“Wrath of the Titans” Movie Review

     I was not a fan of the "Clash of the Titans" 2010 remake, preferring the original for it's heart and soul over the remake's use of modern effects.  I was; however, fine with the thought of doing a sequel which would then be an original in its own right. Perhaps the type of fantasy film that could remind me of such films as "Jason and the Argonauts" or "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger." Hollywood doesn't seem to make those types of films anymore.  The type that evoke a type of creativity imagination only seen in those famed Ray Harryhausen epics of the 50's through the early 80's.  Unfortunately, they still don't make them anymore if "Wrath of the Titans" is any indication of Hollywood's ability to harness what made Harryhausen's films so magical.  "Wrath of the Titans" smells of a "Hangover 2" style cash grab and thanks to its unintelligible, cheesy script it arrives as a series of promising action sequences strung together with laughable dialogue and no real story.

     We join Perseus (Sam Worthington) 10 years after the events of "Clash" and see he wants nothing to do with his Demigod status as the son of Zeus.  He lives the life of a fisherman while raising his young son.  He is visited by Zeus (Liam Neeson) who tells him of a plot to release his father, Kronos, who was once overthrown by brothers Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon and left imprisoned in the underworld.  He asks for the help of Perseus but is turned town.  When Zeus and Poseidon enter the underworld to investigate, they find out that Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Zeus' other son Ares have conspired to release Kronos.  They quickly overpower Zeus and kill Poseidon, leaving Zeus helpless and unable to stop what is about to occur.

     For some unknown reason, a fire breathing two headed dog like creature lands via meteor in Perseus' town and he is forced to react and resume the hero role as he seems to be the only one capable of fighting the creature.  I wondered if this creature was sent by Hades to provoke Perseus or if many of these appeared in towns randomly.  It's really never explained.  Perseus does get the message though and solicits help of Andromeda and Poseidon's son Agenor.  We then get one of those typical journey type sequences where people on foot walk a great distance but are then confronted by a new threat.  On to the next action sequence! The group then takes on 3 giant Cyclops monsters who seem to only fit into the story as an excuse for another effects driven sequence.  Is the scene good? Yes.  Do these Cyclops have anything at all to with the story? No. Rest assured, it was decided there would be a battle between Perseus and a Cyclops long before there was a script.

     The journey to the underworld leads the group through a labyrinth and a lot of dangerous situations, but you never really think anyone of the main characters is in any kind of peril.  Once they free a weakened Zeus with the help of Hades who apparently had a change of heart in a lame apology scene between the two godly brothers, the stage is set for the release of Kronos and another effects laden battle sequence. I was astounded by the amount of punishment Perseus takes in this film.  I remember back when "Home Alone" was released, a group of doctors put out the number of times the villains would have been killed by the injuries inflicted upon them.  It would be something to do so here too.  Perseus, in a scene where he fights his brother Ares, is smashed head first into stone pillars dozens of times.  He's stomped in the head repeatedly, and takes crushing head and body shots from a solid metal staff.  All this not to mention being flung in the air by mythical creatures throughout and landing into trees and hard ground.  I know the guy is a Demigod and all, but come on.  In the beginning of the film, he's being stitched up after his first battle and he's not immortal so a hint of realism in his punishment might've been a good idea.

     One thing I certainly noticed was the poor editing job.  In one scene, Perseus and Andromeda kiss for the first time in what should've been an emotional scene, but a half second after the kiss, the scene cuts to something completely unrelated and unnecessary.  I would've held the shot several seconds after the kiss to show the nonverbal significance and there are numerous examples of this.  Key scenes are cut way too short and unneeded scenes are way too long.  This greatly affects the film's pacing which is already a losing battle because the script is horrific.  I can only imagine fine actors such as Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes reaction to the director telling them as Gods to say "Let's go have some fun like old times brother!" I have to figure their reaction was "Really? You want us to say that?  GRADE: D