I remembered hearing so many scowling remarks about this movie earlier this year, but I always go into a film with a fresh and unbiased mind to make up my own opinion. After having seen the movie I can agree that there are heaps of flaws, but itâ€™s not a complete disaster. Itâ€™s kind of like bad ice cream. Sure, itâ€™s bad, but hey, itâ€™s still ice cream.
I remembered hearing so many scowling remarks about this movie earlier this year, but I always go into a film with a fresh and unbiased mind to make up my own opinion. After having seen the movie I can agree that there are heaps of flaws, but it’s not a complete disaster. It’s kind of like bad ice cream. Sure, it’s bad, but hey, it’s still ice cream.
I like that praying to the Gods literally gives them their power to rule over the land with force, and I like that the plot outline is that one man is out to kill a God before the Gods unleash a kraken on the land, but the movie runs into several problems when trying to connect these few dots.
Pete Postlethwaite as Perseus’s false father was probably the best actor in the whole movie, so it’s a shame that we only see him during the few backstory scenes in the beginning. From here we see the movie get spooked that ten minutes has passed and it worries that it won’t have the entire film’s foundation established by the 15 minute sweet spot that Hollywood is convinced is a checkpoint must. Scene after scene has the seeds of being good story moments, but are each too rushed to ever be what they should be.
Hades’s (Ralph Fiennes from Harry Potter Voldemort fame) introductory smoke effects are all fun, but nothing else about his character, acting, or odd voice is bearable; I don’t get why the art director didn’t make him more dark and ethereal like the fantastic River Styx boat that shows up later. Acrisius (Jason Flemyng) also felt oddly ugly and aesthetically out of place. Sadly Zeus isn’t much better even though an actor as accomplished as Liam Neeson is behind that role. However, with Perseus’s guide and battle trainer Draco (Mads Mikkelsen from Casino Royale fame) we actually see some decent acting that’s disguised by bad scenes and directions. The doomsayer character and princess Andromeda were both promising actors and characters, but demanded far more screen time than they received, making me wish Io (Gemma Arterton) had less screen time. As for Perseus (Sam Worthington from Avatar fame), he was okay in that mediocre isn’t completely bad, though I have a hunch I’m only saying that because of how bad so many other roles were by comparison.
With the threat of the kraken being unleashed in a few days we had enough time to have the camera trek across various terrains with very little action to fill the adventure, and of the few placed the story settled down on only one location came off as really enjoyable. What’s also surprisingly weak is that Acrisius is meant to be a mini villain character that’s chasing Perseus the whole time but just sort of popped up randomly instead. Likewise, there’s also a pair of hunter brothers who adamantly want to tag along as comic relief characters but then ditch the party for pitiful reasons halfway through.
One big travel moment that underwhelms is the massive scorpion scene that was used so much in the film’s trailers. Its action and its introduction of a different upright species (djinn) are both just okay and felt like it needed a storyboard revision. From here we see the film immediately make the djinn useful by healing a wound with magic and offering scorpion mounts to help with the journey, but then the rest of the movie they’re pretty much useless. The Fates scene was okay filler but the Medusa scene was the only location that truly fun and suspenseful.
As for the kraken finale scene, the kraken itself was cool, but the scene was just okay, and Zeus’s introduction dialogue was as pitiful as can be. Although, the reason the kraken was enjoyable is because it took several minutes of building up tension as it fully unraveled from the sea. Guess what the finale payoff was? Yep. Part of it was right there in the trailer out in the open. Bummer. After a few more money CGI shots there’s one more bonus I won’t spoil, and it’s definitely cool, but not enough to justify seeing the movie anywhere near full price.
Overall Score: 5.25 – Bad. (5s are movies that either failed at reaching the goals it set out to do, or didn’t set out to do anything special and still had many flaws. Some will enjoy 5s, but unless you’re a fan of this genre, you shouldn’t see it, and might not even want to rent it.)
I do think some people should see this film, but mainly just to rent it and then fast forward to the Medusa scene and the kraken scene and then call it a night. This movie has a solid mythology story foundation but can’t connect the dots with scenes or dialogue or acting or fights that ever surpass mediocrity. I had to hunt for something good to say about the film, but I did find a few small things.