Review Date: 4/6/10
Cast: Sam Worthington, Mads Mikkelsen, Liam Cunningham, Gemma Arterton, Pete Postlethwaite, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, cameos by Alexander Siddig, Agyness Deyn, Natalia Vodianova
Marginally enjoyable, but instantly forgettable. Why this movie exists at all is a complete mystery, and it bears almost nothing in common with the original. The primary characters are the same, but the story and details have been completely rewritten, and not for the better. Even though it totally disregards the original material, the hated Bubo manages to make a cameo in a lame attempt at an inside joke. Perseus (Sam Worthington) is the product of one of Zeus's (Liam Neeson) many flings with a human woman. When he witnesses Hades (Ralph Fiennes) killing his adopted family, he swears vengeance and decides to wage war on the gods of Olympus. The only way to defeat Hades' mighty Kraken is to have it gaze upon a Gorgon, so Perseus and a rag-tag group of soldiers visit the underworld to lay claim to Medusa's head. At this point the film resembles "Krull" (1983) more than anything else. Perseus is aided by the lovely and ageless Io (Gemma Arterton) and also has to contend with his birth mother's husband, Calibos, who has been cursed by Zeus and turned into a hideous creature.
The real stars of the show are the various special effects critters, but even they aren't particularly inspired or interesting. Ray Harryhausen's creatures from the original film had much more personality and created considerably more dramatic tension. The new rendition is just loud and flashy, with no emotional depth. This is especially true in the showdown with Medusa (played by supermodel Natalia Vodianova), which just disappoints on every level. Charon is also a complete joke, and the Kraken is simply uninteresting. Most of the acting isn't worth mentioning and Mads Mikkelsen is the only character with any depth or feeling. Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are merely collecting a paycheck, and their peripheral participation is laughable. Possibly the most ridiculous part of the film happens during the closing credits where Alexander Siddig is given star billing as Hermes, a character who is never seen and has no speaking lines! Supermodel Agyness Deyn also shows up in the credits as Aphrodite, who also has no dialog or appreciable screen time. What a waste. Sadly, the only thing the film truly succeeds at is soiling the memory of the original.