Video review posted here The Drive Home – Episode 1: Wrath of the Titans
Jonathan Liebesman takes the reins from Louis Leterrier in the sequel to the 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans. In Wrath of the Titans we find Perseus (Sam Worthington) living the life of a farmer with his 10 year old boy! Once again, the Gods are in trouble and need the help of a demi-god, and who better than to serve than the son of Zeus. Wrath of the Titans is a step in the right direction for the franchise with a noticeable upgrade to all elements.
The story itself is OK, picking up 10 years after the events of Clash, but one could hardly not notice the echoes of the past when it comes to the film’s blueprint. Perseus is reluctant to help the Gods. Events transpire that force him to fight. A long journey is set in motion. A beautiful woman lingers in the background (Rosamund Pike = Gemma Arterton). Collossal beasts are introduced in an epic battle scene. Those beasts end up being friendly under the right influence and assist them for part of the journey (Cyclops = Scorpions). Bad guy attacks and kills most of the party, save three (Ares = Calibos). Epic battle scene where Perseus must confront an enormous foe (Chronos = Kraken). The overall structure of the film felt very familiar, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it! It felt much tighter than the original, and there are plenty of action sets to keep you glued to the screen.
The performances throughout were noticeably better than what we saw in Clash. Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, and Bill Nighy… all seasoned actors, all fantastic! Sam Worthington even stepped up a little, breathing a little more life into his character. Showing a deeper emotional range allows the viewer to connect with the hero, something that was lacking in Clash. Worthington even smiles a few times, but honestly, who wouldn’t smile with Rosamund Pike standing around in leather looking all hot!
In the end though, what is it we really come for in a “Titans” movie, the monsters. Seeing the creatures of Greek mythology brought to life is nothing short of awesome. The Chimera sequence jumps out of the gates within the first 15 minutes. I really liked the way they employed the same brilliant ignition technique introduced in Reign of Fire. One of the heads spews the ignitable liquid, while the other sparks the flame. The only creature I was a little disappointed in was the Minotaur. An ancient beast… part bull, part human, often the guardian of a maze in fantasy settings. The battle sequences in the maze are relatively dark, obscuring a lot of the detail throughout most of this encounter. I felt with such an iconic creature, a little more effort would have been executed to punch up the “cool” factor. Instead, in the battle’s end we see what looks like a severely deformed man with horns. Think Sloth from Goonies and you’re halfway there! This was my only gripe with the creature designs, everything else looked fantastic!
As Kevin points out in the video review, Bubo makes an appearance. It feels forced and totally unnecessary. I really don’t think the fans of the “Titan” movies needed this little “gift”. I completely agree with Kevin that the owl should have been left to the first only. Break all ties to the ’81 original!
Wrath of the Titans is a great popcorn movie, and it trumps the original remake in just about every way. If you dug the original, there’s absolutely no reason to miss this one. If you’re into fantasy or Greek Mythology, you’ll probably enjoy it also! Unfortunately though, Wrath is getting the same treatment it’s prequel received, so don’t rely on the critics if you’re a fan in any way.
I might also point out I only saw the 2D version. My poor eyes can’t handle 3D anymore unless it’s absolutely necessary. According to other reviewers, the 3D treatment isn’t nearly as bad as the hatchet job the first one received.
Also…. how long is it gonna take studios to realize that God of War should be put on the big screen!