Wrath Of The Titans Review

   Man, you kids today don’t know nothing ‘bout your Greek mythology.  Let me give you the run-down.  So there was this dude, and his name was Perseus.  Now, Perseus is a Greek-Australian apparently, who, despite what you’ve read, encountered every single creature in Greek mythology.  You though Theseus fought the Minotaur?  Wrong!  You thought Odysseus defeated the Cyclops?  What are you stupid?  Perseus, baby!  He fought so many foes, that he ran out of Greek monsters to defeat.  So he fought the Kraken, became a hero, and eventually traveled to far-off planets to fight alien monsters on Pandora.  Geez, you guys need to learn your history, I tell ya…

So this is the review for Wrath of the Titansjust in case you couldn’t tell from whatever it was that I just did there.  As I’m sure you all know, this is the long-awaited and highly anticipated sequel to that classic piece of Ray Harryhausen cinema, Clash of the Titans.  Wait!  I almost forgot… wasn’t there another one of those, y’know more recently?  Oh yes, now it’s coming back to me.  You’ll have to excuse my memory kiddies, I’ve been trying to block the 2010 Clash of the Titans film from my mind ever since that monumental disappointment entered my retinas.  See, I was the one who was excited for that movie when I saw the trailers.  However beloved the original Clash of the Titansis, the special effects are dated to say the least.  I wanted to see a more modern retelling of it.  Little did I realize just how many times Louis Leterrier could wipe his crack with that story.  When Perseus and his soldiers are entering a cave to go kill Medusa and he turns to the camera and says “let’s kill this bitch”, something has clearly gone wrong.

But I don’t want to cast too negative a light on the sequel, Wrath of the Titans.  Let’s start with the plot, shall we?  Yes we shall… anyone who disputes me will taste my unholy vengeance.  You hear me Leterrier!  That means you too! The world has moved on from your movie and the angry masses will leave your street corner alone!  Where was I?… Oh yeah, plot!  So years after the defeat of the Kraken and the death of his wife, Perseus returns to his fisherman’s roots alongside his son Helius.  He still holds animosity towards the gods, including his father Zeus, and rightfully so, because just when Perseus had a good thing going, Zeus beams down into his house one night looking like a homeless rasta man and says “the end is nigh!”  So Perseus has to fly off to battle and stop the destruction of the earth… once again.

I thought about structuring this review like I normally do, but the more I thought about it, the more it just made sense to list everything the previous movie did wrong and how they improved it in this one.  So… stay tuned for that.

The Characters

In Clash of the Titans, the characters were flat, uninteresting and unmotivated.  The same is still true for Sam Worthington, but c’mon… it’s Sam Worthington, what were you expecting?  But in Wrath of the Titans, he’s surrounded by much more interesting characters; both from the last movie and newbees brought in just for this one.  It was disappointing seeing Liam Neeson in something where he wasn’t given anything interesting to do… and no, I’m not talking about The Phantom Menace.  In Clash of the Titans, I expected more out of Zeus and especially more out of Liam Neeson.  But he’s… stern… and that’s really about it.  Well I ‘m glad to see that they gave him some depth and some emotion in this one.  Ditto for Ralph Fiennes.  In the last movie, Greek asthmatic Voldemort wasn’t enough… Okay, it’s not too different in this one, but at least they give him a really interesting character arc.  As for the new characters that they brought in, Edgar Ramirez plays the traitorous Ares and makes for a really intimidating villain.  Also, keep an eye out for cameos including Danny Houston.  And Bill Nighy shows up for a bit and absolutely steals the show.  That guy just has a lot of presence to begin with.  When you turn him into Santa Claus crossed with Dumbledore, hell… I’m entertained.  Oh!  And when he first shows up, listen closely for a little joke that the filmmakers threw in there.  It made me giggle when I heard it.

The Directing

Louis Leterrier did not direct this one and Jonathan Leibesman, did… need I say any more?

The Effects

It’s no secret that the 3D in Clash of the Titans was some of the worst in history.  Well they fix that right up here.  There are several shots that just weave in and out of these incredibly expansive environments that are already really well designed and the 3D totally lends itself to that.  There’s a whole sequence in the labyrinth that was really well done on all levels.

As for the creature effects, I enjoyed them much more than the ones in the last movie.  In that one, I liked the Kraken design, but that was about it.  And even then, it was there for like half a second and then he was dead.  I looked down at my soda to take a drink and almost missed the entire scene.  Here, I thought the designs were a bit more inspired.  Even from the first action sequence I could tell Wrath of the Titans was gonna be a bit better.  Perseus has to defeat a Chimera that invades his village and, first of all, the cinematography in the scene was really cool.  There’s a lot of long extended shots where the creature would go off-screen in the background and then show up somewhere else while the camera follows Perseus.  It’s welcome relief from the super-fast, no idea what’s going on style of cinematography they used in the last movie.  Y’know, the Transformers method.   But the design of the creature itself was also cool.  I mean c’mon, it’s a two-headed, winged, fire-breathing cat-beast with a snake for a tail.  It’s got a strong presence and silhouette.  I feel that a good creature design should always have a strong silhouette.  This is all true for the other creatures that show up in the movie.

The presence of hair on Perseus’ head

I know this point has been beaten to death, but I need to throw in my two cents.  How in the hell would Perseus find an electric razor to shave his head?  He would not!  I don’t know, maybe the gods sent him the Clippers of Destiny or something.  Well they fixed that in this movie.  Perseus has a full mop of hair.

Despite all of the praise I’m showering upon this movie, keep in mind, I’ve only compared it to the last movie so far, which isn’t saying much.  At the end of the day, this is still a very generic action/adventure movie.  The dialogue’s not great and some of the new characters they brought in like Toby Kebbell annoyed me.  But at least there’s some stuff here that might make it a bit more memorable.  I might even watch this again just for some of the action sequences and to admire the overall design which I have to say again, they put a lot of work into.  If you see this in the theater in 3D and you’re willing to have a good time, there’s no reason you shouldn’t like this at least a bit.

Rating – B


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