Clash of the Titans tells the story of Perseus (Sam Worthington). Perseus is the son of Zeus, but has been adopted and brought up by a fisherman (Peter Postlethwaite) and his family. Perseus’s adoptive family is destroyed by Argos soldiers, and Perseus is captured and taken back to the city of Argos.
Hades (Ralph Fiennes) is King of the Underworld. His anger is roused when King Kepheus compares the beauty of his daughter, Princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos), to that of the goddess Aphrodite. Hades demands that the Princess Andromeda be sacrificed to the Kraken (a fierce 200-foot monster created by Hades) in 10 days. If the sacrifice doesn’t take place, Hades will destroy Argos.
A mysterious, immortal woman named Io (Gemma Arterton) has been watching over Perseus his entire life. She convinces Perseus that killing the Kraken will enable him to destroy Hades and avenge the death of his family. Perseus sets off on this quest, along with Io and a group of soldiers led by Draco (Mads Mikkelsen). Along the way, they encounter hideous Stygian witches, magical humanoid sand creatures called Djinn, giant scorpions, and the Medusa, a giant snake with a woman’s torso in place of the snake’s head.
Greek mythology; revenge
There is stylised action fantasy violence throughout this movie. For example:
- Flying demon-like creature attack a group of soldiers. They pick the soldiers up with their talons and throw them to the ground. Hades appears and throws a large ball of fire at a fishing boat containing Perseus, his father, mother and sister. All four sink with the boat. Perseus’s father, mother and sister drown. Perseus sees his father trapped in the boat and watches his father as he drowns.
- A soldier strikes Perseus hard across the face.
- Strands of black smoke swirl into a banquet room. They form a ball of fire that sucks in several screaming soldiers. Meanwhile, soldiers beat Perseus, punching him in the stomach. They threaten Perseus by holding him over a fire.
- A man talks about murdering his wife and her unborn child.
- We hear about a god raping a woman.
- Two soldiers are standing in a forest. There is a crunching sound, and one of the soldiers is stabbed through the back. Shadowy images of the attacker are shown followed by a quick glimpse of the second soldier being torn apart and the pieces being thrown away. No blood and gore is depicted. The attacker bites Perseus on the arm, spitting out a piece of flesh. The attacker also impales several soldiers on a sword and crushes the skulls of others with his bare hands. The attacker’s hand is cut off. It lies on the ground with blood dripping from the wound.
- Giant scorpions attack Perseus and several soldiers. The scorpions use their giant claws to pick up soldiers and throw them through the air. A soldier is impaled on the tip of the scorpion’s tail and then slammed to the ground. No blood and gore is shown.
- A soldier stabs a scorpion in the mouth. The scorpion vomits green goo over the soldier. Later we see Perseus covered in green goo, breaking his way out from inside one of the scorpions.
- A man places his hand into a fire. The hand is shown blackened and smouldering to a crowd of people.
- A seven-foot tall humanoid creature wrapped in cloth uses supernatural powers to knock down several soldiers.
- When Perseus and his men confront the Medusa, three of the soldiers are knocked from a ledge into a pit of lava. One soldier is shot through the chest with a bow and arrow. The head of the arrow protrudes from the man’s back. The soldier breaks off the arrow, and we see some blood.
- Several soldiers look at the Medusa and are instantly turned to stone.
- The Medusa wraps a humanoid creature in her tail and the creature explodes.
- Perseus severs the Medusa’s head from her body.
- A man impales a woman through the back on a sword. The tip of the sword protrudes from her chest, and she is lifted into the air and thrown.
- Perseus impales the same man through the chest.
- The Kraken is a 200-foot monster. It lunges at a woman who is tied between two stone pillars. The Kraken looks as if he is about to eat the woman. Before this happens, Perseus holds up the Medusa’s head in front of it. The creature turns to stone.
Content that may disturb children
In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie contains some scenes that could scare or disturb children under 13. For example:
- Hades takes shapes out of the smoke and uses his powers to make a woman age instantly. The skin on her face bubbles and blackens, and she ends up dead on the floor.
- A man standing on a cliff is struck by lighting. We see his burned flesh. Later we see the same man with horrific burn deformities to his face and head. The skin on top of the man’s head is peeled back to show disfigured flesh underneath.
- A black cloud swirls up from the ocean and transforms into several winged demons with mouths full of large pointy teeth.
- A black cloud changes into the god Hades.
- A severed hand reanimates and crawls away, turning into a giant scorpion. Drops of blood spilled on the ground turn into giant scorpions.
- There are many images of humanoid creatures bound in cloth wrappings that resemble Egyptian mummies. The creatures’ skin resembles tree bark. They have yellow rotting teeth and blue glowing eyes. One of these creatures opens his chest to reveal his beating heart.
- After being stung on the arm by a giant scorpion, Perseus’s arm begins to take on a blackish mummified appearance. The veins in his arm turn black and stand out.
- Hundreds of children are shown lying in the streets of Argos, apparently starving.
- The Stygian witches are three hideous ancient women with grotesque eyeless heads and mouths full of sharp rotting teeth. One of the witches holds a magical eyeball in her hand. It looks like it’s been freshly plucked from someone’s head. Several human skeletons lie on the ground.
- When Perseus goes to the Underworld, he encounters a grim reaper-like ferryman. This character looks like a grotesque skeleton with flesh and muscles entwined with the ferry itself. Animated corpses appear to be pulling the ferry through the water.
- The Medusa resembles a giant snake with a woman’s torso in place of the snake’s head. The woman’s torso is covered with snake-like scales. In place of hair, the woman’s head is covered in live snakes. Her face changes from pretty to snakelike. She has red glowing eyes and a mouth with large fangs. She moves extremely fast and has a spiked tail capable of impaling men. She fires a bow and kills several men. She can turn everyone who looks at her into stone.
- The Kraken is a 200-foot monster with numerous tentacle-like arms, a grotesque head, and mouth full of large, sharp, fang-like teeth.
- Men ride on top of giant scorpions.
Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this movie.
There is a reference to one of the gods ‘taking’ a woman on the floor.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
This movie shows characters drinking wine from goblets. Princes Andromeda’s father tells her to drink something, saying, ‘It might make you more lively’.
Nudity and sexual activity
This movie contains some nudity and sexual activity. For example:
- Women who seem to be prostitutes wear low-cut dresses and show bare shoulders. They hang over a balcony and proposition men in a suggestive way.
- Zeus changes his appearance to look like a woman’s husband and climbs on to a bed and on top of the woman. The image stops, but the narration tells us that Zeus deceives the woman and has sex with her.
- While engaged in sword practice with a woman, Perseus pins the woman to the ground in a sensual way.
This movie contains some low-level coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Clash of the Titans is a fantasy action adventure movie targeted at younger adolescent boys. This movie doesn’t have much in terms of character, story development or action to hold the interest of most adults or even older adolescents. It has no memorable performances, although Sam Worthington’s performance is the best of a bad lot.
The main messages from this movie are about valuing your own humanity, and fighting for the love of your family.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include family love and sacrificing yourself to save the lives of others.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues such as the effects of being vain and self-centred on other people as well as yourself.