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Clash of the Titans (3D)


Stars: Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Mads Mikkelson, Gemma Arterton, Liam Cunningham, Jason Flemyng, Luke Evans, Izabella Miko, Hans Matheson, Pete Postlethwaite, Elizabeth McGovern, Danny Huston, Nicholas Hoult, Alexa Davalos, Luke Treadaway, Polly Walker, Tamer Hassan, Jamie Sives, Natalie Vodianova

Director: Louis Leterrier

Special effects score heavily in this throwback to such Ray Harryhausen films of decades gone by as Jason and the Argonauts. Instead of an all-American Jason, we have an all-Australian Perseus, in the burly shape of Sam (Avatar) Worthington, off on a quest to slay both the snake-headed Medusa (who seems to have developed the body of a snake, too, since her Hammer horror days) and the gynormous Kraken, before it swallows the princess Andromeda (Davalos), offered up as a sacrifice by the people of Argos to appease the gods.

Head god Zeus (Neeson, bellowing somewhat ineffectively) has become fed up with humans' defiance of him, and employs his shady brother Hades (Fiennes), fresh up from the Underworld, to destroy Argos (via the Kraken) and set men against each other. Wouldn't have thought it needed the gods to achieve that.

Things start badly. 'The oldest stories ever told,' intones the narrator, 'are written in the stars'. What does that mean? And dialogue remains much as it was in Harryhausen's day, as actors struggle to bring nuance to such time-honoured exclamations as 'He lives?'

But the thunderous action and impressive special effects (including giant scorpions), especially the film's tour de force in the fiery lair of Medusa (Vodianova), carry the day. Anyway, this isn't a critic's film: just a jolly night out - even if Worthington's a bit wooden and Fiennes a bit of a giggle as a sort of malevolent Uriah Heep.

David Quinlan

UK/USA 2010. UK Distributor: Warner Brothers. Technicolor.
106 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 31 Mar 2010