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I am really interested in Greek mythology, Ancient Greece and the sort, and I love reading about it and usually enjoy films like Immortals etc but hadn't actual got round to watching Clash of the Titans yet when I spotted Wrath of the Titans today on Sky on Demand so I decided to give it a watch.
- Plot -
Sam Worthington returns as Perseus, son of Zeus living a normal mortal life with his son Helius. Zeus visits him, and warns of a pending war as Kronos wants to take over and asks him to come with his other son Ares and him to the underworld. Perseus does not want to get involved in God affairs and declines the invitation to go along with his father. When Zeus reaches Tartarus (the underworld) it transpires that Hades - God of the underworld and his brother - and Ares (Zeus' other Son) have betrayed him and capture him so they can give his power to Kronos in exchange for their immortality.
Poseidon, Zeus' brother manages to escape Tartarus and visits Perseus to inform him of Hades' and Ares' betrayal and that he is the only one who can save Zeus. He must visit Queen Andromeda, and find his cousin, Poseidon's half mortal son Agenor and who will help him find "The Fallen One" in order to save Zeus. In true Hollywood, Ancient Greek style, accompanied with Pegasus, Perseus sets off on his mission, gathering warriors along the way in order to save Zeus and Greece from the wrath of Kronos.
- My Opinion -
I wasn't as into this film as I was with Immortals, mainly because I felt Sam Worthington was a bit misplaced as the lead warrior. He wasn't as ripped and chiselled (yes I'm a perv!) and seemed a bit heavy and weak when throwing around a few punches on screen. I like a good fight/action scene in my film, and this felt like Lord of The Rings but completely watered down with one or two arrows shot and nowhere near enough dialogue or substantial storyline to hold it all together.
Liam Neeson was quite good as Zeus, but really reminded me of a poor version of Sir Ian Mckellen in Lord of the Rings with his cloak, long beard and thunderbolt. However, he was well accompanied with Ralph Fiennes as Hades and until they both had a long hair, beard and cloak on and stood next to each other I never realised how similar the two really look and they really could pass as brothers! As a duo they were an interesting watch, and one of the only screen presence that brought any real interest in my opinion.
Another one of my bugbears was that the accents across the Spectrum of the film also really varied, some seemed English, some a fake American trying to be English and it just made the film seem really disjointed!
To make up for some of the disappointing aspects, there were some element of special effects with CGI work looking excellent and a really good visual feast. The labryinth of Tartarus was excellently done, and Pegasus looked so realistic I was amazed. There was also a bit of dry comedy in the film to make it a bit more interesting, but this was only at odd points and felt a bit like the writers were trying too hard when the rest of the film was meant to be very "serious"!
- Overall -
I thought this film was literally just ok. Not something I'd watch again (whereas I've seen Immortals AT LEAST 5 times) and so not something I'd really recommend in a hurry. It isn't awful but isn't the best with some slightly stiff acting and padding out of the film so sadly it only gets 2 stars!
I recall a few months back that I watched the trailer of the Wrath of the Titans and I can't help but be excited. I was a fan of the first flick, and I'm quite sure that the second one's going to be a classic. But it turns out I'm wrong.
It's three hours of boring dialogue, confusing storyline, and few quality moments.There's a lot of cast change like, where's Gemma Arterton(Io), I mean, she was killed once, but saved, then killed again. If the writers knew better, they wouldn't have killed such a good and interesting character. And what's up with Princess Andromeda? If you can remember, she was such a delicate girl, the damsel in distress. Now you can see her kick- ass and fight alongside of Perseus. Maybe being tied up and almost sacrifice made her consider a personality change. It is not exactly Sam Worthington's top performance, considering his slam-bang job at the first one, but he seems rather spaced out at this flick sometimes and acts with almost no emotion. This film is stuffed with good action scenes, I'll give you that, but it doesn't have the right touch and work to balance it. Rosamund Pike is quite good portraying Andromeda, with just the right toughness and delicateness. The all-star cast comprising of Liam Neeson(Zeus) and Ralph Fiennes(Hades)'s acting is moderately good, as is expected of them.
