Wrath Of The Titans **1/2
One Liner Review:
Better than expected, better than the first movie, this sequel actually has a plot that shows signs of creativity and it has a ton of cool beasts to go with it.
Made in the exact same spirits as the first one, this one is actually a little better, if only because it has more creatures and a livelier story. Put it this way, three gods die in this movie and none die in the first film. Wrath of the titans is about special effects and action more than anything else. The story about Hades still being resentful that his brother Zeus put him in charge of the underworld, has Hades now team up with Ares (the god of war) to release their prisoner father, Cronos, and keep Zeus as their prisoner. None of it is really all that smart, but what we do get is a large amount of beasts coming out of the underworld and fighting the humans. Perseus is again the star, and as played by Sam Worthington, he’s a grunt of an actor who doesn’t seem to have an intelligent bone in his body. Good thing he doesn’t need one for this movie. The film is fun with all of its glitz and glory, but you can’t help but thinking while you’re watching it, that it’s all kind of dumb. So what? As a guilt pleasure kind of B movie, loaded with special effects, it’s still enjoyable.
Wrath of the titans isn’t anything great. Nobody, I’m sure, expects that it might be. Not after the first movie, clash of the titans; turned out to be so crappy. Not after this movie got made with a lousy director (the guy who made Battle: Los Angeles.) at least the first movie had Louis Letterier who made the half-decent Edward Norton Incredible Hulk movie. And that Letterier directed clash movie was pretty bad. So how good could this one possibly be? Well, surprisingly enough it’s a lot better than the first film.
That must be in part due to the low expectations. You go into this movie knowing it’s going to be B movie campy fun at best. It’s big budget monsters against warriors in sandals. It’s 300 meets mythology instead of history. If you go in thinking that way, there are two things that immediately become apparent. The dialogue is pretty stupid, but the plot isn’t half bad.
In the first movie, Hades (played by Ralph Fiennes), showed resentment toward Zeus for making him in charge of the underworld while Zeus got to rule the heavens and Poseidon got to rule the sea. In this movie, Hades puts a plan into action to exact revenge. One might say that he tried to do that in the first movie too, but it really only came out towards the end of the movie and was orchestrated very poorly. Here, it’s established from the get go as the central plot of this movie, and it also is done in a way that actually draws a little bit from real Greek mythology.
As the legends go, the Greek goes Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades buried they’re father, Cronos under a mountain. They took his power and divided up his kingdom into three realms and that’s how they came to rule the world. Well, now Hades decides his jealousy of his brothers’ realms must be appeased and so he, along with Zeus’ son Ares (the god of war), decide to set Cronos free and use him to defeat Zeus and Poseidon.
Aside from setting Cronos free, they also kidnap Zeus and kill Poseidon. Zeus is held in a prison at Tartarus, where the only way to get to the prison is to go through a labyrinth. Wouldn’t you know it; there’s a Minotaur in the labyrinth as well (way to cash in on the Theseus myth). He is just one of many beasts that appears in this movie.
The storyline also has it that because of the destruction of the mountain that held croons; all of these other monster come free as well and attack. It starts with the chimera, a two headed giant dog / monster with a snake for a tail. Perseus fights this creature off, yells some terrible dialogue at it, but has a good told time putting it down. By the way, did I mention it breathes fire?
After that it’s onto the Cyclops Island, which is a secret island that only Poseidon and his son know of. The Cyclops as sons of Poseidon, living on a private island is something out the Ulysses / Odysseus Homeric poem, the odyssey. And it’s put to good use here, having the Cyclops’ start out as enemies, but then turn into allies as they accompany our heroes for a little while, on their quest. This is reminiscent of the scorpions in the first movie, creatures that attacked the main characters until are heroes found a way to control them and ride on them over distant lands.
Similarly, the first movie was all about finding a weapon that could put the kraken down. That weapon turned out to be medusa’s head. This movie, also, is about finding a weapon and calls upon the real blacksmith from Greek mythology, Hephaustus, to provide it. The weapon is a combination between Zeus’ lightning bolts, Poseidon’s trident, and whatever Hades uses. Hephaustus is the one who originally made these weapons for the gods and so it is he that our heroes go to seek.
Not too long after they find him, they are led into the labyrinth with its cool secret door and everything. This is the third movie in about a year to feature the Minotaur inside a labyrinth plotline (first in your highness and then in the immortals.) I’m glad they keep trying it, however, because none of the other two movies got it right. Wrath of the titans comes the closest, making the walls movables and giving a real sense of being inside somewhere treacherous once the characters have entered.
Wrath Of The Titans is better than the first movie. Mostly because it pays attention to real Greek mythology and comes up with a story that will truly embody the legends of the past. The first movie was simply about using medusa’s head to defeat the kraken. Here, the kraken is not only mentioned, but also even spoofed. Characters do impressions of Zeus, saying “release the kraken,” and laugh about it. The first movie was about bringing in as many beasts as possible, just to throw them at the screen. This sequel is about feeding the plot. Every challenge the characters encounter leads to more clues and answers that bring them closer to defeating Cronos. The action is just okay, completely computerized and completely ridiculous, but could you really expect anything else? Mainly this movie works because it’s story works and at the end of the day, that’s the skeleton that hold a movie up or lets it fall to the ground. I’m glad they drew on real mythology for this one, even if they did find ways to spin it in the directions they wanted. The movie is infinitely better than the first film, probably because the first movie was a remake of a seventies film. This sequel is it’s own beast.