is fantasy film of an epic tale as old as… thirty years ago. As evident by the title, is a “remake” of the last Ray Harryhausen film of 1981 which detailed the mythos of demigod Perseus, son of almighty Zeus. However, even Zeus has problems and his bickering with Hades might lead him and the realm of mortals to ruin.
Rather clear from everything I have stated, the story borrows heavily from Greek mythology concerning the trials of Perseus of Argos. He is challenged to save Princess Andromeda, in what might be the basis of “white knight tales” and perhaps Hideo Kajima’s fictional storyboards, from the wrath of the gods and their terrible Kraken, the most fearsome of aquatic monstrosities. First, however, he must attain favors of Zeus and search for a method to defeat a beast which cannot be bested by the arms of mortals. This search is only the first of Perseus’ difficulties for he must return alive and in time to become the hero of legends.
So basically does not stray very far from the original film’s base, but it does have major differences in both setting and back story, revolving around the city of Argos rather than Joppa.
Most everything ephemeral to the major points in Perseus’ quest to becoming a hero has been replaced. I suppose it is a measure to make the story less relevant to the original . However, renaming a city or changing the fictional history of Perseus has little effect when paired with much more successful measures such as adding interesting new races like the Djinn.
The film also takes measures to return characters from the original film. Calibos, the adversary of Perseus in the original, revives his role with a completely novel identity as Acrisius, who was Perseus’ grandfather but is instead made his stepfather for the film.
However, the greatest change to arise from Travis Beacham and Phil Hay’s screenplay is that the gods have far less influence upon mortals. Instead, the gods have been cast as reactionary forces against secular humanism and spiteful from the loss of mortal idolatry. Perseus even rebukes offers of Zeus and chooses to face the Kraken to foil Hades for taking his adoptive family.
So, the tale takes a turn to a conflict of man against gods where a group of soldiers led by a demigod travel across the wastes and to the realm of death to defeat the pantheon’s champion, but near the end, the line gets a bit blurry and it again boils down to one god’s champion versus another as it was in the original.
Through these changes in conflict and obtaining the favor of Zeus, Perseus’ motivations remain pretty shallow. He only wishes to be a fisherman and embarks upon a rather basic revenge plot. The character development is also a bit strange.
Of course everything can be explained away by the fact Perseus is a demigod, but going from a life at sea to, after spending only five minutes with a sword in his hand, jumping through giant scorpions, is a bit ridiculous. I understand he’s a legendary hero and Sam Worthington gives Perseus a somber action hero portrayal, but could not some more time be used to make a more natural development?
To answer my own question, no, there was no time to spare for fleshing out characters in and Perseus was lucky to be given what time there was to spare between action sequences. To be frank takes the same route as Tim Burton’s where the established story becomes setting for action scenes.
Despite what negative opinions I have given here, the movie is actually enjoyable even if it is more a technical spectacle rather than following in the footsteps of Hellenistic drama. It is a very capable action movie and fine choice for entertainment while escaping the returning heat.