Wrath of the Titans

I am quite a fan of ancient mythology. It actually goes hand-in-hand with my love for movies and the idea of being told a great story. So being very disappointed with the remake of “Clash of the Titans” (2010), I still had faith that “Wrath of the Titans” would deliver on the fun. And in some respects I was right…sort of.

“Wrath of the Titans” takes place 10 years after the events of its predecessor, which was a remake of the 1981 film of the same name. This time, Perseus (Sam Worthington) was called upon by his father, Zeus (Liam Neeson), to help save the world from Hades (Ralph Fiennes) from unleashing evil demons and monsters on the Earth. After Perseus rejected the offer, preferring a life with his 10-year-old son, things took a turn toward chaos.

This was where the heart of the movie really was: chaos. The whole movie was surrounded by the idea of possible oblivion at the hands of Cronos, a giant volcano-monster who was the father of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon. This put everything including the script, story and characters on the back burner. Those were similar problems I had with the 2010 remake, and they were not really addressed here.

The most obvious offense was the script work. The script gave the actors nothing to work with except hammy dialogue and cheesy one-liners. One of my favorites was when Perseus asked the son of Poseidon to help in their quest, only to be told, “Go to Hell.” He followed up with his own gem, “That’s exactly where I’m going.”

The actors weren’t as bad. Professionals like Neeson and Fiennes give the utmost effort in any movie they do. But bad dialogue gave them little respect and made it hard to even buy them in their roles.

The film’s story, as mentioned before, was a bombardment of explosions and debris crashing to the ground. The actual characters’ development—and signs of a good story in them—played as filler to more action and peril. Normally, it should be the other way around, where the action fueled the characters’ needs and goals. Here we had gods and humans talking only to wait until we got to see more bodies mangled and buildings exploding.

The main element I didn’t like about the 2010 remake was it took a unique idea and turned it into a mediocre action movie with little delivered on either spectacle or depth. But this was where this movie trumped its predecessor.

The previous one was also known for having one of the worst 3D conversions ever. This movie was also in 3D, which was the film’s most redeeming factor. The visuals had rich detail and depth, especially in a labyrinth scene, where its caverns and walls were enhanced by the format. And other than some pretty lame attempts to prove it had good 3D (A Cyclops growled and stuck a spear at the audience, twice.), it was all pretty impressive.

On the action side, it may have taken over the story and its characters, but this time around, it actually stood out. Its chaos and rapid pace gave the movie a bit more identity than the forgettable scenes in the previous installment. You felt every hit Perseus took, and a lot of the scenes actually posed a threat to the characters. You can tell the filmmakers really wanted to deliver more thrills this time around, and they did to an impressive extent.

This film reminded me of another film I saw recently, “John Carter.” In my review for that movie, I said the visuals were the only redeeming factor. That’s the case here. But this time, the plot was not nearly as complicated, and the movie itself was about half the length.

“Titans” at least had a clear story, as misguided as it might be, and the movie had a brisk pace that kept everything moving. It was at least more admirable than “Clash,” but the people clearly had no intentions to make a great, lasting film.

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