Synopsis: The mortal son of the god Zeus embarks on a perilous journey to stop the underworld and its minions from spreading their evil to Earth as well as the heavens.
Director: Louis Leterrier
Writers: Travis Beacham (screenplay), Phil Hay (screenplay), Matt Manfredi (screenplay), and Beverley Cross (1981 screenplay)
Stars: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes
Serious Jest: (Don’t Bother) I am a fan of Greek mythology, so seeing some of it brought to life with the power of modern-day special effects was pretty cool. I liked the depiction of Mount Olympus, with the gods presiding over an invisible floor under which mountaintops, clouds, and seas provided a better view than a corner office ever could. I also enjoyed the opening scene in which mythological history were illustrated in the stars.
I was originally a little iffy about the resemblance of the Kraken (which is part of Scandinavian folklore, not Greek mythology, by the way) to the rancor monster that Luke Skywalker fought in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983).
Then I read this quote from Leterrier: “I have no problem citing my homages. The Rancor, I remember when I first saw it. … It terrified the hell out of me.”–okay, I can respect that.
The cast was generally good. Fiennes stood out as a terrorizing Hades, and his whole evil-tornado-and-airborne-minions motif was pretty cool, as well.
I didn’t like the casting choice for Medusa, though; I understand that she used to be beautiful, but she was supposedly transformed into such a horrible-looking creature that she would turn any man that gazed upon her into stone. All I saw was supermodel Natalia Vodianova with smoky makeup (wasn’t that in style for a bit, anyway?), a tail, and snakes for hair. Again, Leterrier defended his choice: “She’s pretty scary when she turns on the Medusa powers, but before that she has to be alluring, she has to be so beautiful you want to take a peek — but then it’s too late.” This time I’m not buying it…
The Stygian Witches are much scarier…
It was also kind of weird how subdued Tine Stapelfeldt‘s reaction was at finding out that she just had sex with the king of all the gods, who disguised himself as her husband. You would have thought it was a Porky’s college prank. She merely uttered, “Zeus?” like he was Quagmire from next door. I halfway expected Zeus to respond, “Giggety.”
I almost gave this movie 3 mugs just for its value as a safari through Greek mythology (with other folklore thrown in like meat extenders). You can watch your favorite gods, demi-gods, monsters, humans, etc., brought to life through modern-day special effects, and debate whether you liked or didn’t like each choice. However, too much of this movie was hokey, cheesy, and uninspired for me to recommend that you pay attention all the way through this film. It’s more suited for having on in the background while you do something else.