Overall, don't waste your money on three hours of brain freeze and turmoil. There's a lot more that is better where that came from.
Wrath of the Titans is a sequel to Clash of Titans and once again forces Sam Worthington into a taciturn unflinching role as Perseus, half god half human and his battles with the titans. In this re-incarnation we have Liam Neeson as Zeus, and Ralph Fiennes as Hades and lots of special effects, noise and very little plot.
Set 10 years after the clash of titans, Perseus is determined to be a simple fisherman, but as with all wishes larger forces are at play which will stop this from occurring. In this instance, man's loss of love for the Greek gods is undermining the power of Zeus and his cronies so Hades calls a meeting and during the meeting traps Zeus and starts draining his power to re-power Kronos Zeus' father. Complicated well no, silly well yes, the solid leads in Neeson and Fiennes clearly enjoy the silliness of the script and spend long periods shouting at each other and clearly looking forward to spending their earnings without engaging their artistic licence.
Overall, this film seeks to engage the viewer with the travails of the half god Perseus, his fights against the dragons, titans and his half-brother are all supposed to give the audience a sense of the awe and power of being semi-divine. In reality, the film is a mess, there is virtually no plot beyond going from one action scene to another and it reminds me of those 70's cop shows where if in doubt insert a car chase. Sam Worthington is a decent actor as spotted in the spy thriller The Debt but seems to desire being cast as the silent all action movie star, aka Bruce Willis in the 80's and 90's or Clint in the 70's. However, unlike those giants he lacks a bit of screen charisma and a little bit of menace.
The best parts of the film are the scenes set in Tantalus, or Hades to the less informed, the use of the labyrinth and the moving concrete blocks gives the film its only moments of edge and excitement but the film wastes it when they come to navigate through the maze because Perseus just randomly gets to the centre of the maze and out again without too many problems. Remember this is a maze even the gods don't know how it works but Perseus no problem, just go left, randomly any direction and hey presto.
Perhaps this film could have used fewer fireballs, less CGI on Kronos and more on a working script; they clearly persuaded two brilliant actors to give their times to the film so why not give them something to work with. I'd have thought a film with Neeson and Fiennes as Greek gods should be intense, exciting and a little intimidating but not here, the only thing intimidating is the amount of hair on display and Fiennes wishing there was another Harry Potter film he could make where he can be intimidating and scary.
So a disappointment and hopefully if there is another film they might consider the script a little more.
Very little makes sense in "Wrath of the Titans." Characters exist solely to serve the purpose of being in an impressively designed, expensive looking action scenes. The dialogue they share is useless, meaningless and almost worthless. Why? Because the script makes no coherent sense. Interesting betrayals and unexpected allegiance form in the first few segments of the film. Here, the intentions of its characters seem to be comprehensible. But moments later, these views change, and although they try to explain their sudden change in personality, the clunky, uneven script full of laughable dialogue won't let them - which is a shame, because you would think that with a cast this good, anything would be an easy sell.
Now Sam Worthington is far from an actor known for his diverse range or high acting capabilities. But he's not awful. Give him the right material and character, say, an emotionally distant, cold warrior, and he can definitely pull it off. He did so in "Clash of the Titans," and he hopes to achieve the same in its follow-up, "Wrath of the Titans." As Perseus, the son of Zeus and hence a demi-god, Worthington has to save the world once again because the all-powerful Gods of Olympus can't keep their acts together. Apparently being a demi-god can work as an advantage in situations where Gods are weakened. Lack of prayer from the humans is diminishing the God's powers; which is why the devious and opportunity-grabbing Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and hot-tempered Ares (Edgar Ramirez) have teamed up to overthrow Zeus (Liam Neeson). Ares has daddy issues and Hades has brother issues. Not a lot more is explained beyond this point.
It's time for the great Zeus to ask for his demi-god son's help. Perseus also has daddy issues, not wanting to associate himself with danger, since he too, has a son of his own. Oh, and we see him bury his wife Io at the beginning of the film, but a warrior like Perseus doesn't have time for sentimentality - especially when his village is hit with a deadly Titan, unleashed as a result of the two newly evil Gods trying to rescue their long-imprisoned father Cronos, from the dark depths of Tartarus, the underworld prison. It all sounds very silly, and it is.
