Fey centaurs. A Jason recently transplanted from Venice Beach, California. Cheesy dialogue. Dennis Hopper. These and other absurdities are mildly distracting during NBC’s three-hour shields-and-spears epic, but it takes Herculean forces to blunt the impact (and entertainment value) of Greek myth. The story starts in the kingdom of Ioleus in 2000 BC, just as the good king Aeson (Ciaran Hinds) is assassinated by his treacherous brother Pelias (Dennis Hopper). Jason, pre-teen heir to the throne and also next in line for his uncle’s knife, is spirited away to safety by a courageous palace guard (Mark Lewis Jones). A decade later, the exiled prince (Jason London), who has been kept in the dark about his identity, learns from a chatty centaur (Hugh Quarshie) that he is meant for greater things than a quiet life in the country. Jason lights off for Ioleus to find his mother (Diana Kent) who's now married to her husband’s killer and to reclaim his birthright. Pelias, a paranoid despot obsessed with seizing a legendary magical relic called the Golden Fleece, captures his nephew but sets him free when Jason promises to undertake the dangerous quest for the fleece. After assembling a rag-tag crew that includes such mythical favorites as Hercules (Brian Thompson) and Orpheus (Adrian Lester), Jason sets sail for an adventure bedeviled by peevish titans, man-skewering distaff warriors, a giant armored bull, and the impetuous machinations of the gods. The performances are at times hilarious and dopey: Angus MacFadyen plays Zeus as though he were a preening, permed new-age sex symbol; and Dennis Hopper sometimes forgets to disguise his Californian cadences. But acting is almost irrelevant when you have a story this good and enough cool special effects to keep eyes trained on the screen. Besides, as anyone who has seen CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981) can attest, a little cheese never hurt a mythological adventure movie.
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- Released: 2000
- Rating: NR
- Review: Fey centaurs. A Jason recently transplanted from Venice Beach, California. Cheesy dialogue. Dennis Hopper. These and other absurdities are mildly distracting during NBC’s three-hour shields-and-spears epic, but it takes Herculean forces to blunt the impac… (more)