“Wrath of the Titans” is truly a tale “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.
There are some really lavish special effects – at times, astonishing visual effects, seriously – but the plot is an excuse to string action sequences together, and the characters are carved of wood.
Honestly, if they didn’t come with back stories via being named after people of Greek mythology, the people in this film would have no definition whatsoever.
“Wrath of the Titans” is the sequel to the remake of “Clash of the Titans”.
Which is of special interest here, as a benchmark for visual effects. 1981’s “Clash of the Titans” was most notable (to me) as being the final film of legendary visual effects creator Ray Harryhausen. Harryhausen specialized in stop motion animation… his famous works include “Mighty Joe Young”, “Jason and the Argonauts” and “The 7th Voyage of Sinbad”. Just over 30 years ago, “Clash of the Titans” was already a bit behind the curve in terms of special effects (one of the reasons it was his final film), but its astonishing to see how far we’ve come since then.
As promised in the trailers, “Wrath of the Titans” features some phenomenal creature battles, most notably against a pair of Cyclops. I also enjoyed seeing Perseus ride the Pegasus. Not only were the effects solid and realistic, the creature design was too. If there WAS such a thing as a winged horse, that’s how it would look when it flew. Absolutely. The movie also features some decent cinematography at times. It all adds up to a film that’s very, very impressive visually.
Unfortunately, that’s about all it has going for it.
Hollywood continues their “Blank Slate” experiment with Sam Worthington. Honestly, I just don’t get him as a star. He was fine in Avatar, but aside from that, I just find him bland. Rosamund Pike was pretty unremarkable here, too. As are Toby Kebbell, Bill Nighy, and Édgar Ramírez. There isn’t a performance in the bunch that you’ll remember. Which is good, actually for Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson, LOL. I’m sure they’d just as soon you forget they were in this. Neither one of them elevate this material, it’s too mired in nonsense.
Hades and Ares (Fiennes and Ramírez respectively) turn against Zeus (Neeson) and Poseidon in order to free Kronos. Kronos, Zeus’ and Hades’ father, was overthrown by Zeus and imprisoned in Tartarus. Now that humans are losing their faith in the Gods and no longer praying to them, the Gods have begun to lose their power. Hades and Ares make a deal with the imprisoned Kronos that they will free him in exchange for him bestowing upon them continued immortality. Thus they capture Zeus so that Kronos can siphon his power.
If that gives you Greek God overload, you’re not alone. But that’s the hand we’re dealt here.
And so, Perseus (Worthington), son of Zeus, needs to assemble a weapon capable of harming Kronos, and then go to Tartarus to free his imprisoned father. Along the way, he picks up allies in the form of Andromeda (Pike) and Agenor (Kebbell). Together they do battle against several creatures of myth and legend, including a Chimera, a Minotaur, the Machai, and the aforementioned Cyclops.
The battles against these creatures is where this movie shines. Theyre very well done in terms of the CGI and the action scene choreography. With the exception of the finale (which frankly, is more than a bit silly) they’re very enjoyable. They’re worth checking out if you enjoy seeing movies for their effects and battles. For the spectacle. Because aside from that, this movie has next to nothing to offer. The plot is thin and the characters are weak, and no one does any acting that’s going to be remembered once you leave.