Every Clash Of The Titans Movie Ranked From Worst To Best

How do the Clash of the Titans movies rank, from worst to best? Among the mythological heroes of ancient Greece, Perseus stands as one of the most revered as the son of the oft-adapted king of the gods, Zeus. Clash of the Titans told the legend of Perseus on the big screen in 1981, though it naturally put its own spin on his tale with extensive use of stop-motion effects.

Clash of the Titans was later remade in 2010, retaining the original's title with emerging star Sam Worthington tackling the role of Perseus. The success of Clash of the Titans led to its 2012 sequel Wrath of the Titans, with Worthington reprising his role as Perseus in an epic battle against the Titans. Though a third film, Revenge of the Titans, was initially planned, Wrath of the Titans' box office underperformed and unfortunately led to its cancellation.

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All three films in the Clash of the Titans franchise are big on action and adventure, providing fun rides for lovers of both. The two modern entries also helped propel Sam Worthington's post-Avatar career. While the long time span between the original Clash of the Titans and its modern successors places them on different plains in terms of tone and feel, that individuality is a feature rather than a bug for the franchise.

The original Clash of the Titans has become dated in the four decades since its release, but that also plays a key part in its lasting entertainment value. Directed by Desmond Davies, Clash of the Titans follows the adventures of Perseus (Harry Hamlin), learning of his heritage as the son of Zeus (Laurence Olivier), marrying Andromeda (Judi Bowker), and meeting his epic destiny as a Greek hero. Clash of the Titans made quite an impact in 1981, with its use of stop-motion effects groundbreaking for their time, bringing to life giant scorpions, the Medusa, the Kraken, a mechanical Owl, and other creatures. While a world removed from the CGI dominance of today's blockbusters, Clash of the Titans' stop-motion effects are perhaps the most enduring element of the film and plenty of reason to revisit it as a time capsule experience.

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The sets and ambitious scale of the film have a similar dynamic, with their early '80s feel giving Clash of the Titans a distinct quality that modern effects might be able to surpass but which they cannot replicate. The operatic tone and performances of Harry Hamlin as Perseus and Laurence Olivier as the commanding god Zeus also add to the charm of Clash of the Titans making it a fun journey of nostalgia. Seen on its own terms as a carefree fantasy B-movie adventure with stop-motion at the top of its game, Clash of the Titans remains a mythological delight.

Riding high off of the record-breaking success of Avatar, Sam Worthington continued his break-out with Clash of the Titans in April 2010. As mankind begins to develop a rift with the gods of Olympus, Hades (Ralph Fiennes) threatens doom upon the city of Argos. It falls to Perseus (Worthington), the son of Zeus, and his assembled compatriots to retrieve the only weapon capable of stopping the monstrous Kraken, the head of the Medusa. As a byproduct of its box-office success, Clash of the Titans also became the poster child for the post-Avatar 3D cash grab affixed to practically every CGI-heavy movie with its infamously terrible 3D conversion. Setting that aside and looking at the movie itself, Clash of the Titans is great fun as a fantasy adventure in ancient Greece.

Sam Worthington was born for reluctant hero roles like Perseus, and Clash of the Titans updates its 1981 predecessor with plenty of captivating set pieces of monsters and ancient sorcerers. The Medusa herself (Natalia Vodianova) is one of the best iterations of the ancient snake-haired villainess ever realized, and the fast pace of the film's quest-driven movie keeps the story engaging. In the role of Zeus, action star Liam Neeson is forever remembered for his commanding utterance of "Release the Kraken!", which became an overnight internet meme before the movie had even hit theaters. A very worthy modern take on the legend of Perseus, Clash of the Titans is a well-oiled popcorn machine with a very well-realized Kraken. Avoid the sloppy 3D conversion, and Clash of the Titans' strengths remain undiluted.

Set a decade after Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans shows Perseus raising his son Heleus (John Bell), only to find himself called back to duty by Zeus when mankind's shaking faith in the Olympian gods threatens to unleash to caged Titan Kronos, with Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) and Agenor (Toby Kebbell) also joining the mission. Jonathan Liebesman, who later directed the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot, takes over for original director Louis Letterier, while Worthington shows he's really grown into the role of Perseus as a warrior when he's called to be a hero and a kindhearted man just wanting a normal life for himself and his son. Worthington and Neeson's chemistry also shifts from their largely dysfunctional father-son dynamic in Clash of the Titans to a much closer loving bond between the two.

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Wrath of the Titans' clearly learned its lesson from the terrible 3D of its predecessor and delivered a far more worthwhile 3D conversion for its 2012 release. Even without that, Wrath of the Titans' action-packed story steps on the gas from its predecessor with a bigger scale, bigger stakes, and bigger monsters like the lava-hurling Kronos. Wrath of the Titans is a lot more physically down to Earth in other ways for Perseus, such as in his bruising final showdown with the Olympian god of war Ares (Edgar Ramirez), and that more refined combination of CGI and grounded action makes Wrath of the Titans an even more impactful experience. While the sequel was sadly was not followed up with Revenge of the Titans as originally planned, the movie absolutely gives its adventure-hungry audience their money's worth. In the big-screen re-tellings of the mythical adventures of Perseus, Wrath of the Titans is the best of the Clash of the Titans franchise.

NEXT: Clash of the Titans 3 Updates: Is It Still Happening

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