3146. Clash Of The Titans (1981)

7.5 Great action, but poor pacing
  • Acting 7.5
  • Directing 7.5
  • Story 7.5
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Starring: Harry Hamlin, Judi Bowker, Laurence Olivier

Director: Desmond Davis

Running Time: 118 mins

Clash Of The Titans is an American film about the hero Perseus, and his quest to save his beloved Andromeda by defeating the evil Medusa and the sea monster, the Kraken.

It’s easy to dismiss this film as outdated just by looking at the special effects. However, though it certainly isn’t quite as spectacular as it once may have been, Clash Of The Titans is still an enormously entertaining action epic, and one of the most enjoyable and sprawling examples of Greek mythology on the big screen.

First things first, however. If you’re not partial to older special effects and slower pacing, you’re really not going to like this movie. There’s a to love about it, but the two things that you need to make peace with are the special effects and the pacing.

In terms of the special effects, I think that the use of stop-motion actually works as a benefit for Clash Of The Titans. Yes, there are times when it all looks a little simplistic, but at others, stop-motion is far more effective and striking than amateurish green screen or soulless CGI.

Particularly when it comes to Perseus’ battles with the two main villains, the Kraken and Medusa, the stop-motion special effects are absolutely fantastic, making Medusa in particular far, far, far scarier than CGI could ever do.

When it comes to the movie’s pacing, I won’t deny that it’s far from perfect. Though brilliantly action-packed at times, Clash Of The Titans takes an awfully long time to get going, and even when its main adventure is in full swing, there are lengthy periods where very little of consequence actually happens.

That said, the moments where the film is full of action are so much fun. From Perseus’ early confrontations with Calibos to his astonishingly tense battle with Medusa (one of my favourite action scenes in all of cinema), Clash Of The Titans has all the ingredients of a brilliantly entertaining blockbuster, it’s just that it’s not always operating at that high level.

I’m no expert on Greek mythology, so I have no idea how faithful this movie is to the original stories, but as far as cinematic adaptations of Greek mythology go, this is easily one of the best.

Stripping away the often pretentiously haughty character surrounding Greek mythology and just telling an entertaining, action-packed adventure story, Clash Of The Titans makes these classic characters and stories into heroes worthy of the silver screen in any age, even today.

Simplistic it may be, largely revolving around large-scale action, but the film’s sprawling, epic scale and what I see as immensely likable special effects make it an enjoyable and wonderfully imaginative take on Greek mythology. It is slow, and some may see it as merely outdated, but if you give it a chance, I’m sure you’ll be surprised by just how much fun Clash Of The Titans can be, and that’s why I’m giving it a 7.5 overall.


About Author

The Mad Movie Man, AKA Anthony Cullen, writes articles and reviews about movies and the world of cinema. Since January 1st, 2013, he has watched and reviewed a movie every day. This is the blog dedicated to the project: www.madmovieman.com