Wrath of the Titans (2012)
Well, free movies on a five-hour plane ride gave me my excuse to finally watch Wrath of the Titans. Now, strangely enough, I’d wanted to see this movie. I think since this was an original sequel, I wasn’t as overtly offended by the “bastardizing a genre class”-ery of Clash of the Titans and my interest was morbidly piqued.
So the story is a pretty basic one for action adventure movies: Filial piety is tested father to son and brother to brother as the Olympian gods face mortality. As the gods weaken, so does their work, including the prison Tartarus, bringing demons and the monstrous Titan Kronos back to earth. Of course Zeus asks Perseus, daring hero turned single dad in the years post-Kraken, to do him one last solid and save the earth.
Now, Wrath does make good on a few things that are worth mentioning. The concepts for a lot of the monsters and environments are pretty intriguing. Tartarus is a shifting, Jenga-esque maze constantly replacing tight corridors with stark, ruinous galleries in seconds, putting the main characters in the middle of some labyrinth that’s horribly self-aware. Kronos, first of earth’s gods, is made from molten lava, the very element with which he would have shaped the world. Pretty cool, right? The movie doesn’t get bogged down in unnecessary romance and the one female character, (now) Queen Andromeda, is strong yet not in a “we’re clearly making a point to make our female lead seem strong” way. Sam Worthington is solid as Perseus and is more likable in Wrath, seeing as he’s now accepted his lineage and both character and actor wear it well. Then Bill Nighy makes a quirky and way entertaining turn as estranged god Hephaestas. And then there’s Liam Neason and Ralph Finnes in a pretty awesome tag team bitch smack down.
The film’s main problem: it’s just on steroids. You can see that from the trailer so it’s no surprise but it’s annoying because the film has some good concepts that are dashed by rough rendering. There’s no finesse to any of the computerized monsters; they’re so big, lumbering, fiery, or dark that you can’t make anything out and the action is hard to follow. Like those cool two-torsoed demons from the trailer spinning and killing people? Awesome idea. Could I make out a front or back a face or a hand on those things? No. You could have told me it was a fighting bonsai plant, and I could kind of see that. Perseus’ powerful tri-god spear is about 10-15 feet long, sizzling with lightning, and he’s still able to wield it on a flying horse in the middle of a Titan? No. The ending battle is so huge and mega and on fire that by the end of it you feel like you were trying to beat the end of a poorly rendered Super NES game for like twenty minutes: your eyes are tired and you’ve basically lost the point.
So, in short, nothing you wouldn’t be able to make out from the trailer. But, a pretty good watch if you’re in the mood for that sort of thing and at least the shameless pandering to testosterone was in the film’s visuals and not it’s dialogue (yeah, I’m looking at you Fast and Furious franchise). I count that as a blessing.
- If you really want to see it, go ahead. I give Wrath a “That’ll do pig. That’ll do”