Monday, February 11, 2013

Movie Review—Wrath of the Titans

Those of you who have seen the remake of "Clash of the Titans" know that when I say its sequel, "Wrath of the Titans," is a better movie than its predecessor know that I'm not necessarily saying "Wrath" is a good movie. Whatever it is, though, it's certainly never quiet.

Ray Harryhausen is one of my cinematic heroes. The last movie he did special effects work for was the 1981 version of "Clash of the Titans," so when the remake came around a few years ago, I was wary but hopeful. The trailers certainly made it look exciting. But no... no. It ended up being one of the worst movies of 2010.

"Wrath of the Titans" has an advantage then. It's an entirely new story... well, sort of, unless you count mythology... and so I wasn't spending every single second of the movie mentally comparing it unfavorably to an original. This time out we get more neat mythological monsters, but each time they show up... they end up kind of being wasted. Chimeras make a big opening scene, but even though they're supposedly rampaging across the countryside for the duration of the movie, once Perseus kills one at the start of the movie (in what's easily the most interesting scene in the entire movie), they're never seen again. Perseus and crew head out to Hephaestus's island, and once there they get in a fight with a bunch of cyclopes, but it turns out they're kinda nice if dumpy guys who end up strolling up the mountainside with the heroes to visit Hephaestus. And they end up having to go through THE labyrinth to enter Tarterus to save Zeus, and wouldn't you know it the minotaur does indeed attack Perseus, but he's just a big dude with growths on his head who, after a series of quick-cut fight edits, ends up not leaving much of a mark on the memory.

I suppose that all the lava effects splattering off Kronos's enormous mitts at the end were pretty nifty, as were his double-sided lava warrior thingys... But by then, I was pretty well bored with the absolutely uninspired dialogue and frustrated by the obviously well-done special effects that you couldn't really stop to admire because they were too busy doing fast edits. Fast edits are hard to do well, but easy to do when you're covering the fact that you don't know how to choreograph an action scene, whether or not it has CGI in it or not, I guess...

Oh. Wait. Just remembered... like "Clash" did a few years ago, "Wrath" manages to get a somewhat goofy and nonsensical cameo in for Bubo, so now I hate the movie just a little bit more.

Wrath of the Titans...
  • ... thankfully doesn't have any suicide bombing djinn or comedy-relief adventurer duos. It does have a comedy-relief single adventurer, so it's not a total improvement.
  • ... makes the mistake that the viewer would rather watch Perseus and Ares have a fistfight rather than see some more special effects in the form of just one more mythological monster encounter.
  • ... somehow manages to have less memorable characters than the first movie. Which is, in a way, a blessing, since the traits that made the previous characters memorable were insulting or frustrating or annoying.
  • ... spends way too much time trying to make us interested in the human armies that don't have a chance in the fight anyway and end up kinda just standing around and getting dirty.
  • ... makes me wonder why, if you steal Zeus's lightning bolt, you don't bother using it in a fight, even if you ARE Ares.
  • ... really does want to be God of War, but it doesn't have the courage to even get close to it. Maybe if it had been R-rated and was loaded with gore and profanity and nudity it would have been more interesting.
 Grade: C–

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