fries!"

I think I'll wait for pay-per-view. This sounds hilarious. Probably even more funny with a couple of adult beverages.

Dr. Alice said...

You make this sound almost irresistible. Almost. :D

TheJackSack said...

Yes, adult beverages and pajamas is probably the best way to see this. My local movie theater frowns upon that sort of behavior, but when it comes to video, definitely afford yourselves a couple of hours for this entertainment.

brandon curtis said...

I wish I'd seen what you saw. This movie was a real, um, shitfest. Percy just shows up with Medusa's head and it's over.

Also, why go through the motion of killing Gemma Arterton's Io, we know she's immortal and they never go out of their way to say that the people Hades sends to kill them have special weapons with the capacity to kill immortal gods/demigods. I've been paying attention and still they thought they could slip one past me.

Oh well, at least, I didn't see it in 3-D. Looking forward to getting back on the "24" commentary bandwagon tonight.

TheJackSack said...

@brandon: there's a fine line one has to walk to enjoy these kinds of movies- you have to force yourself to not think, which is not easy for many of us. The story is downright dumb- subject to even the most charitable critical deconstruction.

I enjoyed it because I was in a rare, good mood the other day. But you're right, "24" is the name of our game, so let us resume the campaign!

Huff said...

This review has mirrored my own feelings towards the movie...I supposed that makes my opinion biased, but keep up the good work...
P.S...can't wait to read your recap on the 2 hour episode tonight...I'm DVRing it so I can watch it later, so I'll check back...

Rickey said...

Aw, poor Kraken... he's just looking for a nosh!

Mark Ellerby said...

If the gods want to scare people by killing them they are not going to be scared when they are dead - so where does Hades get his power to destroy Zues?

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