From the trailers, many predicted a knock-off version of 300. Then news of 3D being applied in post-production brought the inevitable comparisons of Clash of the Titans *shudder*. However what kept my interest and others was the involvement of Tarsem Singh, recognised for creating visually amazing films and as I left the cinema, I was glad the film did not disappoint.
Like 300 and Clash of the Titans, audiences go in expecting entertainment and not a history lesson. While I have always been interested in Greek Mythology, I did not mind the film did not stay true to the stories and created its own universe. The film delivers on fantastic visuals, bloody action and a generally strong cast. While the script was not necessarily perfect, I do not remember any particularly bad lines. In hindsight, I would have preferred a bit more time developing the characters but they are given a suitable amount of backstory so that the plot can progress forward.
Once again, Singh and his art direction team deliver on striking sets and costumes. The art style is beautiful to look at and the CGI is used to support the film rather than becoming the main focus. I hope that the Oscars notice the films art directing as it is distinct and worthy of some recognition. The cinematography never faltered and assisted in bringing the locations to life.
Henry Cavill gives a strong, likable performance as Theseus and proves that his is physically capable of donning the red cape as Superman. Mickey Rouke is suitably menacing and will keep audiences on the edge of their seat, not knowing what horrible act of violence he will do next. Supporting cast members including Freida Pinto, Stephen Dorff and Isabel Luca were good in their roles but needed more screen-time so that they actually felt relevant to the story. Freida Pinto's character plays a major role at the start but in the final act, she is barely anywhere to be seen. John Hurt makes a small appearance in the film and is only really there to help move the story along but he is as good as ever. Another actor that deserved more screen-time was Luke Evans as Zeus. His performance as Zeus was brilliant but was not featured enough throughout the film. The same can be said for the rest of the gods, who only really get one chance to shine at the end.
More importantly is the action in the film - while it is not as action-packed as the trailer might suggest, it certainly delivers on its entertainment value. The fight choreography is incredible to watch and is shot well, allowing for audiences to actually see what is happening. The final confrontation with Theseus is suitably and refreshingly violent while other fight scenes focus on offering spectacle.
While not necessarily the perfect action film, it should satisfy those waiting for the sequel to 300 and anyone in search of some entertainment. The film is paced well and has a satisfying ending. While some of the characters needed more time to develop, I suppose that we will see those scenes on the DVD. Tarsem Singh has created his most accessible film yet and also, to my surprise, shows that 3D post-conversion can actually work, delivering some of the best 3D moments I have ever seen.
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