Wrath of the Titans

Wrath of the TitansWithout worship, the gods fade away, so we are told. By that token, if audiences refuse to watch bad movies, will studios stop making them? Universally panned upon release, 2010’s Clash of the Titans in no way warranted a sequel, yet assurances were made that lessons had been learned and would be addressed in the follow up, but like gods, studios are capricious, and those promises have proved worthless.

Following a rushed recap and infodump from Zeus, who can’t even be bothered to brush his hair when he visits his scowling son Perseus and watery eyed grandchild, the story descends into family squabbles, between brothers Zeus and Hades, between Perseus and his half-brother Ares, and between Perseus and his tiresome cousin Agenor. And why should Perseus become involved? The gods live on a separate plane, and have no interaction with humanity save to demand worship or the support of human armies.

Like Immortals, released late last year, the most staggering question about Wrath of the Titans is how a film depicting a war between gods can be so tedious, but the answer is the same: a lead character who generates no interest. Stubbornly clinging to his Australian accent, Sam Worthington’s Perseus refuses to help his father Zeus and uncle Hades, a comatose Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes, a sneering Lord Voldemort minus the prosthetics, and that indifference poisons the film. Intended as comedy relief, the moment where Perseus is embarrassed by the reluctance of Pegasus to cooperate gives a different message; when even the special effects don’t want to work with the leading man, it’s time to move on.

Of the two sons of Zeus, Édgar Ramírez’s Ares is more interesting than our supposed hero – he expresses his anger, rather than muffling it – but with the story based entirely around special effects, there is little to be done to save the film. When Zeus lies dying, there is no invitation for the audience to engage, though perhaps director Jonathan Liebesman realised it would be a futile effort akin asking them to applaud to save Tinkerbell.

Of the supporting cast, Rosamund Pike plays Andromeda with conviction, but delivers her lines into a vacuum created by the helmed extras who stand around her, and the usually reliable Bill Nighy is wasted in a bewigged cameo as Hephaestus; at least Danny Huston’s Poseidon fares better here than in Clash, in that he actually has dialogue this time.

The film is disjointed, an assembly of overlong scenes of bickering deities interspersed with noisy intervals of computer generated mythological beings fighting, fire-breathing chimeras, lava gods and faceless armies fending off volcanic explosions. The effects might be vast, but despite the technical proficiency of the virtual sets, the result is more akin to a video game of sliding walls and trapdoors than a rousing tale of heroism. For that, go see John Carter instead.

Wrath of the Titans is currently on general release



Show Buttons
Hide Buttons