Despite arriving in April, in many ways "Clash of the Titans" was the first big summer movie of 2010.
The remake of the kitschy 1981 fantasy adventure is fast-paced and slick, with Ray Harryhausen's clunky stop-motion animation critters replaced by sleek computer-generated ones.
Perseus has undergone his own transformation, from Harry Hamlin's feathered-hairdo favorite son of Zeus to a snarling Sam Worthington, buzz-cut and seriously P.O.'d at the gods for using humans as their playthings.
Directed by Louis Leterrier, "Titans" is a mash-up of Greek/Roman mythology so addled, Edith Hamilton must be crying somewhere in Olympus. But the story doesn't have an ounce of fat, and captures the over-the-top fun of the original while dumping most of the schlockier elements.
The story: Zeus (Liam Neeson) and the other gods are furious that humans aren't praying to them like they used to, sapping their strength. He taps the original underworld boss, Hades (Ralph Fiennes), to strike terror into their hearts by threatening to unleash the Kraken, a powerful sea titan.
Perseus, the half-human son of Zeus, must find a way to defeat the Kraken by visiting the Stygian Witches, but not before fighting off some oversized scorpions and running afoul of Calibos, cursed into demon form by the gods.
And Medusa is still out there, in need of a close shave.
Video extras -- at least with the Blu-ray version -- are truly top-notch, providing hours worth of entertaining and insightful peeks behind the camera.
The DVD comes only with deleted scenes, but they're pretty hefty: Totaling about 18 minutes, they include much more intrigue between the gods, which I for one loved about the first film.
The Blu-ray/DVD combo pack comes with a host of other features, including an alternate ending that is much angrier in tone than the theatrical one -- not to mention Perseus ends up with a different lady love.
There's also a featurette on Worthington's growing reputation as the go-to action hero of his generation. "He's better than a stuntman," Leterrier says.
The centerpiece is a "Maximum Movie Mode" that combines 11 featurettes about nearly every aspect of production, plus 40 minutes of picture-in-picture commentary.
One takeaway nugget: Originally, the planned to have Hades as a female character!
A digital copy is included.
Movie: 3 stars out of four
Extras: 3.5 stars