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WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

The residents of Argos are rebelling against the gods they’re meant to look up to.
They’re disillusioned with the king of the gods, Zeus (Neeson), and his brothers Poseidon (Huston) – who oversees the seas – and Hades (Fiennes) – the king of the underworld.
When the people start knocking down statues of the deities, Zeus has had enough.
War is declared between the gods and the people of Argos.
The gods demand the sacrifice of the king’s daughter Andromeda – and Zeus allows Hades to unleash the fearsome Kraken on the city to punish humankind.
There’s only one man – or at least half man – who has any hope of protecting the people from the beast and that’s Zeus’s own son, Perseus (Worthington), who’s holding a bit of a grudge against the immortals anyway, because they were responsible for the deaths of his human relatives.
Perseus leads a band of fearless warriors to combat the worst that the gods have to throw at them, in his attempt to seek revenge.
When Zeus fails to persuade Perseus to side with the immortals, he bombards the men with every beast he can muster – from giant scorpions to the mythical Medusa – but Perseus and his men are determined to save humanity from the wrath of the gods.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

This is a special-effects-laden updating of the special-effects-laden 1981 film of the same name – and remarkable as Ray Harryhausen’s visuals were some two decades ago, this film makes them look like they date back to classical Greece.
It’s a visual feast – with monsters causing mayhem and the flying horse Pegasus ruling the sky – but dramatically, there’s very little to sink your teeth into.
It’s a linear tale of a group of people on a quest, doing one thing, then another, almost like the progression of a computer game, level by level.
Much is left unexplained – one minute the giant scorpions are trying to rip the men to shreds and the next they’re offering them a lift – much is over-explained, as the gods chat among themselves, melodramatically, about how to respond to the human rebellion.
At an immortals’ HQ that resembles the set of a daytime TV quiz show, a spangly Zeus looks like a character from Blades of Glory, while Hades would be visually at home in Fagin’s lair.
It’s rather grating that the boy was see in the first scene – with a prim and proper English accent – grows up to speak like he’s walked off the set of Neighbours – where did Perseus pick up his Australian accent from?
The film is, of course, dramatically nonsense, but it’s visually arresting. If you don’t demand too much exercise for your brain at the cinema, this is a piece of mindless fun.
In line with so many block-busters these days, this is being sold as a 3D epic and should you choose to spend the extra few pounds, you will indeed get the chance to watch it with a pair of uncomfortable glasses weighing down on the bridge of your nose.
But whereas Worthington’s previous outing, to Pandora, was a groundbreaking and thoroughly effective use of the technology, here, bumping it up a D from 2 to 3 was literally an afterthought.
Not wanting to get left behind, the film-makers basically separated out the image into two and give you glasses to put them back together again.
Because it wasn’t created with 3D in mind, some elements don’t feel 3D at all while others are oddly contrived. Worse than the 3D not being particularly convincing and at times looking messy, it actually hurts the eyes when it’s not done properly.
However much fun – or otherwise – this film is, save yourself some money on the 3D goggles. Maybe treat yourself to some popcorn, instead, to entertain you while the gods are pontificating, until they unleash the next beast on mankind.

Opens nationwide 2nd April 2010

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