If there is one noticeable improvement from the first installment, it's this. There are actual Titans in this one. Hurrah. And the visual effects are certainly impressive enough to design some deadly looking, enormous creatures. But the trouble is this - the monsters are so huge that it is simply unrealistic to expect a fair fight between these ugly things and a group of feeble looking humans. As talented as Perseus may be on his flying horse Pegasus, he looks like a complete idiot in front of something that is ten-times his size, just running away to hold onto his dear life. The fact that there is very little actual competition sucks out a whole load of excitement from the several action scenes. The epic nature of its villains is undoubtedly awesome to look at, but the film's impressive streak ends there - at merely looking good.
Casting-wise, the only person who manages to save some face is Toby Kebbell. Another demi-god who joins Perseus in his quest to save the world, Kebbell injects much-needed lightness and laughs into the dry, dull and plodding script with his usual cheeky, British style humour. Worthington, who has more hair on his head this time round (his lack in the first film was one of the many reasons that attracted criticism), remains so-so throughout, the best he can do with the kind of lazy writing he's been given, and it's a shame his face doesn't find a lot of time to be put on the screen, thanks to the director spending more time focusing on his computer-generated images.
And why oh why did they have to reintroduce the role of Andromeda? Rosamund Pike, the talented English actress who has starred in a string of films that showed off her poised and charismatic acting skills, is criminally underused here. She's a brave, apparently accomplished warrior queen, leading troops into battles she knows won't win. She looks like an intelligent leader, but is absolutely pathetic when it comes to fighting. She carries around a sword with her, she isn't afraid to use it, but too bad she barely gets the chance to use it. She slays one monster. That's it, one. She takes on Ares a couple of times. She is completely out of her league and is squashed like a fly. Pike is here to be a female eye-candy, and to serve as a love interest to (surprise, surprise) Perseus. It's such a waste of the actress' time and talent, and it wouldn't have taken a lot of effort to include her in more crucial moments but here, she is shamefully left doing less than nothing.
The fraternal angle that gets played up way too much between the Greek Gods is ridiculous and the film's final act turns into a shambolic embarrassment. There is a sudden reunion between two of the unlikeliest characters and they team up to take control of a battlefield in which a gigantic volcanic eruption in the form of Cronos threatens to destroy the world as we know it. To be fair, the two recently reconciled, powerful brothers (I won't spoil who they are but you won't believe your eyes and ears when this rushed plot points take place) taking absolute control over the losing battle to help drive the humans towards victory is a satisfying watch, especially since their Greek Godly powers lead to some loud and intense confrontations.
All in all, "Wrath of the Titans" had room to be much better and simple steps would have upgraded the quality in extraordinary levels. But as things turn out, the writers decided to give up midway, and not include an ounce of consistency into the plot. A simple plot is not necessarily a bad one, but an uneven, contradictory one is frankly unbearable. Very short on exhilarating ancient action, and even worse on relatable characters, this sequel unfortunately sets a new low for Worthington's career, though not through his own fault. You can tell the scale has grown from its predecessor, but not to a good end-result. Perhaps it's time to put a permanent halt to the "Titans" franchise and put it out of its misery. Because let's be honest, after you come out of a fight against the father of all Greek Gods (Cronos), what else is left for you to take on?
About the film
Wrath of the Titans is the sequel to the fantasy/ action film Clash of the Titans and it was released at the cinema in the UK on 30th March. The film is rated 12A due to scenes of violence and action and it also has a run time of 99 minutes.
Ten years has passed since Perseus became a hero and defeated the almighty Kraken. Now attempting to live a quiet life as a fisherman with his son Helius, Perseus believes that he can get on with his life and forget his heritage. Meanwhile, a struggle between Gods is brewing and the human world is once again in danger. Humans no longer believe as much in the Gods, resulting in the slow loss of their power and also their strength. With this problem, the Gods are losing hold on the Titans and Zeus and Hades' ferocious father, Kronos is gaining power. The only way to save the world is for Perseus to take his rightful place again as a demi-God to save the fate of both worlds.
