Every time I go into a movie that is based on ancient mythology, I have high hopes. Since I was a kid, I have had a fascination with ancient mythology and seem to love anything that even alludes to it. I can even remember watching the old Ray Harryhausen stop-motion films Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans. At the time, I didn’t know that much about mythology, so inaccuracies in the storyline weren’t a huge deal for me; however, as I have matured, directorial tampering with source material has become a major issue with me.
And I should have known it when I went to the theater. This is a movie based off of another movie that is based off of mythology. Oddly enough, the 1981 movie is surprisingly accurate. Apart from the scorpion fight, Calibos and Pegasus, the main details of the film are in line with the source. Without Medusa, the Kraken and Andromeda, this rendition went so far beyond the mythological source material that it became almost impossible to identify as the story of Perseus.
I understand some of the changes Leterrier made to the film. He stated in many interviews that he didn’t want the movie to be directly compared to the 1981 cult classic, so he changed around the motivations of Perseus to be one of revenge against the gods rather than, what I would say, was duty and honor in the earlier film. However, I don’t understand why the city was changed to Argos, when it is definitely Joppa in the myth and the original movie. What was Io doing there? What was the point of the Jin? What on Earth was that Perseus origin story Leterrier concocted (the actual one is plenty interesting)? I have come to accept Perseus riding Pegasus as it is moreso based on Renaissance art rather than myth (In myth, Bellerophon tamed Pegasus, fyi).
Anyways, aside from my mythological issues, the film wasn’t terrible. It was definitely what you expected as an action movie. It was an action-packed, high-paced film that followed the journey of Perseus as he slays the gorgon, Medusa, and defeats the Kraken. If you can get past the mythology problems, it is an entertaining movie to watch. But I must admit, I did begin to laugh out lound when Worthington (as Persues) turned to his comrades before entering the lair of Medusa and attempted to deliver a rousing, inspirational speech. Needless to say, it was a bit formulaic and horribly directed/delivered that it became comical rather than inspirational.
I also jumped on the band wagon, like the rest of the world, and decided to spend the premium to see the film in 3D. Critics are tearing the 3D to pieces, but I don’t think it was that bad. Apart from a single moment when Hades was talking to Zeus on Olympus, and it looked a bit strange to me, I didn’t notice anything that was absolutely terrible regarding the postproduction effect. I had more of an issue with the unfinished look of the CGI Medusa than the 3D.
Everyone is comparing the 3D to that of Avatar, and I think that is unfair to do. Avatar took four years to produce and required drastic advances in technology to create. In that regard, every single 3D movie that has come out is no where near the same quality. It is a matter of managing expectations. If you are expecting to see another Avatar in regards to effects, you are kidding yourself. If you are expecting to see an action movie where the 3D adds a bit of flare to the experience, you will like it.