I grew up on the original Clash of the Titans (1981), that great Hollywood epic of bowdlerized mythology, and what fun it was to revisit it after quite a few years. Sure, the effects might not stand up to the times, and Harry Hamlin might have made for a mite-too-handsome Perseus; but the film is full of wonder and excitement, as Perseus races from one end of the planet to the other in an attempt to save the life of Princess Andromeda, who’s set to be sacrificed to the Kraken. Terrific stop-motion effects by the master Ray Harryhausen. Fun cameos by the Stygian Witches, with their single eye between the three of them; Pegasus; and the precious robot owl, Bubo. The battle scene in Medusa’s lair is moderately suspenseful, although I think a bit too scary for younger children. A classic today.
In comparison, the 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans is all gloss and polish, with Sam Worthington donning the skirt of Perseus this time around. The story has changed just a bit, as Hades (Zeus’ brother) basically threatens to destroy all mankind, and Andromeda, yet again, ends up chained to the sacrificial rock. The effects are top-notch, although Medusa, for whom I was waiting impatiently to appear, is humanized a bit too much and was kind of a letdown after the anticipation. Liam Neeson was born to play Zeus, with his voice of booming authority. And Ralph Fiennes essentially recycles Hades as Lord Voldemort, only in a moderately altered costume. While not nearly as great as the original, this Clash of the Titans is a lot of fun (and absolutely nothing more), as long as you go in to it with ultra-low expectations.