The movie? Well, it's a hollow blockbuster, and has gaps of storytelling large enough the Kraken could fit through it (are you ready for this? Andromeda - the woman who Perseus is essentially saving - is in about five minutes of movie total. The amount of time we spend with her is the amount of time we spend in Argo. And yet, at the end, Perseus risks it all to save her and the city ). Characters make some particularly retarded choices - hey, I figured out how to fight Medusa! Oh, hey, Mads Mikkelsen, just hop on her back and distract her, I'll just watch you turn to stone and be crushed INSTEAD OF ****ING CUTTING THIS GORGON'S HEAD OFF BEFORE SHE DOES THAT TO YOU , but you know what? I had fun.
Sam Worthington doesn't exactly emote much, and has perhaps the most laughable cry of anguish at the end of what amounts to the movie's prologue, but otherwise is completely inoffensive. Gemma Arterton, who turns out to be the female lead of the picture by default, tries incredibly hard to imbue personality into her lines, all of which are exposition, and through this, manages to win you over and keep at least a tiny bit of the hackneyed love story between Io and Perseus believable (thank God, because in a little less than two months, she has to pull this off again with Jake Gyllenhall in Prince of Persia, which might be easier, seeing as Gyllenhall has a personality, where Worthington seems empty without a Cameron to guide him and use that void of emotion to sculpt something meaningful).
Otherwise, you find yourself waiting for Mads Mikkelsen to just prove what a supreme and total badass is and for Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes to just waltz on screen and begin devouring whatever isn't nailed down. They deliver 100%. An early point where Mikkelsen's character (I swear his name is mentioned like once the whole movie, and really early on) teaches Perseus swordplay is almost preposterous in the gap of screen presence and charisma - Mikkelsen is a ****ing star through and through.
The action sequences? Well, they work. It's obviously the place where Letterier knows the ground the best - he adds comedy beats and tiny slivers of character and builds and coalesces the sequences with a sure hand, making things hectic but never making you lost in flurries of cutting and wild camera swipes.
The only issue is, beyond the spectacle of the piece, there's nothing. A generous heaping of sound and fury with no core, emotional or thematic, to bring it all together. Things just happen, sometimes without provocation. There's no real story that was worth hitching this much of a special effects budget to.
I mean, I guess I'd recommend it if you're a huge fan of Quantum of Solace's Strawberry Fields; Arterton just has that sort of smirking tone naturally, it seems, an odd thing to go along with a voice that's the definition of sultry, and it serves her well. I'd recommend it if you really really enjoy Mads Mikkelsen making every other mortal male in the movie look like they're at amateur hour; and, if you're willing to only put up with 10, 15 minutes of Neeson and Fiennes (specifically Fiennes doing Lord of the Underworld with Voldemort's voice), you could definitely see it for them. You could even see it for just the action sequences, although the Kraken sequence is over far too quickly. But they're not enough to give a whole-hearted recommendation whatsoever. You'll walk out, forget the movie existed for the most part, and move on with your life. It's a light snack of a movie.
As for what's going on with the vast majority of screenwriters today: studios don't care about stories, they're looking for a sellable concept or a situation that can be squeezed into a two and a half minute trailer and thirty second TV spots to hit the maximum for the demographic they're aiming for. Beyond that, they could give a damn if the story's anywhere to be found. As soon as your ass is in that seat, their job is done, and they hope they've just got you enough to make you buy the DVD four months from now.
Quentin Tarantino said this on The Treatment back when he went on it for Death Proof: America used to be the best at storytelling. While the rest of the world were maybe better at minutiae or cinematography or characters or dialogue, the place where the stories were told the best were in America. Somewhere along the way, towards the end of the 70s, we began to lose our grip on that and now the American market is primarily pushed by situational films and properties, where the audience is given everything they need to know by the end of the first ten or fifteen minutes and the entire rest of the movie is simply feeding off of that and not adding anything new to that initial situation