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Wrath of the Titans (1:39, PG-13, 3-D) 5 fantasy: sword & sorcery,
Here, in response to no obvious demand, we have Sequel of the Titans. What follows is less a coherent review than a collection of observations.
(1) The plural is misleading. There's only 1 titan, Cronos, and he's off-screen for 90% of the film. He's been imprisoned in Tartarus for eons, which explains why he's wrathful. What is never satisfactorily explained (or even addressed) was how this mountain-sized lava monster ever procreated, since he's supposed to be the father of much smaller and more human-like gods like feuding brothers Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades.
(2) Don't go in with any pre-conceived ideas based on actual Greek mythology. It's a 2011 story featuring characters left over from 2010's Clash of the Titans.
(3) Warner Bros. threw a lot of money at this, and most of it shows up on the screen.
(4) It's pretty much non-stop fighting (vs. chimeras, cyclopes, a minotaur, and assorted gods and demigods), not entirely at the frenetic pace of Transformers, where things are flying by too fast to figure out who's doing what to whom, but too much so for my taste.
(5) The story is not going to win any Pulitzers, Nobels, or Hugos, but it's not entirely predictable, and anything that contemplates the total extinction of the gods gets a big plus from me.
(6) Despite having some pretty good actors in here (Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Nighy, Danny Huston, and, yes, Sam Worthington), they don't really get much chance to practice their craft, but they're not just phoning it in, either.
(7) Based on the damage he absorbed, Perseus should have been dead or permanently crippled on over a dozen occasions. Absence of credible consequences makes it difficult to establish serious threats or build suspense.
(8) Psychologists who are fixated on the idea of daddy complexes will love this. Normal people will spend a lot of time rolling their eyes.
(9) Rosamund Pike is along for the ride as Queen Andromeda, and she gets in a few licks, but mainly she cleans up real good.
(10) I'm fonder of 3-D than most, so FWIW I thot it was put to good use here in the swooping shots thru the burning villages, labyrinth, and pits of hell. Mercifully, no pokey-outy sharp things, but I had to duck the occasional flaming boulder.
(11) This will not tax your intellect, but it's a well-paced, semi-interesting, action-packed ludicrously unbelievable adventure. They could have done worse, and so could you.
Epic movies have been around for several years now. Simply throwing
action and graphics at a movie can no longer make it great. Epics have
been pulled down to the level of an average movie. We must care about
the characters. The dialogue must be worthwhile. The storyline cannot
be linear and bland. Wrath of the Titans, although enjoyable, did not
get the memo.
Wrath of the Titans follows a linear storyline. Any person who has any knowledge of Greek mythology with grow bored of the overused story of the labyrinth, Kronos, and how being part human makes you stronger than a God. The storyline has absolutely no originality. It's almost like the screenwriter read Percy Jackson and the Olympians and decided to turn the series into a more adult movie.
Luckily, there are several aspects that save Wrath of the Titans from being horrible. For one, the dialog worked. Mix that with the fantastic graphics and you have a movie that you can sit back and enjoy so long as you don't think too much. At the heart, the original Greek mythology about Gods overthrowing Titians is quite intriguing. It's just been done far too often
I must note that this movie should have been longer. The opening was far too short. You barely see the town in which Perseus and his son live before it gets ripped apart. With no buildup, it is impossible to care for the characters. This makes the movie little more than Greek Myth brought to life with no depth. It is truly unfortunate. A movie like this has so much potential. It was all wasted with a horrible screenwriter.
If you like Greek Mythology or enjoyed Clash of the Titans, this is a movie you might want to see. If that is not the case, it's not something you will want to see in theatres (or at all). There have been much better action/adventure movies so far this yearThe Grey and Chronicle are two. Wrath of the Titians is a movie with potential. Unfortunately, the makers of the movie forgot to turn that potential into gold.
I'm one of the 3% of the population of Americans that actually enjoyed
the 2010 remake of "Clash of the Titans". It wasn't a masterpiece, in
fact, I wouldn't even call it good. But there was a charming simplicity
to it all. It involved generic characters getting from Point A to Point
B in an hour and a half. Sure, it was plagued with problems, but for
me, it's a serious guilty pleasure. But that's another review for
The most glaring problem with "Wrath" is that it's essentially the same thing as the first one, with a few tweaks here and there. Sam Worthington plays Perseus. He's strong, powerful, and dull as a rock. It's just Worthington's generic, bland good guy. He's not a terrible role model, he's just not that particularly engaging. The only character that's more boring is Queen Andromeda, played by Rosamund Pike. These two characters share such an awful, contrived romance that it makes Anakin and Padme from the Star Wars prequels look like Romeo and Juliet.
