Australian Council on Children and the Media

Clash of the Titans

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Short takes

Not recommended under 13 (Viol. Scary images, Sexual references)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Clash of the Titans
  • a review of Clash of the Titans completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 1 April 2010.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 13 Not recommended due to frequent fantasy action violence, horror movie-style visual images and sexual references.
Children over the age of 13 OK for children over the age of 13.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Clash of the Titans
Classification: M
Consumer advice lines: Fantasy violence
Length 106 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Clash of the Titans tells the story of Perseus (Sam Worthington), who is actually the son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), but has been adopted and brought up by a fisherman (Peter Postlethwaite) and his family. Perseus’ adoptive family is destroyed by Argos soldiers and Perseus is captured and taken back to the city of Argos. The wrath of Hades, King of the Underworld (Ralph Fiennes) is invoked when King Kepheus compares the beauty of his daughter, Princess Andromeda (Alexa Davalos), to that of the goddess Aphrodite. Hades demands that either the Princess Andromeda be sacrificed to the Kraken (a fierce 200 foot monster created by Hades) in ten days time, or Argos will be destroyed.

A mystery woman named Io (Gemma Arterton), who is an immortal and has been watching over Perseus his entire life, 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). They encounter the hideous Stygian Witches, magical sand creatures called Djinn, giant scorpions and Medusa, a giant snake with a woman’s torso in place of the snake’s head.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Greek Mythology, revenge

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is stylised action fantasy violence throughout this movie including:

  • 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 with all four sinking 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 coming together to form a ball of fire which then sucks in a number of soldiers (we hear the soldiers screaming). We see soldiers beating Perseus punching him in the stomach and then threatening him by holding Perseus over a fire before they are stopped.
  • We hear a man talking about murdering his wife and her unborn child.
  • We hear about a god raping a woman.
  • Two soldiers are standing in a forest, we hear a crunching sound and see that one of the soldiers has been 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 thrown away; no blood and gore is depicted. The attacker bites Perseus on the arm spitting out the bitten off piece of flesh, impales a number of soldiers with a sword and crushes the skulls of other with his bare hands. The attacker’s hand is cut off and we see it lying on the ground with blood dripping from the wound.
  • Perseus and several soldiers are attacked by several giant scorpions. The scorpions use their giant claws to pick up soldiers and throw them through the air. A soldier is impaled through the back by a spike on the tip of the scorpion’s tail and then slammed to the ground; although no blood and gore is depicted.
  • A soldier stabs a scorpion in the mouth and the scorpion vomits green goo over the soldier. Later we see Perseus, covered in green goo, break his way out from inside one of the scorpions.
  • A man places his hand into the flames of a fire, and the hand is shown blackened and smouldering to a crowd of people.
  • A seven foot tall humanoid-like creature wrapped in cloth uses supernatural powers to knock down several soldiers.
  • When Perseus and his men confront Medusa, three of the soldiers are knocked from a ledge into a pit of lava. One soldier is shot through the chest with and arrow, with the head of the arrow protruding from the man’s back. The soldier breaks off the arrow protruding from his chest; with some blood shown.
  • A number of soldiers look upon the Medusa and are instantly turned to stone.
  • The Medusa wraps a humanoid creature in her tail and the creature explodes.
  • Perseus severs Medusa’s head from her body.
  • A man impales a woman through the back with a sword; the tip of the sword protrudes from her chest and she is lifted into the air and thrown.
  • A short time later Perseus impales the same man through the chest.
  • The Kraken is a two hundred foot monster, shown lunging at a woman, who is tied between two stone pillars. The Kraken looks as if he is about to eat the woman. Before he can, Perseus holds up the Medusa’s head in front of it and the creature turns to stone. 

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of thirteen, including the following:

  • Hades materialises out of the smoke and uses his powers to make a woman age instantly we see the skin on her face bubble and blacken hear it burning and then see her lying dead on the floor.
  • A man standing on a cliff is struck by lighting; and we see his burned flesh. Later we see the same man with horrific burn deformities to his face and head as a result of the lighting strike. The skin on top of the man’s head is pealed back revealing disfigured flesh underneath.
  • A black cloud swirls up from the ocean and transforms into a number of winged demons with mouths full of large pointy teeth
  • During another scene, a similar black cloud transforms into the god Hades.
  • A severed hand reanimates and crawls away turning into a giant scorpion. Drops of blood spilt 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’ arm begins to take on a blackish mummified appearance with the veins in his arm turning black and standing 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 that appears as though freshly plucked from someone’s head. We see a number of human skeletons strewn across the ground.
  • When Perseus goes to the Underworld he encounters a grim reaper-like ferryman, who 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.
  • 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 and in place of hair the woman’s head is covered in live snakes. Medusa’s face changes from pretty to snakelike with red glowing eyes and a mouth containing large fangs. She moves extremely fast has a spiked tail capable of impaling men, she fires a bow killing a number of men and is able turns all who look at her to stone.  
  • The Kraken is a giant two hundred 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.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

None of concern

Product placement

None

Sexual references

One of the gods “taking” (raping) a woman on the floor is mentioned.

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • women wearing low cut dresses and displaying bare shoulders hang over a balcony propositioning men in a suggestive manner. The inference is that the woman were prostitutes.
  • The god Zeus changes his appearance to resemble a woman’s husband and climbs on the bed and on top of the woman. The image is stopped, but narration continues that Zeus deceives the woman and has sex with her.
  • While engaged in sword practice with a woman, Perseus manages to pin the woman to the ground in an implied sensual manner. 

Use of substances

There was some drinking of wine from goblets. Princes Andromeda’s father tells her to drink something telling her “It might make you more lively”

Coarse language

There is some low-level coarse language, including:

  • hell
  • bitch
  • bastard.

In a nutshell

Clash of the Titans is a fantasy, action, adventure film targeted at younger adolescent males. There is little in the film in terms of either character, story development or hardcore action to hold the interest of most adults or even older adolescents. The film contains no memorable performances with Sam Worthington’s performance the best of a bad bunch.   .

The main messages from this movie are:

  • the importance of one’s own humanity
  • that love for one’s family is worth fighting for.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • sacrificing oneself to save the lives of others.
  • family love

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as the effects that being vain and self centred can have on others as well as oneself.

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