Aug 30, 2012

Movie Review: Wrath of the Titans

Ten years after the great victory over the monstrous Kraken from Clash of the Titans, Zeus' son Perseus (Sam Worthington) is living a quiet family life where he hides from his demi-god status and heroship. The role of hero and savior is thrust back upon Perseus when four of the still living Gods on Olympus, Zeus, Ares, Poseidon and Hades struggle to stop their father, Kronos from escaping his prison to obliterate all of existence. Explosions and monsters ensue!

I went into watching Wrath of the Titans with my expectations low due to poor reviews and an uninspired prequel-reboot of the franchise. This may have benefited me because I wound up having a lot of fun watching this film. One of my biggest complaints from the first film was almost entirely taken care of in the sequel. With the exception of Zeus and Poseidon looking so similar I thought Poseidon (Danny Huston) was just a CGI double of Zeus (Liam Neeson), all of the characters looked distinctive and memorable. My favorite part of the characters' appearances was that warrior-Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) wore roughly the same armor as the army she commanded instead of the Hollywood stereotypical bikini armor.

Aesthetically, this is a well thought out, beautifully designed movie for the makers to pat themselves on the back for. The monsters were detailed and scary and the destruction they caused was realistic and exciting. Even the mechanical owl, Bubo makes a cameo to pay homage to the original 1981 cult classic, Clash of the Titans.

The biggest strength of Wrath of the Titans is also it's biggest weakness. The CGI is gorgeous and the battles with monsters are outstanding, but thats about all the movie is. The main plot is simple and to the point, so is obviously nothing new, but there aren't any subplots or character subtleties. Sure, everyone has motivations, but the only one besides Perseus I can say I really watched grow rather than flip-flop from one ideology to the opposite was Perseus' cousin, son of Poseidon, Agenor (Toby Kebbell). Agenor suffered however from finding himself too early in the film and was just another spoke in the wheel to keep the adventures going. They seemed to give an earnest shot at the slow-burn development of Hades (Ralph Fiennes) but I just never bought it.

Overall, I liked Wrath of the Titans for what it was - a high budget monster B-movie. It's all mindless action, to the point of being emotionally exhausted only an hour into the film. My adrenal glands could barely take it! The ending also kind of hurt my opinion of the film, because as cheesy, cliched, rehashed and formulaic as this film was, I think I've witnessed the obvious conclusion to the Kronus battle twice this year alone in movies. Taking everything into account, my overall score of Wrath of the Titans...

3.75 / 5

Viewing Wrath of the Titans with low expectations probably helped its score, but I enjoyed the film. Greek mythology fanboys who will get upset about re-imagining old tales, and cinema snobs looking for Oscar winning performances should look elsewhere. Regular Joe's and Joanna's who just like to see some tail being kicked and buildings getting destroyed, give Wrath of the Titans a rent in the near future.