When the vengeful god Hades (Ralph Fiennes) kills his adoptive family, young Perseus (Sam Worthington) is taken to the city of Argos. There, Hades strikes again, demanding that the king (Vincent Regan) sacrifice his daughter Andromeda (Alexa Davalos) to an enormous sea-dwelling creature known as The Kraken or see Argos levelled by the terrifying beast.
Discovering that Perseus is the offspring of the god Zeus (Liam Neeson) and a mortal woman, the king begs him to help, the newly orphaned young man agreeing when Io (Gemma Arterton) intervenes and reveals that killing the Kraken would allow him to take revenge on Hades. As Perseus embarks on a quest to find the weapons he will need to defeat the beast, Hades recruits Calibos (Jason Flemyng), a hideously deformed creature with a grudge against Zeus, to hunt down and kill our hero. Gifted with flying horse Pegasus and a magical sword, Perseus must endure numerous trials, including facing giant scorpions and the vile gorgon Medusa, as he takes a stand against the gods.
While the 1981 original could hardly be called a classic, this remake of the myths and monsters adventure is an enjoyable trawl through Greek legend. Although it lacks the majesty of Ray Harryhausen's wonderfully creepy stop-motion creatures, their CGI equivalents are decent enough, especially the impressive Kraken, which looks a like a giant tortoise from hell.
It's fair to say that the original Clash was extremely ponderous in places, namely the lengthy scenes that saw the gods discussing Perseus's fate, but fortunately this new version doesn't have any time for idle chatter.
Directed by Louis Leterrier, who previously helmed the similarly fun-but-shallow The Incredible Hulk and The Transporter 1 & 2, the 2010 version sidelines plot and character development for fast-paced action. As such, the set pieces are consummate crowd-pleasers, although poor Danny Huston is reduced to a walk-on role as Poseidon, much of the deity-related plot clearly having been smited during editing. Schindler's List co-stars Neeson and Fiennes bring both gravitas and petty mischief to their gods, the latter making the biggest impact as the hateful Hades. Worthington and Arterton may make less of an impression, their tepid love story unlikely to raise many pulses, but there's enough mythological mayhem to keep interest piqued throughout