Sam Worthington ventures to the depths of the underworld to save his father (Liam Neeson) in the sequel to 2010’s Clash of the Titans. Now playing nationwide, click for movie times. Also playing in 3D.
In an era of pointless remakes, 2010’s Clash of the Titans had a bit of potential, using CGI for its mythological creatures in place of the Ray Harryhausen stop-motion animation - now too dated for mainstream audiences - that made the early-‘80s original so spectacular. But then it turned out to be not a very good film and was also poorly post-converted to 3D with some glaring glitches. Despite this, it still took close to $500 million worldwide, so here’s an inevitable sequel and luckily one that manages to improve on the first film. Because, as the floating embers that constantly hover in front of the screen remind us, this time the 3D works properly.
Other than that, it’s mostly business as usual with wooden ol’ Sam Worthington returning as Perseus (this time dropping all pretence at speaking with anything other than an Australian accent). An unwelcome addition, and one made more galling by his ocker tones, is a newfound need to inject quips and wisecracks into the dialogue, modern banter at odds with the seriousness of both the film’s apocalyptic scenario and source material. Isn’t a flying horse enough light relief?
Let’s get real, this has no aspirations to be anything other than a blockbuster and on that front it fares okay, better than its predecessor on a couple of fronts - its mythical monsters and a spectacular sequence inside the moving underground dungeon of Tartarus. The story’s high stakes never connect emotionally, though, making for a tensionless and excitement-free version of The Lord of the Rings, albeit mercifully shorter.