Ray Harryhausen will be proud. The remake to his 1981 cult film has imaginative character work, some great monsters, action scenes with true epic scale, and a great sense of spatial awareness. Unfortunately, the rest of the new film is quite boring and lifeless.
Director Louis Leterrier has no interest in setting up any emotional or thematic context for the many characters he introduces, so much so that if it isn't about the action, he has ruthlessly excised scenes. This means that entire character arcs are missing, and any motivation anybody else except Perseus (Worthington) has is not present.
It's a cool setting - mankind grows tired of the Olympians, and half-man half-God Perseus decides to take the human side and to end their reign. The Olympians are shown in all their colourful glory, complete with jealousy, rage, lust and the complete host of horrible traits that led to the humans rebelling in the first place.
This all reaches us by way of exposition, but nothing is dealt with properly on screen. The beginning of the film that sets this up is boring and uninteresting. When some interesting characters do show up, their arcs are sidelined often and without mercy. Add in some horrible acting by the supporting cast, and Leterrier's got his work cut out.
Fortunately, when it comes to staging action, he is quite adept. The movie has some great action beats, and breathless action sequences strung together like a roller coaster. Imaginatively created monsters and lovingly crafted scopes of those action scenes add to the beauty of things.
When Io (Arterton) joins the proceedings, things get a bit bizarre (she is barely in the film, and sometimes disappears for no good reason), but it truly goes nuts when they reach Mount Olympus. The gods are suitably cheesy and over the top, but Fiennes and Neeson act criminally horribly.
Sam Worthington is actually a surprise. He eschews his stoicism for a rare impish smile, and a lot of human moments when he's taking a beating. The real stars still are the monsters, and I truly enjoyed the Kraken. The scale and the menace is evident from frame one here - as it is with the Scorpions. The Djinn character design looks phenomenal, as do the Stygian witches. There is something to like for all creature movie fans here.
The overall quality of the CGI is pretty solid for these monsters to be effective as well. It must be said that I felt that 2D is a better format to watch this film, as the 3D is post-production - meaning they added stereoscopic imagery after shooting he film the traditional way. This will make your 3D look quite botched.
Regardless, though, the character design and action make it worth the while of a creature fan, but the rest of it is a chore to sit through. This could have been that much better, but instead it is a forgettable, generic action film.