Sam Worthington as Perseus
Rosamund Pike as Andromeda
Bill Nighy as Hephaestus
Édgar Ramírez as Ares
Toby Kebbell as Agenor
Danny Huston as Poseidon
Ralph Fiennes as Hades
Liam Neeson as Zeus
What I thought
I really enjoy films about Gods and ancient lands and I actually quite liked Clash of the Titans. As I have a new Cineworld Unlimited Card, I'm making the most of it and going to see something whenever I have the time. As I liked the first of these films, I figured that Wrath of the Titans would be a pretty safe bet.
Sam Worthington takes up his place once again as son of Zeus, Perseus. His performance in the first film was far from fantastic but the role does not exactly ask for a hell of a lot of ability. All that was really needed was to be quite moody, a bit stubborn and to look good wielding a weapon. On those accounts, he passes with flying colours. When it comes to actual acting ability though, Worthington is less than impressive. I feel that although he does ok, anyone could have really played this role with those traits and probably done a better job.
In complete contrast, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes do amazing jobs in their roles as Zeus and Hades respectively. Fiennes especially plays his part to perfection, having such good practise playing the bad guy. As Hades, he is truly scary, although not as much as Lord Voldermort but I still wouldn't want to cross paths with him. Pitting him against his brother Zeus gave the plot an intense feeling at times and gave me some mixed emotions. In one sense I wanted Neeson to come over all bad ass and kick his arse while on the other hand I wanted the two brothers to make amends. These two characters/ actors make most of the film good and worth watching.
Someone else who also does this is Toby Kebbell who is introduced as the son of Poseidon. Kebbell adds some much needed humour (British humour at that!) to a bland and timid script. The addition of this fun and cheeky character lightens up the mood of the film throughout and since his arrival on screen, I was a lot more interested in what was happening and I enjoyed the film a lot more in general because of him. I do wish that he had been given a lot more lines and maybe a slightly bigger part in the plot but without him this film would have been very close to terrible.
The plot was quite confusing for many reasons. The beginning of the film starts off quite simply, establishing who everyone is and giving a small and quick recap of what happened in the previous film. From here, it all goes a bit wrong. Alliances and deceptions are set up from the very start although allegiances appear to change a million times over the course of the film. Some scenes are cut extremely short when they should have been made longer, giving a very confusing and mixed up feeling for the audience. The film is only 99 minutes long and with most films being around the 2 hour mark now; important aspects of this one could have certainly been drawn out more.
Instead of spending more time on the plot, script and giving the audience what they needed in relation to viable explanations, time and money is spent on expensive computer graphics. While these are impressive for the most part, I would have much preferred a good and solid story with a better cast. Great scenery and graphics are all well and good but what do they really mean when the story doesn't match their quality?
I went into this one fully expecting to love it but I left with very mixed feelings. While some cast members do make up for the awful choices made in this department, the plot just wasn't strong enough throughout to make me happy.
I didn't bother with 2010's Clash of the Titans remake which received almost universally poor reviews, partly due to the shoddy post-production special effects that were (badly) added once filming had been completed. Despite the poor reviews, though, Clash still made a lot of cash, making a sequel all but inevitable.
And here it is. Set 10 years after the original, Perseus is raising his son as a simple fisherman, determined to keep him away from Gods and Monsters. Fate, of course, has other ideas and when his father Zeus is kidnapped by Hades who has formed an alliance with Cronos, (their imprisoned father). Perseus must set off to rescue him.
That the plot is pretty nonsensical is a given and quite understandable. After all, it is simply there to provide a reason for Perseus to travel to various locations where he meets and fights various monsters inspired by Greek mythology (Cyclops, Minatours etc.).
What I didn't expect was for the film to be so boring. Any vague hint of story gets drowned in a sea of special effects and whilst some of these are quite impressive, they happen so frequently that after a while the viewer just becomes inured to them. The longer it progresses, the more Wrath loses any sense of excitement or tension; I quickly found myself becoming bored by the endless procession of effects-heavy sequences.
