Crash of the Titans

Even with 3-D effects, 'Titans' fails to impress.

Maybe it should be titled "The Ancient Age Remains Britain, Part 1" or "Release the Bloated Hollywood Remake of Perpetual Garbage!" or "How To Make a Billion Dollars Without an Ounce of Sense!" or "Wanted: Two Hours of My Life Back" or "Clash of My Head and a Brick Wall." I have no idea.

If ancient Greece's reputation rests on the shoulders of "Clash of the Titans," we should all truly be grateful that the Romans swept through and murdered those pottery-loving morons. A 24-hour marathon of "300" couldn't wash away the cinematic shame cast upon the once-mighty Grecians, now a historical footnote alongside the Spanish Treaty of Saragossa and "Truly Madly Deeply" by Savage Garden.

To begin, the term "titan" refers to a very specific group of powerful deities in Greek mythology. There are a total of 26 available titans for filming at any given moment, willing to work through weekends or Jewish holidays. The number of titans appearing in Louis Leterrier's film? Zero. But this type of inaccuracy is merely the tip of the iceberg in a film wallowing in careless clichés and desperate CG titillation.

Many of these faults come from the original "Clash of the Titans," a 1981 smorgasbord of stop-motion animation and scantily-clad men with swords, back when swords were deadly weapons as opposed to sexual metaphors. Ah, the '80s. There were no titans here, either, or redeeming qualities, for that matter. But as the old saying goes, "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me."

And just as terribly as President Bush once garbled that parable, this year's remake churns up the already petrified shitstorm of lackluster filmmaking and shamelessly repackages it — in 3-D. And perhaps even more unfortunately, the fool-me got fooled again. The '81 box-office smash resurrected itself hand-in-hand with Jesus this Easter and tackled an all-new era of cinematic milestones.

Hollywood is going through a devastating trend. Anything action-oriented has to either be filmed like a real-life comic book or star a rippling British actor with the charisma of a butternut squash. Luckily, "Clash" plays it safe, opting for the superhero route and really mixing it up with a vegetated Australian lead. Sam Worthington's turn as Perseus is about as worthless as his legs were in "Avatar," sucking all the air out of the theater to let out one raspy growl before slicing and dicing his way to B-film notoriety.

The greater majority of the "Titans" cast is incredibly well established, playing to the never-ending association between ancient worlds and British accents. Danny Huston ("The Proposition") even gets a role as Poseidon, receiving three seconds of screen-time before being banished to the bottom of the ocean for a girls' night of "Sex and the City" reruns. And, speaking of girls, it's safe to say "Clash" had its fair share of them, but their roles all morphed into one giant blank-faced supermodel. Good luck remembering any of their names.

Meanwhile, the incredible talents of "Schindler's List" (Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes) delicately fondle their beards for nearly two hours, repeating a laundry list of lines about good, evil and long-distance service providers. Even with Fiennes doing a decent job of playing a hairy Lord Voldemort, the film's dialogue could easily be the worst part — if it weren't for everything else.

And, yet again, we have James Cameron to blame for this abomination's 3-D release, which adds no visual thrills whatsoever and gives a headache at best. But like sheep to the slaughter, audiences will remain in awe of this disgusting exercise in thoughtless profiteering.

But it does provide one hell of a sexual euphemism: "Release the kraken." And what more could anybody ask?

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