Posts Tagged ‘hitchhiking through ancient greece on a horse with wings’

Furia de Titanes

April 13, 2010

Financed and produced entirely in Latin America, this new epic saga from French director Louis Leterrier makes the unusual decision to focus on Ancient Greece. Devotees of that cruel mistress History, however, need not fear, for the film is historically accurate and what’s more is a thoroughly gripping yarn to boot.

El Krakeno, played by Tony Hart's Morph in 1981

Attempting to cover the full plethora of Greek mythology (mythology is the same as history, right?) would be a foolhardy and impossible task and only a mad Frenchman with a budget of $125million would be crazy enough to try. Which is handy. Indeed Leterrier achieves just that, covering every single episode found within Hans Christian Anderson’s Greek Myths and Other True Stories and a few more tall tales that no one knew about an’ all.

All good documentaries need a hero and Furia de Titanes has them in spades. There is none more heroic , however, than Ricardo Miguel Perseuso, played by Sam Worthington  –  a man with a name so unbefitting of Hollywood it is a wonder he wasn’t physically drummed out of the Actors Guild by a bunch of thespians brandishing a Big Book of Names.

Sam Worthington on set of Furia de Titanes

For reasons that are never properly explained in the film (perchance they are lost in the mists of time) Perseuso has to travel around fighting monsters in a dress. Since he has to cover large distances his mode of transportation is a bus. That is until he runs into Pegasus the flying horse, voiced here by Liam Neeson. Pegasus serves not only as a more equestrian alternative to the vengabus employed by Perseuso previously, but he also provides the comic relief in what is otherwise a heavy and blood-encrusted thriller. This is in no small part thanks to the talents of Neeson, who infamously cut his chops on the stand up circuit of Lima, Peru. It was here that he acquired his now famous Latino accent that has made him so much cash and bagged him so much gringo tang.

Ralph Fiennes has the somewhat daunting task of playing all the women in the film (in a stylistic nod to the custom of the time), but it is one which he hurls himself into with such vigour that this scribe quite forgot that twixt her silky legs, Hera was in fact in possession of a titan of her own.

Jason Flemyng turns in a decent enough performance as Jose Hernandez, king of the gods and he is amiably supported by Danny Huston as Jose Maria Moreno, god of the sea; Leonard Nimoy as all of the Roman gods (about the only time the celluloid version differs from the Greek original); and finally a nice pair of trousers, which phones in a performance as Hades, god of the underworld.

All the usual suspects are also present and correct: Maria Lopez, the gorgon with snakes for hair; Senorita Aphrodite the whore of Babylon; and el Krakeno, a sort of big South American octopus with a bad attitude. Since this is a remake of the 1981 stop-motion plasticine classic (starring Wallace and Grommit as Zeus and Hades) we all know what happens at the very end  –  i.e. a giant singsong on mount Olympus, located at the heart of the Andes.  But suffice to say that the climactic final battle, populated by countless CGI Mexicans, a realistic chupacabras and employing some 900 million Inca extras, was so breathtaking I genuinely pebble-dashed my pants right in the middle of the cinema from sheer joy. Or at least I would have done had I gone to see it.

I give this film 12 tasks of Hercules.