Re-Action: Clash of the Titans (1981) vs. Clash of the Titans (2010)
As long as Hollywood continues to remake/reboot action films, fans will continue to debate: “Should they have even done it?” “Did they stay true enough to the original, without blatantly ripping it off?” And maybe the most important debate of all… “Is it actually better?!”
This is another tough call for me actually, as we take a look at the 1981 original and 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans.
Budget = $15,000,000
Box Office = $41,000,000
Lead Roles = Harry Hamlin as Perseus / Laurence Olivier as Zeus
Director = Desmond Davis
Score = Laurence Rosenthal
Running Time = 118 minutes
Budget = $125,000,000
Box Office = $493,000,000 (worldwide)
Lead Roles = Sam Worthington as Perseus / Liam Neeson as Zeus
Director = Louis Leterrier
Score = Ramin Djawadi
Running Time = 106 minutes
My Two Cents
In 1978 one of Hollywood’s special effects pioneers Ray Harryhausen would begin the task of bringing the Greek mythological tale of Perseus to life. Ray Harryhausen was the master of stop motion (a difficult, but very effective method that I wish was used more) and scale modeling. Without a doubt, the creatures and settings created by him are the true stars of this film. The CGI used in Leterrier’s remake are at times impressive, while at others seem rushed.
I do actually find the pacing of the remake better for the purposes of repeat viewings. Also helping in this regard is the running time of an hour and 46 minutes, compared to the originals very long feeling 2 hours.
The performances in the 2005 version are very inspired for a “cheesy special effects movie”. With impressive turns from Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Mads Mikkelson and Jason Flemyng it adds some depth to the otherwise cut and paste script. Many of the actors in the original seem very bored and are obviously only doing it for the paycheck.
I do miss certain aspects from the original in the remade version, such as Orthrus the two headed dog, but I won’t say the same for Bubo the owl. It was a very wise choice to only include him as a joke in the remake, as this is all he really was in the original.
As for the score, there is really no contest. Ramin Djawadi’s score, while maybe not your traditional Greek sound (or traditional at all for that matter), ups the action quality of the 2005 remake that much more.
The original receives many bonus points for nostalgia alone. I have great memories of late night television viewings with my brother Jason. There were also many a discussion generated in grade school surrounding the Greek gods of myth because of that film.
This one really is a flip of the coin as both are great fun! If you asked me tomorrow, the choice may go just as easily the other way. But, the remake adds so many cool factors, from Liam Neeson, to the scorpion battle and like I said before, it sure seems easier to pop this in anytime, whereas the original is more of a planned rainy day event every few years. I will go with the remake.