Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Clash of the Titans: a lecture on the Greek myths is direly needed!

the Poster:

the Trailer:

the Plot:

In ancient times, the gods led by Zeus (Liam Neeson), Poseidon (Danny Huston) and Hades (Ralph Fiennes) betrayed their parents, the Titans, and banished them to the Underworld with the help of the Kraken, a sea monster born of Hades. The gods divided the Universe among themselves; Zeus took the skies, Poseidon took the seas, and Hades, tricked by Zeus, was left with the Underworld. Zeus created the mortals, whose faith in them assured their immortality. However, as time passed, mortals began to question them.

A fisherman by name of Spyros (Pete Postlethwaite) finds a casket afloat in the sea, bearing a baby still living and clasped in the arms of his mother’s corpse. Spyros and his wife Marmara (Elizabeth McGovern) raise the baby as their own and name him "Perseus". Years later, Perseus (Sam Worthington) is fishing with his family when they witness soldiers from the city of Argos destroying a statue of Zeus.

The gods, infuriated at this desecration, unleash the Furies - flying beasts who pursue mortal sinners. The soldiers are attacked and slaughtered by the Furies. The Furies merge and take the form of Hades, who destroys the ship Perseus and his family are on. His family perishes, but Perseus survives and is found by other survivors, soldiers from Argos led by Draco (Mads Mikkelsen).

Perseus is brought before King Cepheus (Vincent Regan) and Queen Cassiopeia (Polly Walker) who are celebrating the campaign against the gods.

Queen Cassiopeia brashly compares her daughter Princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos) to the Gods and boasts she is more beautiful than Aphrodite.

Andromeda takes pity upon Perseus and offered him a drink. But her offer was thwarted by Draco.
The revelry is cut short by the arrival of Hades, who has been given leave by Zeus to punish the mortals for their defiance.

Hades ages Cassiopeia to old age and proclaims that in the upcoming solar eclipse, he will unleash the Kraken against Argos unless Andromeda is offered as a sacrifice. Before leaving, he reveals that Perseus is a demigod, the son of Zeus.

Perseus is imprisoned by Draco and in captivity meets Io (Gemma Arterton) who tells him of his origin. Many years before, King Acrisius (Jason Flemyng) also tried declaring war against the gods. To punish him, Zeus impersonated Acrisius and impregnated his wife, Queen Dänae (Tine Stapelfeldt). Acrisius, driven mad with rage, ordered the execution of Dänae and the newborn baby and cast them into the sea in a coffin. As punishment for his continued defiance, Zeus also struck Acrisius with lightning, transforming him into a monster. Io also reveals that she was cursed with immortality after she refused Poseidon's advances and has watched over Perseus his entire life, beginning with watching from ashore as his adoptive parents rescue him from the floating coffin, to the present, always protecting him, as he is prophesized to be the only one able to stand up to the Gods.

As the Cult of Hades led by the insane Prokopion (Luke Treadaway) grows in number and demands Andromeda's sacrifice, a desperate Cepheus asks Perseus to lead the King's Guard to visit the Stygian Witches in order to discover a way to kill the Kraken. Wishing to avenge the death of his family, Perseus accepts.

Perseus, Io and the guards head off on their quest joined by Anatolian monster hunters, Ozal (Ashraf Barhom) and Kucuk (Mouloud Achour).

Hades seeks out and finds a decrepit Acrisius, now known as Calibos, and promises him he will destroy Zeus in exchange for Calibos killing Perseus. Calibos promises to serve him and Hades gives Calibos powerful superhuman abilities.

Zeus is convinced by Apollo (Luke Evans) to give Perseus a chance and presents him with an enchanted sword forged on Mt. Olympus and a winged horse named Pegasus. Perseus refuses both gifts but a wise Draco puts the sword into safekeeping.

Shortly thereafter, they are attacked by Calibos. Calibos kills several men and bites Perseus on the arm, poisoning him with venom.

With Calibos holding Perseus by the head, Draco severs Calibos's hand causing Calibos to flee. The band gives chase but is attacked by giant scorpions called Scorpiochs summoned by Calibos’s blood.

Although they manage to kill some of them while losing a few men, they are ultimately surrounded by even larger scorpions until they are saved by the Djinn, a band of non-human desert sorcerers led by Sheik Suleiman (Ian Whyte). The Djinn, also wishing for the gods' defeat, lend their aid to Perseus and his band. Suleiman also cures the poison from the bite on Perseus's arm.

The group arrives at the lair of the Stygian Witches and learns from them that the only possibility for killing the Kraken lies with the head of the gorgon Medusa who resides in a temple in the Underworld.

Medusa can turn any creature made of flesh into stone that makes eye contact with her gaze, and thus using her head is the only way to stop the Kraken.

As they prepare to head into the Underworld, Perseus is approached by Zeus, who offers to make him a god, but when he refuses, Zeus gives him a golden drachma, fare for Charon, the ferryman of the Underworld.

Perseus, Io, Suleiman, Draco and his remaining men Solon (Liam Cunningham), Eusebius (Nicholas Hoult) and Ixas (Hans Matheson) cross into the Underworld with the help of the ferryman bribed by Zeus' drachma.

the men enter Medusa's temple lair while Io remains outside, unable to enter the temple as she's a woman.


Using her bow, Medusa (Natalia Vodianova) shoots Solon causing him to fall into lava fire, wounds Draco, and turns Eusebius and Ixas into stone.

