Did anyone really want a sequel to Clash of the Titans? No? Well, you’re getting one anyway. With a new director in Jonathan Liberman (Battle Los Angeles, Darkness Falls) and new trio of writers at the helm of Wrath of the Titans, you’d think that there would something fresh to look forward to. Instead, the film is a flop that was far too messy, far too loud, and far too congested with special effects that will wear your eyes out.
Ten years after the demi-god Perseus (Sam Worthington) defeated the Kraken and has gone into hero retirement to raise his young son, he is called to action once more. Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Perseus’ jealous brother Ares (Edgar Ramirez) have captured Zeus and are draining him of his power to unleash the banished Titan, Kronos, unto the world. He enlists the help of his cousin, Agenor (Toby Kebbel) and Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) on his journey through the labyrinth of Tartarus to free Zeus.
Most of the cast from the 2010 remake have returned (except for Rosamund Pike who replaced Alexa Davalos). While everyone in the film handles their character with aplomb, the weak dialogue brings them down. There really isn’t a standout performance, not even from the always great Bill Nighy as Hephaestus, blacksmith to the gods. He fills the role of the kooky old wise man that bizarrely has conversations and arguments with a statue of an owl. Liam Neeson is righteous. Ralph Fiennes is wicked. No surprises, really.
The film’s effects are very much made for a 3D crowd. Huge rocks fall down upon you, the monsters look fearsome as they snarl and spit, and there are huge volcanic fireball explosions that would make Michael Bay cry in his sleep. One of the huge setbacks that the movie has is the fact that while the special effects are numerous and well done, we hardly get a chance to appreciate them, save for a few sweeping wide shots. All the fight scenes that Perseus has with various creatures like the Chimaera, the Minotaur, and the Cyclops are an absolute disaster. You can barely see what the monsters look like at all and the handheld camera work is an absolute hot mess.
Wrath’s greatest weakness lies in the fact that it spends so much time being a sword-and-sandals epic actionfest, that it doesn’t give us any reason to care about the characters and they fall into typical roles, with Perseus as the brawny hero, Agenor as the barely funny sidekick, and Andromeda as the tough chick who is thrusted as the romantic interest in literally the last moments of the film. Even the sibling rivalry between Perseus and Ares is so dull and predictable.
Before the (anti) climatic battle scene, Liam Neeson shouts out “Let’s have some fun!” Wrath suffers incredibly that it takes itself way too seriously and is essentially joyless. You want a mythology focused action film that has special effects that are crucial but not primary, characters that are well rounded and fun, with a plot focused on brothers at odds? Skip this schlock and go rent Thor instead.
Wrath of the Titans hits theaters on March 30th