But, as I said before, this sequel is merely a re-tread of the first movie. Sure, the first one was predictable, but at least it gave us a bit of time to know each of the characters. Here, there's no development because they just assumed you know these characters because you watch the first movie. That's a problem I find many sequels running into, and here, it really weakens it.
The special effects here are used in a way that makes me want to sterilize the people who came up with them. The filmmakers operate under the impression that if you throw a ton of special effects onto the screen, it will give your audience something to look at. The problem with that logic is that the factors of character development and motivation are canceled out by the pointless action sequences to such a degree that the audience becomes bored by these fight scenes. The special effects don't dazzle audience members like they did in the past when they're used in such a repetitive fashion.
With really bad movies like this, when all hope is lost, I try to focus on the positive aspects of the film. And there are a few good things found here. Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, and Bill Nighy are pretty entertaining as the gods of Mt. Olympus, and I do like that there is some, though not a lot, of development with these guys. The movie sort of touches on the messed up issues of family in Greek mythology, and it was interesting. Whenever I found myself watching Sam Worthington and his band of bland beatniks (try saying that five times fast), I was wishing that I could be watching Liam Neeson and the others, because they were interesting! Unfortunately, not even the awesome acting of Liam Neeson can save this stinker, kind of how Optimus Prime couldn't save the "Transformers" sequels.
Final verdict: If you're a fan of rich cinematic genius like Citizen Kane or 12 Angry Men, this is not your kind of movie. It's too long, too forced, and too choppily edited. I'll admit, there were people in the theater that watched it and seemed to get really invested, and if you think you can, go ahead and watch it. For me, there were just too many things that didn't add up for me to enjoy this one. I don't regret seeing it, but repeat viewings are not in my future.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The story is absolute rubbish. Anyone with the slightest knowledge of
mythology would cringe at the terrible things they made the Gods do.
There are so many bad things about the plot.
1. How could they make Ares and Hades fight against Zeus and then make Hades change sides for hardly any reason?
2. How could they make Zeus die?
3. Why is Perseus speaking with an Australian accent? Come on Sam at least fake something neutral!
4. Since when did Andromeda become some tomboy warrior amazon?
5. Why would Ares be jealous of that silly little fisherman Perseus when all he was doing was fishing? What pointless animosity. Since when were the Gods thugs?
6. Why is Pegasus so dark?
I thought the 2010 Clash was a terrible remake of the 80s version. The 2010 Clash had no charm romance or dignity of the Gods. But Wrath is worse. The story is so rubbishy and the dialog so terrible that it's gone light years away from the right direction.
The acting and casting aren't good. Rosamund Pike isn't appealing enough for a princess. Her cold blank expression is annoying. Sam Worthington looks even more nondescript let alone heroic than before. He isn't even 1 percent God. And why did he start speaking in his native accent? Are the Gods from Down Under? And the sudden kiss at the end is so out of place even Andromeda looked shocked. Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are too good to be in this bad movie.
Don't watch this one - it's an example of silly people just throwing money away on effects when the plot stinks.
Although Clash of the Titans was universally dismissed as an overwhelming disappointment and featured the worst post-converted 3D ever it raked in the big bucks and a sequel was naturally green-lit by Warner Bros. With a new director (Battle LA's Jonathan Liebesman replacing Louis Leterrier) and an extra $25m to toy with, Wrath was given the opportunity to learn from its predecessor's mistakes. Alas, this loud and sporadically entertaining mess largely fails to deliver; Sam Worthington's acting again doesn't cut the mustard, the action is well-choreographed but repetitive, and the CGI remains below par considering the dosh thrown at it. However, it's the lack of imagination and unpredictability in the plot department that truly stifles the proceedings. If you get to the end of the first act and don't already know how the rest of the movie is going to play out, you're probably sleeping. Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes spice things up as Zeus and Hades respectively, and Toby Kebbell's comic sidekick is a successful ploy to inject the humour sorely missing from Clash, but it's not enough to make this misfire recommendable.
Thinking of going to see Wrath of the Titans? In 3d? Save yourself some
pocket money and do the following instead: lie on the ground and pour a
mixture of soil and skittles slowly into your eyes whilst mumbling the
names of Greek Gods. This will have the same entertainment value as the
film, and a considerably better plot.
Having seen the remake of the original, I went into Wrath of the Titans with my expectation level pretty low. Five minutes in, I quickly lowered it further. Ten minutes in... I buried my expectation level under my seat and stomped it into the ground - hard. But however low I set the bar, the film went lower. It's unimaginably dire.
