WRATH OF THE TITANS
*** (out of 5)
March 30, 2012
Sam Worthington as PERSEUS
Liam Neeson as ZEUS
Ralph Fiennes as HADES
Edgar Ramirez as ARES
Toby Kebbell as AGENOR
Rosamund Pike as ANDROMEDA
Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman
BY KEVIN CARR
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Two years ago, when Warner Bros. released the remake of “Clash of the Titans,” I disagreed with many critics. I enjoyed the movie, damn it. Because as much as I dearly love the original 1981 Ray Harryhausen effects-driven adventure, but I also recognize how dated it is now. I don’t put it on a pedestal, and having recently watched it again, I realize there are some crazy flaws in it.
The remake wasn’t perfect, but it was fun. I was even okay with the 3D conversion, which I’ll admit is not terribly well done. To me, that was all part of the spectacle of a movie with a flying horse, a gorgon and a giant freaking scorpion battle.
So I was really looking forward to “Wrath of the Titans.” The initial trailers made it look pretty cool, even though it was wrapped up with an out-of-place Marilyn Manson song. But considering my enjoyment of both the original and the remake of “Clash of the Titans,” I was hopeful.
And then I saw the movie.
And I was kind of disappointed.
It’s not that I hated the film. It’s also not that “Wrath of the Titans” didn’t deliver on the things that it promised. It just failed to wow me, which was something that happened to different degrees with the other two films.
The story takes place ten years after Perseus defeated the Kraken and saved humanity. He has moved on with his life, refusing a place on Mount Olympus and pursuing a simple life as a fisherman, raising his son. However, his papa Zeus shows up one day to let him know that there’s trouble on Olympus. The titans (who ruled the world before the gods) are restless and ready to escape. Because people have stopped praying to the gods, they are losing their powers and are now vulnerable to the titans. Perseus must find his cousin, the son of Poseidon, to stop the titan Cronos from escaping the underworld.
All the elements are there for a cool film. There’s a hero’s quest. There’s plenty of CGI mythology monsters. There’s plenty of things getting blowed up.
Even the 3D conversion on this sequel is far better than that of its predecessor. That makes sense, considering the technology and more importantly the expertise at this has had two years to season.
But there’s certain things lacking, mostly in terms of character and plot. Like many sequels, there’s too much of an effort to bring back elements from the previous film, most notably Rosamund Pike as Andromeda, who is now a fierce leader (who remarkably never wears armor and only suffers minor scratches in blood-thirsty battles).
Allegedly there’s sexual tension between Perseus and Andromeda, but you wouldn’t know it from the complete lack of chemistry between the two actors. I blame Sam Worthington for this more than Pike, considering Worthington has been in some of the biggest movie franchises of all time and failed to be anything more than a pretty face.
The action sequences, while cool to watch a times, lack the charm of the original film or the remake. They’re not terrible, mind you. They’re just derivative of other films (particularly the “Clash” from two years ago). The camera movement is too busy to hold up in the 3D environment. And finally, there are bat-shit crazy moments and characters that make little to no sense, in particularly a goofy bit part by Bill Nighy featuring the nonsensical return cameo of Bubo.
In the end, I was mildly entertained. “Wrath of the Titans” isn’t a great movie, and it’s possibly not even a good movie. But I wasn’t expecting anything more. It barely gets a recommendation by the skin of its teeth, but it’s the weakest recommendation I can give it.