WRATH OF THE TITANS
DIRECTOR: Jonathan Liebesman
CAST: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Sam Worthington, Danny Huston, Bill Nighy, Rosamund Pike, Toby Kebbel, Edgar Ramirez
RATING: 2 stars (out of 5)
Lavishly detailed, the cgi scenery of ‘Wrath of the Titans’ competes for your attention with a clichéd script and extremely obvious dialogue, and the scenery wins.
Still, this one is nominally better than its predecessor, even if only because hopefully the 3d hasn’t been tacked on as an afterthought.
Also, the action sequences have their own kind of logic and aren’t quite as unnecessarily chaotic as those of ‘Clash of the Titans’. Though, they’ll probably be nausea- inducing in 3d – the film was screened to the press in 2d.
While ‘Clash of the Titans’ had a slight patina of nostalgia, courtesy of the nods to the first Harry Hamlin starrer of 1981, it didn’t quite have the visual style to mask the script deficiencies.
Still, scripting issues and overwhelmingly negative reviews aside, it made a mint at the box office and spawned a franchise which will probably keep on going as long as it makes money.
South African-born (seriously) director Jonathan Liebesman proved with ‘Battle Los Angeles’ that he knows how to do big battle scenes, but again a script with no depth leaves him very little to work with.
Gone is the angry young man of ‘Clash of the Titans’. Instead, Perseus (Worthington) is now the doting father of a 10-year old boy, who he is trying to turn into a fisherman.
When scary, flaming creatures come screaming out of the sky, he reaches out to his father Zeus (Neeson), only to discover there is once again a war going on in the celestial sky.
This time around the Titans – who were imprisoned by the Greek gods (and brothers) Zeus, Hades (Fiennes) and Poseidon (Huston) many years back – are trying to break free. Their freedom is a distinct possibility as the power of the gods is waning because the people have stopped believing in them.
Now, if you’re expecting a clever statement on belief, religion, or even the genesis of myth… don’t.
The whole issue of what the titans are and how they relate to the Greek deities is glossed over in a perfunctory fashion. Andromeda (Pike) is conveniently found on the battlefield to help Perseus track down Agenor (Toby Kebbel), son of Poseidon, and thus another demi-god.
In a nod to Clash’s little in-joke, Bubo the owl again puts in an appearance, courtesy of Bill Nighy’s manic Haephestus, but the film seems to exist in a bubble of its own, despite the obvious root in Greek mythology.
But, where a film like Ridley Scott’s ‘Robin Hood’ gave us a “what if this was the genesis of the myth?” scenario we bought into, this one doesn’t even try to go that route. Unfortunately it’s also not going the “so cheesy it’s fun” route.
The usually good actors (even Worthington proved his salt in ‘The Debt’) are slumming it for a quick buck and there aren’t even some good one-liners to save the day.
For something that is so gorgeous on the surface the memory it leaves behind is surprisingly lacklustre and dull.
Zeus has the best line when he says: “People forget”, because how quickly we forgot just how bad that first film was and how quickly we’ll forget this one, because s’trues Bob, they’re planning a third.
If you liked… ‘Clash of the Titans’ or ‘Immortals’… you will like this.