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Wrath of the Titans

by on March 31, 2012
 

“Wrath of the Titans” has such an obligatory feel about it, starting with that title. “Wrath” kind of sounds like “Clash,” and could reasonably be interpreted as an escalation of it. First you clash, then you get mad about it.

The 2010 reboot of the ’80s ham classic wasn’t great filmmaking, but it at least was fun, breezy and action-filled. The quick-and-dirty sequel also boasts plenty of fights, but it gets bogged down by too much existential angst and father-son conflicts.

Perseus (Sam Worthington), proud half-god son of Liam Neeson’s Zeus, has spent the years since defeating the Kraken as a humble fisherman, teaching his own son to follow in his decidedly un-divine footsteps. He resents Zeus for foisting his gifts upon him.

But then Zeus’ full-god son, Ares (Edgar Ramirez), joins leagues with his banished uncle Hades (Ralph Fiennes) to capture Zeus and suck him of all his power. It seems Ares, the god of war, is jealous of all the attention daddy has been giving to his half-brother. Their plan is to use Zeus’ god juice to release Cronos, the titan all-father of both Zeus and Hades, whom they defeated long ago and imprisoned in the underworld.

Perseus joins forces with Agenor (Toby Kebbell), the smirky half-god prince of Poseidon, to head down to Hades to save Zeus. So basically, every single guy in the movie has daddy issues.

Louis Leterrier, who ably helmed the last movie, is given the boot in favor of Jonathan Liebesman, who, like a lot of directors these days, doesn’t seem to know which end is up when it comes to filming fight scenes. He falls back on the tried-and-true tricks — quick-flash editing, jumpy camerawork and a tendency to leave all the special effects shots with a fuzzy, indistinct feel.

At least the 3D is better, though probably not worth the $3-$4 ticket upgrade. Andromeda (now played by Rosamund Pike, replacing Alexa Davalos) doesn’t look like half her head is heading down the hallway like in the last movie.

The movie can boast a few cool moments. I liked Cronos’ demon warriors, who look like two molten men strapped back-to-back whirling around in a devastating cyclone of sword strikes. And Cronos himself is pretty badass, resembling a mountain of lava and smoke that has come alive.

Worthington gets to be a little more soulful this go-round, and he brings what few emotive moments the movie has.

At a little over 1½ hours, “Wrath of the Titans” isn’t a very long movie, but it still manages to drag at times. Altogether, it’s an unnecessary sequel to a remake that we didn’t really need, either, but at least that was less Freudian and more fun.

2.5 Yaps