The “clash” between original and remake
The most recent addition to this current Hollywood trend of recycling films is the Warner Bros. remake of “Clash of The Titans,” which earned a respectable $61 million in its opening weekend.
For those who have not seen the original, do not think that all you will see is a more expensive, flashier version of the story. When comparing both films, their tones and character portrayals create two very different stories.
When looking for movies with simple plots and basic character models, look no further than the original 1981 “Clash of the Titans.” This film follows the classic Greek myth structure of a mighty hero who proves himself through great deeds, while receiving help from the gods along the way. Our hero Perseus, played by Harry Hamlin, selflessly takes up the task of saving Princess Andromeda from the monstrous Kraken.
Meanwhile, in accordance with Greek myths, the gods look down from Mount Olympus offering whatever aid they can. Zeus, played by renowned actor Laurence Olivier, looks down on his son Perseus and admires the man that he has become. This version is much lighter compared to the remake and would most likely have a PG rating by today’s standards.
For those who have seen the movie “300” or play the “God of War” video games, it is evident that entertainment in terms of Greek mythology and history has gotten much darker and more violent.
The latest edition of “Clash of the Titans” is no exception to this current style. For example, Perseus, this time played by “Avatar’s” Sam Worthington, is on a quest to slay the Kraken as a means to prove man’s power without the help of the gods.
Unlike the earlier version, the gods keep to themselves and see mortals only as their subjects from whom they demand obedience. This time around, Zeus, played by Liam Neeson, is more of a stern ruler to his subjects on Mount Olympus and a demanding father to his children on Earth. His character portrayal, along with Worthington’s, offers a more believable take on the relationship between the gods and men.
The most obvious area of difference between the remake and the original “Clash of the Titans” is the use and quality of technology. When MGM created the original in 1981, the only special effects available were stop-motion animation provided by Ray Harryhausen. This film became iconic of the 1980s because of the various creatures it helped to produce.
Needless to say, film-making has come along much further in the past 30 years. Now through the use of CGI, Warner Bros. has helped update and recreate classic monsters like Medusa, the Kraken and the gods themselves.
Screenings are also available in 3D, which creates a more real and intense viewing. Through use of this state of the art technology, “Clash of the Titans” has redefined the structure of Greek mythology on the big screen.
Christopher Spall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.