'Wrath of the Titans' review
By Michael O'Sullivan
“FEEL THE WRATH,” promises the movie poster for “Wrath of the Titans,” the sequel to 2010’s mythologically themed “Clash of the Titans.”
The only reason you’ll feel any wrath is because you shelled out 12 bucks for this steaming bucket of half-baked plot, cliched dialogue and disappointing 3-D special effects. It may be even worse than the original (whose Rotten Tomatoes score, by the way, is a whopping 28 out of 100). Who exactly was clamoring for a follow-up?
As before, Sam Worthington plays Greek hero Perseus, the demigod son of Zeus (Liam Neeson, in Dumbledore drag). Zeus is imprisoned by his brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes) in an effort to overthrow the Olympian gods and resurrect Kronos, the dormant leader of the evil Titans. To save Zeus, Perseus goes on a quest to the underworld. At stake is not just his father’s life — yeah, I thought gods were immortal, too — but the future of the world. As a CGI villain, Kronos looks like he’s made of molten lava and sounds like Barry White speaking Klingon.
Scary it is not. Perplexing, maybe.
For example, how is it that Greek queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) has never heard of Hephaestus, who pops up early in the movie and then is quickly dispensed with? Modern audiences may not recognize the god of fire, but you would think that the supreme ruler of the Greeks would have a clue. Pike plays Andromeda — Perseus’ s comrade-in-arms and PG-13 love interest — like she’s auditioning for a remake of “Xena: Warrior Princess.” A ZZ Top-bearded Bill Nighy — who looks like he’s in disguise more than in costume — is absolutely wasted as Hephaestus.
In an effort to appeal to audiences who might resist anything that smacks of the classics, the dialogue includes anachronisms such as “You gotta be kiddin’ me.” Perseus’s son Helius (John Bell) refers to his father throughout the film as “Dad.”And I’m pretty sure I heard someone in a crowd scene say, “Wow.”
It sure as heck didn’t come from the audience. For a film that relies so heavily on special effects, the visuals are mostly dull and unengaging. A CGI-enhanced cyclops (Martin Bayfield) and a couple of other digital monsters are rare exceptions. When Perseus tangles with a two-headed chimera and then the Minotaur, the movie wakes up briefly, then immediately goes back to sleep.
And what’s with the weirdly all-over-the-map casting? Neeson is Irish, Worthington, Australian. Fiennes, Pike and a few others stars are British — though their dialects range from Shakespearian to cockney. Venezuelan Edgar Ramirez plays Ares, Hades’s partner in crime; Danny Huston, an American, portrays Zeus’s brother Poseidon like the Gorton’s fisherman; and Andromeda’s army sounds half Spanish, half French. None of them make an attempt to sound like they’re in the same movie, let alone the same country.
Call it “Clash of the Accents.”
Late in the film, Zeus says, “Let’s have some fun.” Nice try. (Never mind the incongruity of the most powerful of all gods uttering those words.) For a fleeting second or two it looks like “Wrath of the Titans” might actually deliver on that one promise. But the movie doesn’t even rise to the level of dumb fun. It’s inexplicable, not to mention inexcusable.
Contains action violence.