I was really looking forward to this movie as I was a big fan of the original. Then I heard this film getting a bad wrap from the critics and I’ve learned that no matter what the critics say, it’s always good to form your own opinion.
Let’s start with the shortcomings and get those out of the way…
I like Sam Worthington and he’s a decent Perseus, but not great. He comes off a bit too wooden at times and lacks the character that Harry Hamlin brought to the original. Worthington is doing it his way, a bit more militant. Unfortunately he’s just not as likable as you’d want for Perseus. Even when his family dies, he still seems a little stone faced, lacking passion and intensity or raw emotion. He’s better than this, he’s either trying too hard or not hard enough, it seems to change from scene to scene.
The CG is great at times (the Kraken sequences are epic) but falls short at others as with some of the Medusa segments looking distractingly CG. The palace of the gods (Zeus’ pad) looks a bit cheesy at times too, like they were running out of budget and did the interiors a bit lazily. On the upside the battle with the scorpions, the Kraken and the Pegasus segments make the movie worth seeing, very well done. Excellent detail and design.
There are some fine performances in here as well. Seeing Ralph Fiennes as Hades squaring off with Liam Neeson’s Zeus is classic and consistently enjoyable. Those two can do anything although I thought Liam Neeson held back a little when he should have amped things up more. I wanted his Zeus to be giant and grandiose as the king of the gods, but he comes off a little tame at times. In terms of character my only complaint is that there should’ve been a stronger actor to play Neptune who’s barely in here. Otherwise, the characters and how the story interacts with them works well with the subtle nips and tucks that were made to guide the plotline.
The good thing is they didn’t try to re-do the first movie, they brought their own version to the table, although they cleverly give a nod to the mechanical owl from the original. The part that’s lacking versus the other is the charm and wit that made the first feel more light and adventurous at times where this version is more serious and action-oriented.
Overall a feast for the eyes and fun to watch, thrilling at times, I wish I had seen it in the theater.
reviewed by Sean McKnight