Movie Review: Clash of the Titans
Clash of the Titans (2010, Louis Leterrier) is a reactionary film which promotes compradorism and lackeyism in the main, as well as white supremacy and patriarchy.
In the movie, people abandon the gods of Greek mythology, thus incurring their wrath. Perseus (Sam Worthington), the mortal son of Zeus, is chosen to lead a campaign to stop an impending assault by the ancient monster, the Kraken, on the port city of Argos.
Perseus’s journey is long. It is assumed he’s fighting the gods themselves. However, by the end of the film we see Perseus siding with one faction of the gods, represented by Zeus, against another, led by Hades. Rather than overthrow the gods in the entirety, Perseus reinforces their lofty position and remains on earth as a demi-god amongst men.
The “gods” of Clash of the Titans can be seen as representing what the masses must revolt against: capitalist-imperialism and the First World itself. Perseus thus is akin to any number of supposed rebels who cut deals and hold back the whole struggle. As in the film, such people are aided by that which they nominally stand against and rewarded with positions of authority for helping preserve the overall system. By the end of the movie, like many of the struggles of the past, nothing has changed. In fact, Perseus’ campaign ends the revolt against the gods and returns people to their subordinate position. The main character is revealed to be not a rebel but a more effective lackey. Despite the film’s seemingly distant setting and apolitical nature, such ideas defeat social revolutions and subjugate people under continued imperialist exploitation.
The film is reactionary in other ways as well. All of the characters are White, alluding to an overall chauvinism on the part of the filmmaker and audience. Likewise, for his task of only opposing a faction of the gods in service to another, Perseus is awarded Io (Gemma Arteton), a youthful-looking girl who previously guided Perseus but was killed over the course of the journey. All and all, this film is irredeemable.
In the First World, social conflict is non-antagonistic, thus reformism and cutting deals makes sense. However, for the Third World masses, social struggles are matters of life and death. Selling out is an act of treason to oppressed peoples. Underneath Clash of the Titans is a political stance which lauds the ascendency of compradors and the continuing oppression and abject poverty of billions of people. There is no good faction of imperialism or the First World for the broad masses. It must all be overthrown.