Fight sequences are something else that are massively overused and generate little sense of excitement. They are so badly directed that they just become a mass of flailing limbs and a confusion of body parts, where it's usually impossible to tell who is winning until the victor stands up leaving the loser on the floor dead.
What was (unintentionally) amusing was the massive range of accents on display. Clearly none of the cast gives a stuff about consistency and just used their normal voices, leading to a veritable Tower of Babel set of accents. The story is set in ancient Greece. So naturally, the hero, Perseus (Sam Worthington) has an Australian accent, his father Zeus (Liam Neeson) is Irish, his uncle Hades and love interest Andromeda (Ralph Ffienes and Rosamund Pike) are both upper class British, his half-brother Ares (Edgar Ramirez) is Venezuelan, and his cousin Agenor (Toby Kebbell) is cockney. Say what you like about ancient Greeks, but they were apparently a very cosmopolitan bunch.
This mish mash of mangled vowels makes the film sound ridiculous. I know Wrath is a mindless blockbuster, so you don't expect Oscar-worthy acting, but the fact that you keep encountering all these different accents gives the film a thrown together and fragmented feel. None of the performances feel like they belong together in the same film and the fact that the actors couldn't even be bothered trying to match their accents stops you from ever really caring about what happens on screen.
Like the accents, acting is also very variable. Sam Worthington spends most of his time looking completely bored with the whole thing (the viewer can sympathise) and completely fails to look amazed when yet another special effect decides it's time to have a bit of a scrap with him. Rosamund Pike is desperately wooden and would be perfect as the Wooden Horse if Hollywood ever decide to remake Troy. There's no chemistry between her and Worthington and as a Warrior Queen, Pike is about as convincing as a pipe cleaner. Toby Kebbell is your standard (unfunny) comic relief and everyone else is just there to make up the numbers.
Despite a pretty impressive cast, the only real bright spots are Ralph Ffienes who causes a bit of a chill as the sinister, creepy Hades and Bill Nighy as Hephaestus. Nighy is clearly having a lot of fun with his outrageously-accented, barking mad character (adding yet another accent to the mix, Nighy opts for Yorkshire). It's just a shame that both of these characters are sorely underused, because they are one of the few things that make the film temporarily palatable.
Factor in some truly awful, teeth-clenchingly embarrassing dialogue and you start to appreciate the scale of the problems that Wrath faces. Quite how so many big name, award-winning actors can bring themselves to utter the cheesy lines that are forced on them is beyond me. I can think of only one logical explanation: money.
Where things do pick up is in the special effects. Whilst they might not blow you away, they do at least show some imagination. The various monsters are suitably grotesque and the Cyclops in particular look good. The most impressive effect of all, though, arrives towards the end when main bad guy Cronos is fully revealed. It's clear that a lot of the budget has been poured into realising him and when he pops up and starts to wreak havoc, the film finally starts to show a little promise. It's just a shame that his role is relatively limited and happens too late to have any real impact on your opinion of the film.
It's also clear that more attention has been lavished on some effects than others. The shots involving winged horse Pegasus, for example, are truly awful and somehow contrive to look even more dated than the effects from Ray Harryhausen's original way back in 1981. When it comes to special effects, Wrath is still a strange mix of the good, the bad and the downright ugly.
At least lessons have been learned in some areas and the 3D has improved. Although the 3D effects were still (apparently) added in post-production, Wrath was always planned as a 3D film and so it looks a lot better. Indeed, it's one of the film's few plus points that effective use is made of 3D in several sequences as the camera swoops, soars and glides around the landscape; the descent into Hell being a particularly impressive example.
I only went to see this because (astoundingly) one respected UK film magazine gave it 4 stars and said it was a massive improvement on the first. If this one is twice as good (the same magazine gave Clash two stars) then I'm really glad I gave it a miss. I think I'm being pretty generous with two - most of that is for the impressive Cronos and the well-used 3D. Even for a brainless popcorn movie, this is poor stuff. If they're forced to watch stuff like this, no wonder the Gods are always angry.
Wrath of the Titans
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Running time: Approx. 99 minutes
© copyright SWSt 2012