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Clash of the Titans



/a>") and Ralph Fiennes ("The Hurt Locker") are more camp than a RuPaul look alike convention. Zeus, you may remember, is King of the Gods on Mount Olympus, and Hades is one of his brothers, the runt of the litter who got stuck with being God of the Underworld and has to hang out with dead people all the time.

Cast your mind back to ancient Greece: The Olympian gods are angry and a little frightened because their continued existence depends on the quantity and fervency of the prayers humans send their way, and their numbers have been dropping. Hades, who wants to usurp his brother's job "? being a god is the family business "? suggests that he could set loose the Kraken, a terrible sea monster, and the ensuing fear among the humans would force them to begin praying again. It's like creating a public danger and then becoming a hero by volunteering to squelch it "? a political trick still being used today.

To amp up the security alert from orange to red, Hades tells the people of Argos that they have 10 days before they either have to sacrifice the king's daughter, Andromeda (Alexa Davalos, "Defiance"), or he will release the Kraken. In other words, if they don't get crackin', they'll get Kraken.

Perseus (Sam Worthington, "Avatar"), who carries a log-sized chip on his shoulder because he's the illegitimate son of Zeus, is in Argos, and volunteers to kill the Kraken before the 10 days are up. This will start him on a series of adventures, the most famous of which is his going eyeto- eye, so to speak, with Medusa.

She is one of the Gorgon sisters "? the one who has snakes growing out of her head instead of hair. Put her in Nazi regalia and she could be dating Jesse James. Nasty-ass chick.

It's all mythology-lite with a heavy dose of "All My Demigods" soap-opera melodrama, but it's a pretty rousing boys' adventure yarn that no one over the age of 8 can take seriously. The effects work OK, but they're nothing to write home about. In fact, some are pretty shoddy.

The ferryman who takes Perseus and his crew to the underworld, looks like something out of a "Tales From the Crypt" comic book, and Hades' frequent appearances from a tornado wouldn't strain the budget of a Roger Corman movie. Since the film was not shot with 3-D in mind "? that was added later "? I saw it flat-screen and don't believe 3-D would have added much, if anything.

The acting is of the stand-firm-and-declaim school. The picture is 99 percent action with barely a tip of the hat to romance. Don't expect much, and you won't be disappointed. "?Doug Bentin


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