04 April 2010

Titan-ically Awful

Hahahaha did you see what I did there?

So Titan was basically just like Avatar. Great visuals and flashy stuff, but with no dialogue or plot to speak of. But it's the message of the movie that makes the least sense.

I don't want to spoil it for you (HINT THE GOOD GUY WINS) so maybe you better stop reading if you feel emotionally invested in going into this one unspoiled.

Okay?

Okay. So the movie begins with a very clear and labored message: the gods are tyrannous jerks and all the humans are just waiting for one of their own to rebel and bring them down. This actually gets you pumped up - you're now picturing some sort of magic or even a physical fight where Perseus will destroy the gods and free men from their villainy. They even reinforce the point by having one of the gods personally and maliciously kill all of Perseus' adopted family. And Perseus is rescued by the soldiers of a city that has declared war on the gods, and it's up to him to save them and also avenge his family! And our hero even disdains the magical sword granted him by his real father, Zeus, and openly scorns prayer.

"If I'm going to do this, I am going to do this as a man," he declares.

So we're all on board at the midpoint of the movie. The message and theme are a little clumsy and obvious, of course; it's hard to imagine anyone saying Perseus' lines without a camera hovering in front of them and post-production dramatic music. But we know where it's going, and it makes internal sense.

But suddenly at the midpoint, things get rough for Perseus. And he needs Daddy's help.

Now, in Olympus the viewer has been treated to a few scenes of Hades and another character, in which Hades helpfully points out that recent events are all his trick to regain power. This is not a huge surprise, since they pretty much stated this was the case in the opening thirty seconds of the film. But suddenly this means that Zeus has gone from being just one of the evil gods to being the noble god being attacked by an evil one. This is the same Zeus who, not twenty minutes ago, dramatically shouted, "Release the Kraken!" And now we're supposed to feel sorry for him? What's the loss if he dies? No more cities will be eaten by monsters?

Worse is that somehow Perseus seems to act like he knows what's going on. Presumably no one invited Perseus to the secret underground Hell-conference, so why does he suddenly abandon his moral stance to accept no help from the gods? All at once he's using a magical sword his father gave him, and he's taking Pop's money to pay a toll.

The pinnacle of stupid is at the end. The climactic moment arrives and the monster is dead. Hades appears before Perseus to taunt him (or... something? who knows) and mocks the hero. The hero raises his hand to summon his father's lightning - exactly like it happened in a flashback to which he was not a witness! - and then throws his sword at Hades to carry the lightning to his enemy. Hades folds up and vanishes under the ocean, defeated by... Zeus. Then Perseus and Zeus have a fun chat and exchange some, "Atta boy!"s.

So what's the message? The only thing I can get is that the moral must be, "Don't see anything with Sam Worthington in it."

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