Suleiman and Draco both wound Medusa, sacrificing themselves in the process and setting the stage for Perseus to behead her with his eyes closed.

As he is leaving the temple with Medusa's head, he witnesses Calibos appear behind Io and fatally stab her. Perseus and Calibos engage in mortal combat with Calibos having the upper hand and disarming Perseus. Finally coming to terms with who he is, Perseus picks up the Olympian sword and pierces Calibos through the chest, turning him back into Acrisius in human form, restoring him to sanity and humility for one last moment.

Before dying, Io urges a reluctant Perseus to leave her and save Andromeda and Argos before she dissolves into a golden ethereal vapor.

Perseus mounts Pegasus and hastens back to Argos as the solar eclipse begins and Zeus orders the Kraken's release.

The Cult goes to the palace and seizes Andromeda in order to offer her to the Kraken.

While the Kraken ravages Argos, Hades reveals to Zeus that while they have been surviving on the people’s adoration, he has been feeding on people's fear and his monster has been channeling even more fear.

While the gods have become weaker, Hades has now grown powerful enough to take on Mount Olympus and even destroy it in revenge for his betrayal so many years before. Realizing his mistake too late, Zeus can only rely on Perseus.

In Argos, Hades unleashes the Furies against Perseus and they manage to snag away from him the sack holding Medusa’s head while the Kraken causes massive damage to Argos. In an intense aerial chase with Perseus riding Pegasus, he manages to retrieve the bag and expose Medusa's face to the Kraken, making eye contact just before it is able to eat Andromeda. The Kraken slowly turns into a massive stone statue which cracks and falls apart. The falling debris kills Prokopion and Cepheus while Andromeda falls into the sea. Hades appears to confront Perseus and taunts him; Perseus raises his sword to the heavens and calling upon Zeus, throws his sword at Hades. A lightning bolt engulfs the sword which expels Hades and banishes him to the Underworld once more.

Perseus dives in to the sea and rescues Andromeda, now the rightful Queen of Argos and respected by her people. She asks him to stay by her side as King, but he declines, saying he is not a leader but simply a man.

After leaving with Pegasus, Perseus arrives on the island where Zeus's statue was destroyed, near where his family was killed. Zeus returns and offers Perseus godhood but he declines, Zeus states that if Perseus is to live as a human, he should not do it alone, and revives Io.

the Riviu:
i had to spend quite some times with wiki-wiki to learn about the Greek myths upon writing this riviu. the stories are varied from what was depicted in the movie, so much so that my head figuratively rolled with too much information.

i disapproved the term "gods" used to refer to Zeus and his lot. they're obviously NOT. with human failings and limited powers, well, they are merely deities. plus, if Zeus is so powerful, why must he delegates the dirsty job to Hades, who obviously has a bone to pick with his fellow brothers and other Olympians who reside on top of the Mount Olympus while he was supposed to be the king of the misery-fermented Underworld?

Io explained that Perseus was the son Zeus sired with Queen Danae, as a way to teach her heretic husband, King Acrisius (later known as the damned creature Calibos). this is a riot and prove how humane Zeus was. the way his teaching goes, this is clearly not. i favour the original myth, that Danae was Acrisius' daughter whom he kept hidden for fear the son she born will ultimately be the death of him.

as for Io, she was kept ageless by the curse of Poseidon whom advances she rejected. another one of the many failings of the Olympians that clearly further prove that they are far from god-like.

the story of Medusa in the movie nonetheless remains true as the myth. but it is such a sorry story, the other testimonial of the oft-cruel Olympians. too beautiful for her own good, Poseidon took a liking for Medusa that he pursued her amorously. Escaping to the temple of Athena, Medusa appealed for Athena's protection but was refused help. instead she earned Athena's scorn and was raped at the temple grounds. Incensed by what had happened in her temple, Athena cursed Medusa into a mortal Gorgon, with hairs made of venomous snakes and body of a serpent. those who hold her gaze was cursed to be dead.

it is explained that Athena punished Medusa as she was the woman whose beauty tempt the men. Poseidon holds no blame as his womanising ways are expected of a male Greek god. which proves how much twisted the Greek myths really are and the Olympians don't deserve the tagline "gods".

the movie also resurrects Io to be Perseus' wife when in fact the myth stated that he marries Andromeda whom he saved from the Kraken. i was informed that in the sequel, Wrath of the Titans, Perseus shall fight the Titans alongside Andromeda (Rosamund Pike). Yay! i'm a fan of RP, let's hope the movie doesn't dissapoint.

though i'm peeved with the whole gods and demi-gods concept, i admit that the fact Io fought together with Perseus is a redeeming point. hurrah for Feminism! (sarcastic grin)

Zeus deserves all the calamity and whatnots for being stupid, weak and definitely humane. he is not fit to be a leader and had not shown exemplary nor redeeming qualities.

the riot led by Prokopion just prove that once people lost their grip with God, they are susceptible to anything. and Prokopion is our example of Dajjal who plied with people's fear to his gains. Nau'zubillah!

in whole, the story was a bit sluggish at first but picked up its speed later on. comic relief is non-existant, except for Ixar and Esebios. i noted that Ixar is the bad guy in Sherlock Holmes.

for those who are familiar with the Greek myths, they might enjoy the movie. i found it so-so and thus the 2.5 star rating. oh well, sue me :)

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