There's simply nothing redeemable about the film at all. Even the impressive effects are ruined by awful direction that renders them no more engaging than watching a ten year old playing video games through a kaleidoscope.
Everyone involved in making Wrath of the Titans should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves; and to be fair Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes clearly are as they show it on screen. They both look embarrassed to be a part of it. I'm embarrassed that I bore witness to it. Please don't be a statistic and join us. There's nothing to see here - move along, move along.
The powers of the gods are dwindling and the gods are slowly fading
into oblivion. Monsters are being raised from wherever. Buildings are
sliding all around the place. And there is no reason to care about ANY
Ares and Hades are villains just as we've seen in nearly EVERY Greek mythology based storyline. I just want to pound my head against the wall every time I see this cinematic flatulence.
The love interest from the first movie is gone and instead of recasting the part, they just kill off the character. Bobo the Owl makes another cameo in this movie, playing the role of Wilson the Volleyball from Castaway. The blue ents are gone... I guess the action figures must not have sold that well.
When the Titan emerges (and it is the ONLY titan in the movie), he looks like the lava Titan from Disney's Hercules. The Titan shouts a lot, but hell if I could ever understand a word he said.
At least Perseus doesn't look like he came from the Jarhead Clan anymore. But he is still an idiot. Zeus comes to him in the beginning of the story to tell him that the world is coming to an end and he needs his help. Perseus refuses because... get this... he refuses to leave his son. Apparently despite having god blood in his veins he is still unable to think far enough in advance to realize that if the world comes to an end, he'll be leaving his son permanently.
The roles of Hades, Zeus and Hephaestus were really good, but three good performances just could not save this turkey from its bad writing and a dreadfully boring plot riddled with clichés.
The Gods indeed deserved better than the 2010 remake of 'Clash of the
Titans', a wholly ill-conceived attempt at revisiting the campy Ray
Harryhausen sword-and-sorcery epic that instead replaced the original's
stop-motion visual effects with second-rate CG effects. And certainly,
the producers seemed to have heeded the call with this sequel,
retaining the fine cast from the original- Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson
and Ralph Fiennes- while opting for fresh writers and a new director.
It's still as important however to keep your hopes down for 'Wrath of the Titans', especially for those expecting a sweeping mythological epic. Taking over the reins from French director Louis Leterrier is Johnathan Liebesman, and going by his previous works- 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning" and "Battle: Los Angeles"- the man is at best an efficient but uninspired director who pays more attention to visceral pleasures than to anything resembling depth.
That is certainly true of his work here, which vastly improves the action sequences of the original but little else. As if singularly devoting his time to create mind-numbing big-budget sequences, Liebesman invests little in the story and in his characters- God, demi-god and human alike. Both are mechanical at best and engineered with a specific purpose of taking his viewer from one jaw-dropping sequence to another, never mind the inconsistencies or the leaps of logic along the way.
So despite the exposition, the plot of the entire movie can be summed up in a one line- to save Zeus (Neeson) from his conniving brother Hades (Fiennes) and jealous son Aroes (Edgar Ramirez), the demi-god Perseus (Worthington) leaps back into full battle mode since retiring ten years ago to a quiet life in a small fishing village. Before facing the worst of them all, Perseus will have to go up against a host of hideous- looking monsters- a fiery-mouthed Chimera with two heads at the front and a snake's head at its tail; a trio of towering Cyclops giants; a Minotaur; and a band of half-man, half-rock soldiers with four arms and two bodies that twist around on a pair of legs.
There's no denying that the creatures this time are much more inventive, and the action sequences choreographed much more skilfully, adding up to a much more thrilling time than what its predecessor offered. Saving the best for last, Liebesman also crafts an epic finale with a gigantic lava-spewing monster known as the Kronos that also involves a whole legion led by warrior-queen Princess Andromeda (Rosamund Pike). The victory call at the end may be a tad overdone, but the climax alone is worth the price of admission and surprisingly impressive even in post- converted 3D.
Pity then that the rest of the movie often pales in comparison- and perhaps the most jarring of all is the poorly defined interfamilial conflict between Zeus, Hades and Aroes. Screenwriters Dan Mazeau and David Leslie Johnson (working off a story that's also credited to Greg Berlanti) give Aroes little motivation behind his father's betrayal other than his envy of Perseus, nor do they manage the sibling tension between Zeus and Hades convincingly. Worse still, they try to turn Hades into a less straightforward character by casting him as a reluctant pawn in Aroes' scheme midway into the movie, and the subsequent reconciliation between Zeus and Hades is laughable even with the considerable acting talents of Neeson and Fiennes.
