Wrath Of The Titans
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Cast: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Rosamund Pike, Ralph Fiennes
Review by Brian M. Sammons
Man did I love me some Clash Of The Titans when I was a kid. Naturally I’m talking about the original from 1981. The stop motion monster effects in it captured my imagination like few things had done before or since. In fact, that movie could be a big reason why I’m such a mythology nerd today. I mean I’ve got a dog named Val (short for Valkyrie) and a cat named Bast after all. And yet with all that said, I really didn’t like the 2010 remake of Clash at all. No it wasn’t the typical kneejerk remake hate, either. I’m not one of those guys who’s automatically opposed to remakes just because they’re remakes. Hell, one of my favorite movies of all time (John Carpenter’s The Thing) is a remake. Now the remake to that remake is another story altogether, but I digress.
I really wanted to love the 2010 remake to one of my childhood classics, but I just couldn’t. Maybe it was the jumbled plot, or Liam Neeson’s seemingly phoned in performance as Zeus the God of Gods, and I won’t lay all the blame at the feet of Sam Worthington who really can’t act to save his life. And I can’t even spit my usual venom at the CGI effects because for the most part they were fine. Heck, some were even very good looking. But if you take all those slight missteps and pile them all together, you’ve got a very ho-hum movie that just left me with a bad taste of ‘meh’ in my mouth. So needless to say I was not overly thrilled at the idea of watching this sequel. But I did my critic’s best to go into this flick with as open a mind as I could. Was I pleasantly surprised, or was my snarky sense of dread confirmed? Well grab your spear, shield, and winged Pegasus and let’s find out.
Wrath picks up some time after Clash with a bit of; “Oh remember that love of Perseus’ (half-god son of Zeus and star of the show) life from the last movie? Yeah she’s not in this sequel so we killed her off between movies. Sorry about that.” Man I hate when sequels do that, but Wrath isn’t the first flick to pull such shenanigans, nor will it be the last. Anyway, Perseus gave up the demigod hero business for the life of a simple fisherman with his son. Unfortunately all too soon big daddy Zeus comes a-callin’, telling his son to watch out for his ungodly grandfather, the titular titan who’s looking for some wrath.
Naturally Perseus plays the reluctant hero until Zeus is betrayed by his bad brother Hades and his whiny, emo, so-not-acting-like-the-god-of-war son, Ares. And when a fire spitting chimera (it’s a cool monster from Greek mythology, look it up) comes to town, its back to the sword, shield, and spear for Perseus as he embarks on an epic quest to save his dad by breaking into the underworld. Not only that but he must save the world from all the wrath that’s coming.
The best thing about this movie is sure not that acting, that while not horrible here, is nothing to write home about. While this is a step backwards in quality for the usually much better Liam Neeson, it is actually an improvement for Sam Worthington. No, what easily makes this movie worth seeing are all the cool monsters. Pegasus, the minotaur, the aforementioned chimera, crazy Siamese twins from Hell (no, really), and more. And then there’s the star of the show. No, not Worthington, I’m talking about Cronus, the head titan and child-eating father of Zeus. This fiery behemoth (if you’ve seen any trailers of this movie, then you’ve seen this guy) is one bad dude and completely outshines the Kraken from the first movie, which certainly wasn’t an easy act to follow. Seeing this mega movie monster come to life is almost worth the price of admission alone.
As for the new home release from Warner Brothers, it is one of those neat triple packs that combine a Blu-ray disc with a DVD with a digital copy, or what Warner calls ‘ultraviolet.’ In addition to the ‘get it your way’ package there are some extras of note. Warner seems to really love their “Maximum Movie Mode” (probably because it’s trademarked) and they rely on it heavily here. However there are two modes to choose from. The “Path of Men” focuses on the filmmakers and is generally a behind the scenes kind of thing. The “Path of the Gods” focuses on the myths, legends, and monsters that focus prominently in the movie. By far, that was my favorite Movie Mode to use. In addition there are a handful of deleted scenes, but none of them are what I’d call mandatory viewing.
Wrath Of The Titans is the quintessential popcorn muncher of a movie. It’s not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, but it was enjoyable and a far better watch than its predecessor. It’s eye candy pure and simple, so if you know that going in, you won’t be disappointed. Just don’t expect more than that.
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