Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wrath of the Titans-review

I am a big fan of the original “Clash of the Titans.”  That said, I found the 2010 remake to be unnecessary and lacking any of the heart that gave the original its charm. Two years later a sequel was made. This sequel has much better special effects, but the stilted dialogue and similar storyline bog down its overall potential.
“Wrath of the Titans” begins with Perseus, played again by Sam Worthington, fishing with his 10 year old son, Helius, from his now dead wife Io.  Since folks believe in the gods less and less the gods are loosing their powers and the monsters are escaping Taurtarus. Zeus gets captured by Hades and Ares. The two gods drain his power to revive Kronos, a massive lava being that sounds like Nemesis from the Resident Evil games. With the help of Queen Andromeda, this time played by Rosamund Pike, and his demigod cousin Agenor, Perseus has to save Zeus and gather pieces of a weapon to defeat Kronos. 

To this movie’s credit the effects are a lot better than its predecessor.  You can really tell what the hell is happening and for the most part it looks pretty cool.  There are a lot of unique looking creatures that make for some terrific action scenes. For the first time in a movie the Cyclops were created to be realistic and fierce. The magnitude of Kronos is “in your face” and displays a real sense of threat. More threat than the Krakken did in the first movie.

The story seemed very similar in structure to the first movie.  Basically, a huge creature is coming that threatens all mankind; Perseus and friends can stop it.  They go fight some outlandish creatures and get an item of amazing power and use it to stop said colossal creature.  Add a drop of warrior woman romance and some comic relief and you get a by-the-book “Titans” movie.  It’s the one trick pony.

The worst part of the story line is the motivation of Perseus.  He has no real reason to help Zeus, since the god clearly has all the love for him of a deadbeat dad.  In this story’s logic, just mentioning certain characters are related to you is enough to make you put yourself in life threatening peril.  You’d think that since he is playing the roll of concerned father now he’d put the job on one of the other demigods. “Let Hercules clash with this Titan, Pop!”

The acting is so-so.  Given that the script is pretty lackluster, they at least seem to be going through the motions.  I didn’t find myself really caring much though.  The romance subplot is shoehorned in with all the grace of an ice-pick.  I actually felt more chemistry between Andromeda and Agenor. Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes both reprise their roles of Zeus and Hades respectively.  They are fun to watch and they give the movie a certain level of class that Laurence Olivier and Maggie Smith gave to the original “Clash of the Titans.”

If you enjoyed the first movie you’ll love this one as it is a better movie than the modern “Clash of the Titans”.  The heart of the original doesn’t carry through into this movie. I feel like its missing a lot of the vitality and fun that could have easily been carried over from the original. Visually, it’s a good ride and if that is what you are going for you won’t be disappointed. However, if you demand some substance in your movie then it will leave you hanging. Judging by its merits alone, “Wrath of the Titans” gives the audience a spectacle that, at the very least, makes it worth a rental.

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