At the Movies: Wrath of the Titans

For this week’s big release I had to choose between the demigod Perseus riding his winged stallion Pegasus into a fiery battle with the mad titan Kronos … or Snow White.

“Wrath of the Titans” is a sequel to the 2010 film “Clash of the Titans,” which was a remake of a 1981 movie. The original film didn’t merit a sequel and it’s surprising the remake did, but I guess it made enough money to bring Perseus out of retirement.

Of course, money doesn’t really work as a plot motivation, so in this rewriting of ancient myth, Perseus (Sam Worthington) is pulled away from the simple fishing life to prevent the end of the world.

First, some Greek Mythology 101: Before there were men there were gods and before there were gods there were the titans. The gods — specifically brothers Zeus (Liam Neeson), Poseidon (Danny Huston) and Hades (Ralph Fiennes) —  got tired of their father Kronos (giant CGI flaming man) and banished him and the rest of the titans to the bowels of the underworld prison Tartarus.

Zeus became king of the sky, Poseidon became king of the oceans and Hades — who apparently drew the short straw — got stuck as lord of the underworld. Living in hell for eternity can do bad things to your judgement and so Hades decides to free Kronos from prison. But he’ll need Zeus’ power to do so.

Zeus is captured and Poseidon goes to Perseus for help. Perseus teams up with Poseidon’s son Agenor (Toby Kebbell) and former damsel-in-distress now warrior-queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike). Agenor’s there for comic relief, Andromeda’s there to bring a feminine touch to the proceedings.

Like its predecessor, “Wrath of the Titans” is a cheesy, old-fashioned action pic that relies heavily on special-effects. If you value lavish set designs, strange creatures and explosions that rain fireballs down on large armies more than plot and acting then this is your movie.

Directed by Jonathan Liebesman, “Wrath” delivers pretty much what the trailers promise and exactly what you’d expect. It’s not a great film or a bad one. It’s competently done and looks nice. The special effects are impressive. But it’s very routine and lacks any spark or emotion.

The 3D isn’t bad but as usual isn’t worth spending extra cash on. I did like how they went back to the old-school purpose of 3D: to have things jump out at you on the screen. There’s a fair amount of that here and sometimes it works. I’m not sure what the point of most modern 3D is supposed to be.

 

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