The Alexandrian

Clash of the Titans

It’s very important, when hiring a screenwriter, to make sure that they aren’t suffering from a terminal case of ADHD.

Perseus: I will do this without the help of the gods!
Some Guy: Our comrades are dying because you won’t let the gods help!
Perseus: It’s important that we show that humans can stand on their own!

That’s a paraphrase, but it’s straight from the film. And while one could argue whether or not Perseus is right, it’s certainly an interesting premise to build a film around.

Unfortunately, the screenwriter forgot the film he was writing. Because as soon as all of Perseus’ comrades have died, Perseus decides to start accepting help from the gods. Apparently Perseus is okay with sacrificing other people for his ideals, but if he has to make the sacrifice himself? Forget it.

And it would be one thing if Perseus was forced to make the hard and deliberate choice to abandon his conviction. Or, in fact, if the film had shown him making any kind of choice whatsoever. But that’s not what happens: Instead he just kind of shrugs his shoulders and changes his tune. Heck, even that’s an exageration: He, along with the film, simply forgets that there was ever any sort of “fight the gods” plot happening.

Then, just to make things a little more half-assed, at the end of the film Zeus revives Perseus’ girlfriend so that they can live happily ever after. All of the other poor schmucks who died because Perseus was a dick? Perseus doesn’t care.

Because Perseus is a dick.

The rest of the script is just kind of a fractal variation on this core failure of logic and character arc. On the plus side, the special effects are pretty cool.

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One Response to “Movie Week – Clash of the Titans”

  1. Justin Alexander says:


    This was a painfully bad movie. I did not care about a single character in this film. All it made me want to do was watch the original again.
    Saturday, July 03, 2010, 4:53:14 AM

    The stone guys from the desert just sort of showed up out of nowhere and didn’t do anything significant and then left. I couldn’t figure out why they were there other than adding another special effect to the show.

    The two monster hunters were the same, they showed up amidst boasts about having special skills to slay centaurs and other fantastic beasts, but they didn’t actually do anything special against the scorpions and they left before medusa, so again, characters where a big deal was made about them showing up, but that didn’t actually do anything.

    And the ending, “Congratulations! You beat the bad guy, here is your reward!” *bing!* “This girl is yours since no son of Zeus will go without! What’s that? Your adopted family? Father, mother and younger sibling? The very reason you were going on this quest to begin with? Nah, you don’t need them.”
    Thursday, July 01, 2010, 9:33:25 AM

    Edward Dain
    My partner and I were kind of the opinion that this was written by somebody trying to recreate this great RPG campaign based on the myth. The totally un-needed “bounty hunters” were like a pair of much-loved “Bill and Ted” NPC’s, the cool sword, the very cool charcoal guys who have no place whatsoever in the myth that I can recall…

    Plus, if there was ever a movie that needed some T&A, this was it. They also forgot that people who are going to see Clash of the Titans are probably less interested in historical accuracy than not. At one point they had Io dressed in what looked like a grey sack. For an attractive lady, you would not know this from the film. Heck, even a film that promised what gets called around here “arm-porn” (sweaty muscular guys showing off) that was somewhat lacking!

    It was a somewhat wasted couple of hour of my life.
    Thursday, July 01, 2010, 9:01:37 AM

    Apparently, the script was much more consistent, and it got torn up in editing and reshoots. As I understand it, Zeus was originally just the bad guy and some of the more human-friendly gods like Apollo were secretly supporting Perseus to try to overthrow him. Thus, everything that Zeus did for Perseus was originally Apollo, and all the Hades villainous stuff was mostly Zeus. There were apparently a lot more Olympus scenes as well. And the squicky romance with Io was, also, added later, IIRC.

    So, studio interference and other bad decisions messed up what could have been a consistent, if not great, movie. As usual. I’m interested to see whether the original stuff was actually filmed sufficiently to make it into a director’s cut at some point, but I don’t know that the film did well enough to support such a thing.
    Thursday, July 01, 2010, 8:06:26 AM

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