Well, here it is! The sequel that no one demanded to the 2010 Clash of the Titans, the movie that almost destroyed the 3D revolution. It was a lousy script, lousy remake of the classic, campy 1981 original, and piss-poor 3D FX that caused migranes and made people leave the theater. The good news about being the follow-up to a film that bad is that the bar is set very low. So with a bar so low, did Wrath of the Titans do better...yes, but that's nothing to hang your helmet on.
The first thing the studio did to improve the franchise was fire original director Louis Leterrier, who did such a bad job with the first one. Sad considering he also directed The Incredible Hulk with Edward Norton, which was not only the first in the Avengers series but a really well done film. They hired Jonathan Liebesman to grab the reigns and he does a much better job. Shocking since his previous films of Battle: LA, Darkness Falls and Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning are all pretty bad, but I think that was the fault of the scripts and not the direction. Liebesman makes a far richer world this time around and creates some fairly exciting action sequences.
It's those sequences though that are the reasons why you buy a ticket. "That was a CGI-fest," said my friend Dave who went with me. It sure it, but c'mon...that's why you're there. You don't buy a ticket to see a film called Wrath of the Titans for seasoned acting or heartbreaking drama. You buy a ticket because you want to watch Sam Worthington (Avatar, Man on a Ledge) fight a two-headed demon dog with a tail that has a snake's head. And as specific as that request is in a film, you won't be disapointed because it's in the movie.
One problem that you have with a film that so heavily relies on CGI is that you usually get performances out of the actors that look faker than their surrondings. Wrath of the Titans is no different. It's padded with some wonderful actors like Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Bill Nighy (Shaun of the Dead, Pirates of the Caribbean 2) and none show you why they're so respected in this. It could be because they are in scenes opposite of Worthington who is a terrible actor. Over the past three years, he's gained more and more popularity and I can't figure out why. His accent is never masked, which makes him appear as Sam Worthington in every movie; in Wrath he's just dirty Sam Worthington.
The story is one of simplicity and total fabrication. The first one at least was somewhat based on the legend of Perseus. This is a totally made-up Hollywood tale about how Perseus has to help his father, Zeus, to defeat a plot to resurrect his grandfather, Cronos, with the help of his uncle, Hades, and cousin, Aries. These are all real characters from Greek Mythology, but this story is not. It's simple, unjustified in the plot and silly at times; such as the decision to make Cronos a giant, lava monster for some reason.
The film is fun but you should expect more in every aspect. The only area that seems to be excellent is the CG FX, which deliver some pretty thrilling shots and sequences. But when you consider the fact that that's the only reason you really want to see Wrath of the Titans, you can leave your brain at the door and enjoy the pretty colors. Such a shame considering the rich world of Greek Mythology though.
Wrath of the Titans (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: C+