Directed By: Jonathan Liebesman
Runtime: 99 minutes
It's all about the family values in "Wrath of the Titans," the sequel to 2010's "Clash of the Titans." Returning to the screen once again, we have Perseus (Sam Worthington), Zeus (Liam Neeson) and Hades (Ralph Fiennes). With the blockbuster popularity of "Clash of the Titans" I was curious to see whether "Wrath..." could follow suit and continue to strengthen the franchise. Unfortunately, I was left with mixed feelings.
An avid fan of ancient Greek mythology, I love these kinds of stories - the rabid two-headed monster, the giant Cyclops, Gods and Goddesses, the magical trident, the Underworld, cold steel against molten lava. It's all present and accounted for in this film, but could have been so much better if executed in a different manner.
The story opens with a view into the life of now humble and ordinary fisherman Perseus and his son Helius. Looking upon his wife's grave, Perseus reflects upon his promise to her that he will be there for their son no matter what. It is apparent that this demigod has thrown in the towel on his fighting days and traded the sword and shield for the fishing pole and bait bucket. We presume that Perseus has gone full-blown mortal, complete with the mundane everyday routine.
One day Perseus is visited by Zeus, who brings some troubling news. Apparently the mortals are no longer praying to the gods anymore. What does this mean? As the Gods become less useful to man, their powers begin to diminish until there's nothing left. And the catch? If the Gods lose their strength, they will no longer be able to withhold all those evil forces they've locked away for so many years - the titans! Zeus believes that Perseus is an integral key to making things right. Exactly why he is convinced of this I'm not quite sure. Yes, Perseus is a demigod, but he's still a mortal man.
It's at this point in the film where I begin to question what the heck is going on with Mount Olympus. Did I miss something? If I recall correctly, there's a whole hoard of Gods and Goddesses to be called upon in a time of need, but none of them are mentioned in this film save for Hades, ruler of the Underworld, Ares, the God of War, and Poseidon, the God of the Sea. Perhaps this was something addressed in "Clash of the Titans" and I don't remember, but for me this was a major plot hole.
Moving on, in a scheme to maintain immortality, there is a double cross and all the sudden Zeus is held prisoner in the Underworld. The big plan, Kronos, leader of the vile Titans as well as father to Zeus and Hades, plans to drain Zeus of his power and break free from his bonds to wreak havoc on the mortals. Some of the best moments we get of Kronos occur during a vivid dream sequence of Perseus'. A big molten lava mass that resembles that of a gigantic man, Kronos is not nearly as terrifying as some of the other CGI monsters that we encounter, which is such a disappointment. Sure Kronos is big and has a grumbly voice and makes all kinds of smoke and fireworks, but we've seen it before in the beginning of the film so it's just not as effective the second time around.
I think "Wrath of the Titans" put too much emphasis in the special effects and too little time in the script. With a "love conquers all" theme throughout the entirety of the film, I had to roll my eyes at times because of the cliche and rather tacky dialogue. Yes, I agree, family is ever-so-important and reconciliation is a great thing. But this is war and when you're up to your neck on the battlefield, you either man up or be put to rest, because adrenaline is about the only thing running through your veins. If I saw a little bit more of this, then perhaps I wouldn't be so reluctant to give this film a thumbs up.