Wrath of the Sequels: A Film Review of Wrath of the Titans

wrath_titans_rev645__120329211304 “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” … heh … you thought that was just a movie from last year’s Oscar race didn’t you? Come on admit it. You really thought that it was just a title for the movie with that annoying kid and his silly quest to find something for his father. Right? I mean, how could is also so closely describe another movie about Greek Gods and Goddesses. I mean … there’s no way. Right? Right?

Well guess what … there is a way. Just check out Jonathon Liebesman’s (“Battle Los Angeles,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning”) newest earth pulverizing, overly computer-generated, toga-fest “Wrath of the Titans.”

Now, before I get real into it, let me make something very clear … I thought the remake to “Clash of the Titans” was pure crap. Yup. I’m that guy. Don’t believe me – read my old critique back in 2010. Bad story, poor acting, ridiculously ugly 3D … just the beginning of why I felt the movie was a sad attempt at a remake. So, with that said, flash forward two years … and what do we get … sigh … well just keep reading I suppose.

Set 10 years after the events in “Clash,” Perseus (a brooding, completely unlikeable and boring Sam Worthington – (insert rant) I mean really, how does this dude keep getting leading roles? (end rant) – finds himself chilling on the coast of somewhere, fishing and living the life with his way older than 10 year-old son. Sort of at peace, the world once again comes into peril when a couple of bad Gods (shhh –it’s a secret but I bet one of them is Hades) decide to try and free Kronos (oh come on, you all learned Greek mythology.) Weakened by a lack of prayers from the people, the Gods are quickly losing their ability to hold the evil Titans in check and Kronos is hungry for a gyro.

wrath-of-the-titans-poster-feel-itOkay, I made that last part up about the gyro, but I bet, if asked if he were hungry, he would ask for a gyro … just saying.

Anywho … so Perseus needs to come out of a self-imposed retirement and use his Demi-God ways to save humanity, get the girl and get the holy crap beat out of him while doing it.

With all that being said, my hopes, prior to walking in were pretty low. Thankfully, as an overall film, “Wrath” is way better than its worthless predecessor.  Still a poor movie … but better. A faster pace keeps the story moving along and, save for a few moments when the camera calms down a bit, it’s basically a 99-minute non-stop action flick. A pure popcorn-muncher but still pretty flawed.

Caution – If you are a rock or have rock-like tendencies, I would highly advise you to stay away from this film. Hundreds of rocks were pulverized in the making of this film. Sad but true.

Whew … OK. Continuing on.

So why the whole “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” reference at the beginning? Because that’s exactly what “Wrath” is. “Wrath” is nothing more than movie about an annoying kid – Perseus – trying to solve a puzzle that his dad – Zeus (Liam Neeson doing his best imitation of a Jedi again) – trails out for him. Along the way he meets a bunch of weirdoes around the island, gets teamed with an old man and rides a horse with wings. Okay, so maybe in the other movie with Tom Hanks there was no horse with wings, but you get the idea.

Along with that, director Liebesman’s filmmaking style is to make as much noise as possible while keeping the camera so close to the subject that you have no idea what the hell is going on. It’s that same criticism I had of “Battle Los Angeles.” Many times, fight scenes are so close that you barely are able to make the goodies from the baddies. At the same time, right when the action gets going, everything gets covered up with exploding rubble or lava or fire or whatever else is spewing from the earth.

And that really is the problem. Too much exploding rocks. Liebesman has opted to replace all the destruction from blowing up cars that bombard audiences from most action epics, to blowing up the innocent barren scenery of fake ancient Greece. At the same time, hero Perseus spends most of the time getting his ass kicked until he is able to find the inner strength to vanquish the baddie … every … single … time. Repetitive until the end, audiences are then graced with one of the easiest boss-bad guy defeat in the history of films. All the other monsters in the film put up a much bigger fight.

There are a few shining moments though. Toby Kebbell (“War Horse,” “RocknRolla”) as Agenor, a bastard son of Poseidon is a treat to watch and brings some much-needed fun to the film. Too bad, he is easily forgotten in the mix and wasted after a certain point, but while he’s in, he smiles his way through the adventure in a Jack Sparrow-kind-of-way. There’s also a pretty wicked Chimera that lays near waste to a village and its design is pretty well thought out and cool.

But really, that’s about it.

Overall, the movie is not horrible. It’s just not that good. Adequate would be a better word I suppose. Much better than its predecessor and a well-made, slick-looking action flick, but boring characters, a leading man that needs to wake up and way too much exploding rock keep this one from being more. A perfect flick to end the week and forget your woes for 99 minutes, and then dismiss immediately after it’s over.

2.0 out 5 Giant Elaborate Labyrinths with a Convenient Shortcut in the Middle

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