Wrath of the Titans

A second try at this review as WordPress somehow deleted the one I’d finished last night just as I was about to post it. Damn you WordPress.

After putting the chocolate-encrusted kids to bed we checked the cinema times and found one we could catch without too much of a rush. Hence heading out to see…

Wrath of the Titans

“Follow the Navigator.”

Plot-in-a-nutshell: Bad guys try to release their daddy, who will rip the universe a new one. Hero has to stop him.

See it if you like: No-brainer effects-driven fantasy fests

It annoys me how Hollywood insists on making sequels to complete messes while ignoring decent fare which is crying out for a continuation of the story. For every Conan (siring a follow-up I believe), there’s a Percy Jackson or a Vampire’s Assistant cut off in its prime. While the original version of Clash of the Titans was a standalone masterpiece, the 2010 re-working was complete crap.

Wrath is actually a little better, perhaps helped by the fact that I had low expectations. The story is simple enough – Perseus (Sam Worthington) is back and doing the dirty work of his father Zeus (Liam Neeson) again. This time, there are only a few gods left as the humans have stopped praying to them. Along with Zeus are Ares (Édgar Ramírez), Poseidon (Danny Huston) and Hades (Ralph Fiennes).

Hades hatches a plan to re-awaken their dad, Kronos, for reasons I forget but the upshot of which is that the humans will be punished by having their entire universe ripped apart. As you do if you’re a pissed-off deity who’s been shoved into captivity for a few millennia.

Helping Perseus are Agenor, the son of Poseidon (played by Toby Kebbell) and Andromeda (eye candy in the shapely form of Rosamund Pike). There’s also a wonderful turn from the ever-excellent Bill Nighy as Hephaestus, armourer to the gods.

My main problem with Clash wasn’t actually the poor acting and abysmal dialogue. It was the awful special effects which looked cartoony in places and simply didn’t work with the live-action footage into which they were embedded. They were about as realistic as Gene Kelly dancing with Jerry Mouse.

Wrath has had better luck in this area with particular credit due to the team who worked on the fire and lava effects. The major scenes at the start and end of the film are very well done with suitably huge missiles and explosions. I think even Michael Bay would nod in approval at the fireworks. Best of the monsters, in my opinion,  are the whirling conjoined nasties in the final sequence. Nice and evil and slashing about so quickly you can’t pick out any problems with them.

The plot isn’t up to much – gather three objects and combine them to form one big weapon with which to defeat the inevitable huge bad guy at the end – but it works. It’s all predictable enough, but what film isn’t these days? The characters are a decent collection, though Andromeda doesn’t add anything to the story other than a) the ability to gather an army what with being a warrior queen and b) something pretty to look at.

Don’t expect too much and you won’t be disappointed.

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