‘Wrath of the Titans’ nothing but pretty pictures
Editor’s note: This review first was published March 30, 2012.
You would think a movie titled “Wrath of the Titans” would include wrathful Titans. Instead, what moviegoers get will leave them wrathful, wondering how exactly one scene leads to the next, how plot lines blends with each other and why they felt they just watched the wannabe theatrical version of “God of War.” The saddest part: It’s still better than “Clash of the Titans,” its 2010 predecessor.
Epitomizing market value over artistic (or intelligent) value, “Wrath” takes a decidedly “300”-esque view on Grecian history, following in the tracks of “Clash.” It’s not enough Greek mythology is a hotbed of stories just ripe for the silver screen. No, it seems directors (this time Jonathan Liebesman, “Battle Los Angeles”) feel the need to exaggerate already far-fetched tales with bloodless battles, useless love stories and mythology no one has ever heard of.
So, with nowhere to go but up after “Clash,” “Wrath” better utilizes 3-D technology, has a tad more interesting script and brings together the best actors from the one installment. And no, that’s not referring to Sam Worthington, who still has the emotive IQ of a mannequin.
This time, Kraken-slayer Perseus (Worthington), after declining an invitation to become a god by his father, Zeus (Liam Neeson), is living a simple life as a fisherman, with his young son, Helius, in tow. But, with all Grecian story lines, peace never lasts. It seems humans have been negligent in their praying duties, in turn sapping the gods of their otherworldly power. Because of this, the walls of Tartarus are crumbling, coming dangerously close to releasing Kronos, the destructive father of the gods.
Zeus informs Perseus of the dilemma, but to no avail. It only takes Hades (Ralph Fiennes) joining the fray by teaming up with Zeus’ son Ares (Edgar Ramirez) to kidnap Zeus for Perseus to realize the danger the world is in.
The nefarious duo bring the bound god to the depths of Tartarus so Kronos, long sealed in this hellish prison, can drain the last of his godly powers and break loose from his chains.
Well, that doesn’t sit well Perseus, who, along with fellow half-deity Agenor (Toby Kebbell) and warrior-queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), set off on what aims to be an epic quest to rescue Zeus and save the world from certain damnation.
The plot, similar enough to other Grecian tales involving the Titans, travels down a road both confusing and mind-numbing.
There’s a labyrinth, some Cyclops, a handful of Makhai and Cronos himself, a CGI-creation of lava and guttural vocalizations. The plot jumps from a reluctant hero to a Grecian hero to a father-son dynamic to an all-out war to a love story to … You see the point.
But hey, “Wrath” does deserve this: For the most part, it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Which is a godsend, because you’ll laugh more often than the director probably wanted.
But, as theater patrons succinctly noted, no one watches these types of movies for the plot. Instead, as with the recent “Immortals,” it’s all about the action being rendered in beautiful 3-D. And “Wrath” is nothing if not visually pleasing.
So, “Wrath” is an improvement of “Clash,” but it’s kind of like comparing “Twilight” with “New Moon.” Yeah, the latter is better than the former, but it doesn’t make you feel any better for watching it.
One godless star out of five.