The ads for "Clash of the Titans" have trumpeted the film as the next 3D epic. It’s an understandable decision. Audiences wowed by the immersive experience of "Avatar" are hungry for more and it doesn’t hurt the studios bottom line that 3D tickets go for $4-5 more than and old-fashioned 2D show.

Unfortunately director Louis Letterier did not shoot the film with 3D conversion in mind. And the decision to convert the film to 3D was not made until 6 WEEKS AGO. For a reference, it took the technicians who worked on "Alice in Wonderland" 6 months to convert that film using the same process. I can’t imagine the corners that had to be cut to make such a tight deadline.

Instead of making "Clash of the Titans" more involving, the 3D muddles the film’s impressive set and creature designs and makes the frequent action sequences damn near unwatchable.

It’s a shame the 3D is so bad, because on its own terms, "Clash of the Titans" is a fun, gritty take on classic Greek mythology.

Directed by:Louis Leterier
Starring:Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Nesson, Gemma Arterton
Rated: PG-13
Runtime: 106 min.

Zeus (Liam Neeson), who is angry that the citizens of Argo are turning their backs on the Gods, is persuaded by his brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes) to remind them of the order of things. Perseus (Sam Worthington), a mortal son of Zeus, emerges as mankind’s only hope against the powerful forces of Olympus. Perseus is out for revenge, having lost his adoptive family in an attack by Hades and is driven to bring down the Gods.

Aided by the mysterious, sexy and ageless Io (Gemma Arterton) and a collection of Argo’s toughest soldiers (led by the excellent Mads Mikkelsen), Perseus battles giant scorpions, the slithery Medusa and the gigantic sea creature the Kraken.

Worthington, fresh off the massive success of "Avatar," once again proves himself a capable, if unexceptional, leading man. He brings the same masculine, brooding presence he brought to "Avatar" and "Terminator Salvation." While he is always solid, he lacks the charisma and personality to make any role his own. But Worthington again shows his ability to act in the midst of wall-to-wall CGI. Perhaps that makes him the perfect modern leading man. He is never interesting enough to take attention away from all the expensive special effects.

Nothing in the movie proves that Louis Leterrier is ready for the big-time as a director. He seems to lack a strong narrative sense and while he is good at the big establishing shots that introduce his actions sequences, he doesn’t have the feel for making them visceral and exciting. But once the story gets rolling it is hard not to get caught up despite Leterrier’s weaknesses. It was commendable that he used massive sets and on-location shooting for much of the film instead of CGI backgrounds. It lends the fantastical and fairly silly film a grounding in the real world that otherwise would have been lacking.

If you are looking for a fun and well-made action film, "Clash of the Titans" does the job, but ignore the ads to see it in 3D. It’ll save you $4 and will hopefully show the studios that audiences wont put up with shameless money grabs that detract from a film’s quality. I understand that filmmaking is a business, but as 3D ticket prices quickly approach $20 in big cities like Boston and New York it is important we aren’t getting half-assed 3D conversions motivated by profit margins and box office receipts.

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