Making the Grades
In Clash of the Titans we are introduced to a Greek society that immediately puts to rest any debate about these ancients having superior intellectual abilities. When a king proclaims over a grand banquet that the city of Argos will no longer be at the mercy of the gods, bad things immediately begin to happen.
Arriving in a whirling dervish of black smoke effects and causing massive property damage, Hades (Ralph Fiennes), ruler of the underworld, demands their obeisance by threatening to unleash upon them a huge beast known as the Kraken. As well, he wants to be appeased by having the king sacrifice his lovely daughter, Andromeda (Alexa Davalos).
During his impromptu visit, the lord of hell reveals the true identity of an insignificant interloper at the dinner too. Perseus (Sam Worthington), who was orphaned as a baby and raised by a local fisherman, is really the son of Zeus (Liam Neeson). The young man was the result of a liaison between the thunder god and a human woman (in a flashback we briefly see his mother’s bare shoulders after the moment of conception). Apparently, having Zeus’s offspring mingling with mortals who are determined to usurp their superiors presents another problem for the dastardly deity who doesn’t want Perseus lending any of his godly powers to their cause.
And he has good reason to be concerned, for although the demigod refuses to use his advantage unfairly, he does side with the mortals. Teaming up with a group of men, along with a beautiful guide named Io (Gemma Arterton), Perseus and his pals set off to save the city and the gorgeous girl. The rebels also chose to ignore the fact that Hades and the other gods are capable of crushing them with the bat of an eyelash.
Abundant battles with spectacular effects follow this Tolkien-like quest that leads the warriors into combat with giant scorpions, strange creatures made of cindered wood, faceless witches and Medusa—a serpent like woman whose stare turns flesh to stone.
The well-trod plot and completely predictable conclusion may leave adults feeling they have seen this scenario many times previously. Yet, while the film’s violence may be a concern for pre-teens (there is a decapitation, a dismemberment, and various sword and weapons violence), the carnage is not explicit. The movie tries to balance these concerns by using only two mild profanities and including no sexual content other than Perseus’ illegitimate birth. For some, those considerations may make Clash of the Titans a suitable choice for teens looking for adventure at the theater. Even better, the concept will probably feel far more "fresh" to a 15-year-old.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Clash of the Titans.
Ever wonder about some of the details writers and directors take into consideration to ensure a movie doesn’t get an R-rating? In this film, they decided to make the blood look black, hoping that would secure a lower rating. Do you think things like the color of blood should make a difference in a film’s rating? What other decisions may have been made so Clash of the Titans didn’t receive an R-rating?