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Wrath of the Titans - Movie Review

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2 stars

With better special effects and a more effective 3D tooling, Wrath of the Titans attempts to make up for the lackluster 2010 remake that undazzled critics and somehow still earned a buck or two.  It doesn’t. Not by a longshot.  Call it Wrath of the Sequel because this “franchise” just didn’t learn its lesson with the first mechanical attempt.  In spite of a stellar production design, Titans II is a limp attempt at beefy Greek Mythology with a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it script that offers its actors moments of mere pantomime and little else.

Screenwriters (and pay close attention to their attached projects for all you really need to know) Dan Mazeau (in his debut), David Leslie Johnson (Red Riding Hood) and Greg Berlanti (Green Lantern) namedrop Titans and Gods and characters and handle them all without a care.  Ultimately, what you get is a story that is fueled alone by a mega monster (Kronos) that needs killing and a couple of Greek father-son issues and Sam Worthington attempting to shed a tear.

Directed by Jonathan Liebesman, Wrath of the Titans picks up a decade after the events of the first film with Perseus (Worthington) enjoying life as a lowly fisherman with son, Helios, in tow.  When his weakened father, Zeus (Liam Neeson), is kidnapped and Hades (Ralph Fiennes) is conned by a team-up between Ares (Édgar Ramírez) and Kronos, the fate of the Greek world is left in his hands.  Alongside Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) and an often entertaining Agenor (Toby Kebbell), Perseus must journey to Hephaestus (Bill Nighy) and assemble a Titan-killing weapon in order to mount Pegasus and fly circles around the land-destroying form of Kronos.

It’s really a joyless echo of what went on in 2010 that’s essentially over before it starts.  You know exactly where this one is going.  Straight into the dumps for some and others – who enjoyed the original – will find this one to be agreeable as well.  Worthington is still mostly worthless as he pants and squints and grows his hair out in order to beg pardon for the modern scalped look of the original.  He also appears to be a few pounds heavier and does less disguising of his Aussie accent.

Nighy’s appearance is a welcomed relief for those bored by the phoned-in heavy breathing of Neeson and Fiennes.  Here, Nighy is fun, twisted, and energetic; he also doesn’t take the role seriously which makes for a great time for those burnt out on brooding.  Unfortunately, his appearance is also too short and, as the script is as uncomplicated as toasting bread, he definitely gets a bit of the old shaft and disappears about as fast as the sudden romance that “develops” between Perseus and Andromeda.  A kiss.  At the end.  Without warning.  Oy vey.

With the creatures – towering Cyclops triplets, a Minotaur, and two-bodied Makhai fighters – being better developed than the humans and Gods, there’s little hope for genuine emotion and even less for legitimate tension.  The movie is a brisk 90 minutes; free and easy without complication.  Yawn.  Maybe a bit more time with the characters (15 minutes, please) would have helped to make it feel more like a real movie and less like a made for television truncated production that are all too soon forgotten.

With any notion of wrath being located in title alone, Wrath of the Titans, completely exhausted by cool production and monster designs, abandons its mythologized characters and lets the audience fend for itself with a story better suited for a much smaller screen.

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Wrath of the Titans - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action.
Director
: Jonathan Liebesman
Writer: Dan Mazeau & David Johnson
Cast: Sam Worthington; Liam Neeson; Ralph Fiennes; Edgar Ramirez; Rosamund Pike
Genre: Action | Adventure | Fantasy
Tagline: Feel the Wrath
Memorable Movie Quote: "You're sweating like a human... next it will be tears."
Distributor:
Warner Bros. Pictures
Official Site:
wrathofthetitans.warnerbros.com/index.html
Release Date: March 30, 2012
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
No details available

Synopsis: Perseus embarks on a treacherous quest into the underworld to rescue Zeus, who has been targeted for capture by his traitorous son, Ares, and his brother, Hades.

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