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Clash of the Titans
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Clash of the Titans is a remake of a 1981 film about characters that kids might be familiar with from Greek mythology -- like Perseus (Sam Worthington) and Zeus (Liam Neeson). It features bigger, louder, and faster visual effects than parents might remember from the original and the 3-D effects up the action's intensity. The CGI monsters are often frightening. The movie is filled with fantasy violence, including some blood and fighting with swords or bows and arrows that sometimes result in death and dismemberment. There are a few mildly gory scenes featuring charred bodies and a decapitation. There is some very minor language ("bitch" and "bastard") and some scenes of sensuality -- with more innuendo than action.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Perseus (Sam Worthington), the half-human son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), lives life as a simple fisherman with his mother and adoptive father. When mankind declares war on the gods, his family is killed and he vows his revenge against Hades (Ralph Fiennes), who seethes with revenge after soldiers destroy some statues. Unfortunately, in order to get to Hades, he must first defeat the mighty Kraken, a monster that will be unleashed in 10 days by the vengeful Zeus. Accompanied by soldiers from Argos, Perseus embarks on a mission to find his secret weapon, crossing paths with giant scorpions, witches, the ferryman to the underworld, and finally, Medusa herself. But can he get back to Argos before the princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos) is sacrificed to the Kraken?
Is it any good?
This remake retains most of the wooden characters and stiff dialogue from the original, but also replaces the charming, old-fashioned visual effects with noisy, fast-moving, computer-generated ones. All of this fast-paced action might appeal to modern-day kids who will be more interested in the scary monsters and brutal battle scenes than the dull acting, muddled message, and poorly executed 3-D.
The Greek myths have long been a source of drama in literature and film, and this film continues in that tradition -- using the conflict between the needy, jealous, and vain gods and the more noble men as a metaphor for man's struggle with his own good and bad tendencies. Kids eat this stuff up, and though some will find the film lacking on several levels, older kids who can handle the violence and scares might be inspired to learn more about mythology and ancient history.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the behavior of gods and humans. Are humans more loving and compassionate toward their fellow man? Why are the gods so selfish and badly behaved? Can you connect any of the movie's messages about humankind to real life? What do you think the movie was trying to say about people?
Which monsters in the film were the scariest? What was scary about them? What else besides how the monsters looked make them scary? How did the noise and music affect how you felt about the monsters?
Is the relationship between gods and men in this movie anything like the relationship between parents and children? What do you know about Greek mythology? Did this movie make you want to find out more?
Why would Perseus refuse to use the magic sword his father gave him? Would you do the same thing in his place?
- In theaters: April 1, 2010
- On DVD or streaming: July 27, 2010
- Cast: Gemma Arterton, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Sam Worthington
- Director: Louis Leterrier
- Studio: Warner Bros.
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Run time: 118 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief sensuality
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