Movies: Clash of the Titans * * *
(12A, general release)
Say what you like about the Greeks, they made up some great stories back in the day.
The Iliad, The Odyssey and other tales of gods and monsters seem perfect fodder for the Hollywood dream-spinners, yet by and large the films inspired by them have tended to be complete dogs' dinners. This Louis Letterier film is actually a remake of a 1981 movie and, while it gets a lot wrong, it does one very important thing right and that's tell a great story competently well.
Sam Worthington (after Avatar, the action hero of the moment) is Perseus, retrieved from the sea as an infant and raised by a kindly fisherman. When Hades, the God of the Underworld (Ralph Fiennes) kills his adopted family, Perseus must face up to his true heritage. He's a demi-God, the half-human son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), and he soon finds himself in a very awkward position. The good folk of Argos have turned their backs on Zeus and co, provoking a war that only Perseus can avert.
The makers tacked on a 3D element, but this is ham-fisted and largely irrelevant. It's the story that keeps you going, and even the tiresome CGI effects are not enough to distract you from that.