REVIEW: Wrath Of The Titans

"Great action, with beautiful sets and creatures."

After putting foot to Kraken ass for mankind, Perseus was offered a seat at the godly table only to refuse, choosing instead to live out his life as a man and father to his son Helius.  When trouble eventually starts brewing in the heavens, a reluctant and troubled Perseus sets out to rescue his father Zeus from the underworld before Hades can drain him of his power and free Kronos and the rest of the Titans upon the world.

CLASH OF THE TITANS was a mixed bag for me when it came out, partly because I'd just reviewed the original a month prior (which was the first time I'd seen it), but mostly because it felt like a phoned in carbon copy of the original with updated graphics and acting.  Mindless popcorn entertainment, sure, but nothing to write home about.  The idea of continuing the tale via WRATH OF THE TITANS felt like a phenomenal idea in a day and age when Greek Mythology is being celebrated so feverishly.  The characters and source material is still ripe for the picking and can be handled in numerous ways (as seen in IMMORTALS), so there's no way they could drop the ball on a sequel right?  Well, yes and no.

The good news is, if you enjoyed the first one, you'll enjoy this one (these flicks are either up your alley or they're not).  The story isn't revolutionary by any stretch, but it's not terrible and certainly not boring.  The action picks up almost instantly with a worn out Perseus pitted against a Chimera (admittedly the best fight in the film) attacking his village.  First off, the monsters look fantastic, realistic and dangerous as hell.  That's the essence you want to capture in a movie like this one, and they nailed it.  Second, we're seeing Perseus ten years after his battle royal with the Kraken so he's noticeably rusty and up to his eye balls in inner turmoil.  I liked that.  Fighting evil must be like riding a bike though as he jumps back in with both feet rather quickly.

Now if you thought the CGI monsters looked great in the trailers wait until you see the landscapes, what a feast for the eyes!  Tartarus for one looked phenomenal, as did the maze leading up to it.  These lush visuals made me think of game levels in GOD OF WAR and DARKSIDERS, vibrant and alive with detail, I can't even begin to tell you how impressive they are, you need to see them for yourselves.  Again, these are the elements that fuel suspension of disbelief which is of vital importance when dealing with this type of lore.  Kronos, Makhai and the Minotaur were also impressive, if not short lived (without giving anything away, I wish all monster battles were as engrossing and edge of your seat as the first but such was not the case). 

The storyline here was touch and go, spiralling out of control with "daddy issues", jealousy and petty bickering which worked in some cases better than others.  The thread between Perseus and his son Helius was there, but barely.  The Zeus and Hades end of things was interesting  and though I personally loved where that went, some didn't.  I didn't care for the weak love story they discretely slipped into the deck, but hey, there always has to be some female eye candy I suppose.

WRATH OF THE TITANS is yet another epic action extravaganza on so much steroids I actually felt like Kronos might punch me in the face.  This feeling was of course helped by the (surprising) fact that this flick actually put 3D to good use for a change.  Jonathan Liebesman knows his key shots and despite playing the shaky cam card from time to time, he at least knows when to ease off and pan out for the money shot.  On a bummer note this flick felt a tad rushed, the end conflict a little too easily attained and the cost for attaining it rather light.  A lot happens here, and a lot's at stake.  I appreciate them making the Gods able to die as a result of losing their powers, but it didn't feel like enough.  The cast did well (Bill Nighy was hilarious as the banished god Hephaestus, but Worthington, Neeson and Feinnes all slipped back into their roles well), I liked the addition of ROCKNROLLA's Toby Kebbell as Poseidon's son Agenor, but I was brutally let down by their depiction of Ares, God of War.  I wasn't displeased with the actor, Edgar Ramirez, rather by the way they made him a sniveling, whinny little pansy.  He's the God of War people, and you had him crying like a Twi-hard all movie!  Sigh, small things aside, this was a stellar popcorn flick in the vein of mind numbing action.  Again, if you enjoyed the first one, you know what you're in for and will definitely love the ride.       

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