Review: Wrath of the Titans (12A) / Director: Jonathan Leibesman / Screenplay: Dan Mazeau, David Johnson / Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Edgar Ramirez, Toby Kebbell, Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy / Release Date: March 30th
We think it’s fair to say that Louis Leterrier’s 2010 interpretation of Clash of the Titans was one of the most derided blockbusters in recent memory. Acting, characterisation and plot took a backseat to endless monsters, a wooden Sam Worthington and some shoddy post converted 3D which singlehandedly kick started the 3D backlash. For the sequel the producers have addressed these concerns somewhat and made something fairly entertaining and thrilling.
We pick up some years after the events in the first movie and find demigod Perseus (Sam Worthington) now widowed and living in a fishing village with his son. The god’s power is fading due to people’s lack of faith and prayer. Zeus (Liam Neeson) shows up to ask for Perseus’ help as the walls of the underworld Tartarus are failing and they threaten to unleash Kronos; the father of all gods who has been imprisoned down there since the world was created. Perseus refuses to help but when his village is attacked by monsters from below and Zeus is double crossed by Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and his treacherous other ‘pure god’ son Ares (Edgar Ramirez), Perseus must team up with warrior queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) and his thief cousin and son of Poseidon, Agenor (Toby Kebbell) to journey into the underworld to rescue Zeus and forge a weapon to hold back Kronos.
The first thing you notice about Wrath of the Titans is the 3D is miles better than the first movie. In fact it might be the most effective use of the format for a while. Things jump out at you and you find yourself flinching every time a rock flies off into the air. To match this the effects are better too, gone are the plasticky looking CG creations of the first movie to be replaced by organic, more realistic monsters and you never have the feeling that you're watching a bunch of actors tumble around on a green soundstage. The film seems to have been designed with the sole purpose of being an experience to savour in 3D especially during the underworld scenes and the climactic battle and to their credit, it works.
Sadly, again where the film falls down is with its screenplay. It’s very much a case of getting from point A to point C picking up D on the way with a minimum of characterisation and development. There is a nice subplot about the soldiers with Perseus having to lose their faith even in the face of horrific danger because if they pray it will give power to Ares who is now their enemy, but this is never fully explored. There are also some woeful moments of deus ex machina to solve the problems that the characters face as well as Perseus’ general invincibility being a point of contention during the climax.
Sam Worthington won’t do anything here to change your mind on him, but the good news is he doesn’t even attempt an accent this time; he is pure Australian the whole way and seems more relaxed. Luckily new supporting characters played by Toby Kebbell and Bill Nighy bring some much needed humour and warmth that was sadly lacking in the first movie. Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson are also given more of an opportunity to shine this time with more of an arc than our main character.
It's big, it’s loud and it’s proud, delivering everything it promised to in the trailer and the poster. See it on the biggest screen you can find.
Expected Rating: 4 out of 10