Netflix recently struck a deal with Criterion to make some of the finest films of the last century available on their Watch Instantly service. In honor of the occasion, my wife and I ignored all of those classic films and watched the original “Clash of the Titans” last night. “Clash of the Titans” was really funny. Too bad, because it wasn’t supposed to be.
With the new “Clash of the Titans” coming out (featuring the awesome tagline “TITANS WILL CLASH”! How many seconds did that marketing meeting last?), we decided to take a dip in the nostalgia pool. It was kind of like that urban legend where the kid swims down to the bottom of the pool and the suction from the filter rips out his guts.
Harry Hamlin stars as Perseus, a vacuous male model who sleeps on the beach until his dad Zeus picks him up and plops him in an amphitheater, where Burgess Meredith emerges as a grizzled poet, playwright and overall exposition provider. Harry’s sort of the Spencer Pratt of lore, a Daddy’s Boy whose God-In-Laws (played by a stable of snooty British actors eager to receive a big paycheck for a weekend’s work) want him to “rough it,” so they indulge him with a magical sword, shield and helmet so that there’s no way he can lose. He’s Perseus Hilton.
Along the way, he falls in love with some chick. Their love is sealed when they stare at each other a couple of times. Perseus kills several beasts, Zeus releases the Kraken, the Kraken gets whomped, hooray, The End.
This may be blasphemy, but I have no problem with this being remade, and fully expect it to be better. For starters, Desmond Davis won’t be directing, so maybe there will be a sense of adventure and it won’t look like a TV movie. For twoters, while CGI is wayyyyy overdone, I’ll prefer a cool-looking Komputer Kraken over stop-motion any day. I know that Harryhausen was a vanguard, and I personally love practical effects (Rob Bottin’s work on The Thing is still aces), but that’s how I feel. I know that’s probably sacrilege, but my terrible memory prevents me from being too affected by nostalgia, and I could see the remake being better than the original. (Oh, and Bubo was a lousy R2-D2 ripoff.)
Will the remake be better to the point that it’s a good movie? Doubtful. Sam Worthington’s in it, so I’m guessing it ain’t gonna be Shakespeare. However, Liam Neeson will be in the Olivier role, and if he can come off as 8 percent less bored, it’ll be a step in the right direction.