Given the recent success of James Cameron’s Avatar, more and more films will come out in 3D with the hope of mimicking its immersive style of storytelling. Clash of the Titans may be the first of many 3D action epics eager to trade content for visual eye-molestation.

Starring Avatar’s Sam Worthington as Perseus, Clash tells the story of a time when men rose against the Greek gods, whose immortality depended on human worship. They turn to Hades for help, asking the King of the Underworld to frighten the humans into the arms of the gods. Instead, he feeds from humanity’s terror and rises to threaten the gods on Mount Olympus. The only hope for the Gods and Mankind? The demigod Perseus.

To compare the film’s use of 3D to Avatar’s would be an insult to film making. While the visuals establish a depth the plot only grasps at, they fail to make the audience feel surrounded by the scenery. Instead we are treated to run-of-the-mill homoerotic dialogue with matching bravado that would make Leonidas sport wood.

The characters and the story fail to bring anything beyond the bare minimum to the plot. They serve as nothing more than delivery mechanisms for the film’s special effects. At least those do not disappoint. From the larger-than-life gods to the creepy desert-dwellers, the spectacles demonstrate both masterful aesthetics and ill-conceived attempts at original additions to a classical mythology.

More confusing than the patchwork of mythologies is the film’s mixed message, which can’t decide whether power lies in humanity or divinity. In the end, Clash of the Titans adds little to a history of misguided adaptations besides fancy swordplay and art direction.

2 Stars

Directed by: Louis Leterrier

Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes

Rated PG-13, 118 min.