Certainly, both thespians are well aware of the thin material here, but kudos to the pair for trying to imbue their Godly characters with the gravitas they usually bring to their roles. Among the more interesting additions to the cast are Bill Nighy as the loony weapons-maker Hephaestus whom Perseus approaches for help to gain entry to the underworld labyrinth Zeus is held captive, as well as Toby Kebbell as Poseidon's son Agenor and the only other character besides Hephaestus to have a sense of humour in the entire movie.
Indeed, the movie takes itself too seriously for its own good, ignoring its own campy origins in favour of a self-serious sensibility to its storytelling that only further exposes its plot and character flaws. This is, and perhaps has always been, about watching Gods, demi-gods and monsters go at each other with sound and fury- and thankfully, this sequel easily betters its predecessor on this regard alone. That's not likely to be enough to make the Gods happy though, but for those of us mortals looking for big-budget mind-numbing spectacle, this will do just fine.
SPOILER FREE REVIEW
Let me start this right off the bat and tell you it's better than Clash of the Titans(Even though that's not saying much)However, Wrath of the Titans supplies enough action set pieces, that you have a good enough flick that you should check out this weekend. The plot is very simple, it's set 10 years after the events of the first film where Perseus and his son fish for a living. Hades and Zeus' son Ares trick Zeus and capture him. Now, the titans are getting stronger while Zeus is getting weaker. Perseus has to go to hell to save his father. There are some pretty cool monsters in this film, like the demons Makhai and the scene with Kronos is AMAZING. If you're looking for a good time this weekend and go into this movie with an open mind. Then you will definitely have a good time watching Wrath of the Titans. 8/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Two years ago, I eagerly anticipated the release of the remake of one
of my favourite films of all time, "Clash of the Titans." What I was
given was a mess of a film in bad post-production 3D which needlessly
messed with the original story of Perseus and his defeat of the
Kraken...and turned my beloved Pegasus black.
When a follow-up was announced, being a huge fan of all Mythology, even if it is tweaked for Hollywood's sake, I felt they could only improve on a second attempt after the epic failure of the first go-around.
I was wrong.
"Wrath of the Titans" picks up a decade later with Perseus raising his only son alone after dismissing Zeus' offer of riches and power after his heroic defeat of the Kraken and the unexplained death of his wife (who I would have thought would have been Io but should really be Andromeda but remained unaddressed). As mortals lose their faith in the gods, the gods in turn lose more and more of their power and, consequently, the walls which imprison the Titans in Tartarus are weakening and the end of days is imminent.
Zeus turns to his son to warn him of the threat and ask his help, but Persues declines.
That is until he learns from Poseidon that Zeus' other son, Ares, turned against him and led him into a trap in Tartarus and Zeus is imprisoned by Hades , transferring all Zeus' power to Kronos, the leader of the Titans and Zeus' father, in exchange for immortality.
And thus, Perseus learns that in order to save humanity, he must rescue his father and defeat Kronos and teams with Poseidon's demi-god son Agenor and Queen Andromeda who, as I mentioned, by all accounts and purposes, should already be his wife.
The story itself has much potential, but sadly, the execution just falls flat. With far too many convenient twists and escapes, even by Mythology's standards, I found the events extremely difficult to swallow, the narrative being even too ridiculous for the likes of me. The whole film just sort of stumbles along like an adventure in special effects, with the actual storytelling as somewhat of a secondary element. Something which is becoming far too common these days.
Even though it has just been a couple of years since Sam Worthington was thrust into the spotlight in "Avatar" and the last Titan film, he looks like he has aged two decades, having lost all of the sexy, hard-bodied spunk that is befitting a demi-god. He was a relatively unconvincing Perseus the first time around, and the sequel just confirms the notion.
Everyone else's performance, including the return of Liam Neeson as Zeus, Danny Huston as Poseidon and Ralph Fiennes as Hades, are just fine, but acceptable performances in a mediocre film hardly lessen the disappointment.
After having been so mortified by the disrespect "Clash of the Titans" showed the original production, one wouldn't think it could get worse. But at least that film aroused some sort of emotional reaction in me. The sequel didn't even manage to do that. It simply disappointed. No doubt I may be first in line for the third installment, already currently in pre-production, as hope always prevails...but that may be tentative while what will most assuredly be mediocre box office could throw a spanner in the works.
But hey, at least the 3D was better.
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