Saturday, March 31, 2012

Review: "Wrath of the Titans"

"Wrath of the Titans" has such an obligatory feel to its, 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 and breezy and action-filled. The quick-and-dirty sequel also boats plenty of fights, but it gets bogged down by too much existential angst and father-son conflicts.

Perseus, proud half-god son of 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 joins leagues with banished uncle Hades 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, 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 3-D is better, though probably not worth the $3-4 ticket upgrade. Andromeda 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, who whirl around in a devastating cyclone of sword strikes. Cronos himself is pretty badass, resembling a mountain of lava and smoke that has come alive.

Sam 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 it was less Freudian and more fun.

2 stars out of four

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