Wrath Of The Titans (2012)

Spectacle. When Warner Bros greenlit a sequel to 2010 remake Clash Of The Titans, they had but one tiny caveat – give us a bigger baddie than the Kraken. No small order considering that hulking hellbeast was the size of two Burj Khalifas stacked on top of one another. Luckily for the makers of Wrath Of The Titans, Greek mythology had already gifted them a super-nemesis in the form of granddaddy Kronos – here a ginormous meanie at least as big as THREE Burj Khalifas. Ladies and gentlemen, we have our spectacle.

That’s the baddie, but what about the heroes? Well, Sam Worthington also had a condition for reprising his role as demi-god Perseus. His, though, reaps less thrilling results – he wanted to prove he could act after condemning his own performance in Clash. That means Wrath beefs up the father-son issues that were already pretty hackneyed in Clash (Perseus now has a kid!), and you can see Worthington straining for the emotional sucker punch throughout. He’s misty-eyed for the entire 99 minutes.

Wrath is a sequel with things to prove. Its predecessor incurred the wrath of just about everybody, and that’s actually a good starting point to be in – Wrath benefits from low expectations. To be fair, it gets a few things right. The action is tighter, the 3D’s better (though still unnecessary) and Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson are given loads to do together (including one supremely hammy final act battle).

Other than that, though, not much has actually changed. The plot is still so paint-by-numbers it’s barely worth explaining. In a nutshell, Hades (Fiennes) and Ares (Édgar Ramírez) have teamed up, and they want to unleash God-birther Kronos (something about getting back the respect the deities goddamn deserve). Attempting to stop them are Perseus, Agenor (Toby Kebbell) and fifth-wheel Queen Andromeda, who’s now played by a breathlessly posh Rosamund Pike.

It’s clear from the get-go that Wrath is more interested in the bust-ups than the brotherly love. Barely five minutes in we’re given a massive scrap between Perseus and a two-headed dragon – no surprise considering director Jonathan ‘Battle: Los Angeles’ Liebesman is at the helm. That’s not a put-down, though. Liebesman brings a gorgeously grubby aesthetic to Wrath – this is real dirt-under-the-fingernails stuff, and the gritty visuals help the (many, many) action scenes no end.

And what is Wrath if not a showcase for glorious, ridiculous, CG-infused action? Skipping along at a hell of a lick, it’s never much more than a string of ever-more bombastic clashes, right up to the earth-quaking climax. Along the way, Bill Nighy offers comedy relief, Kebbell flashes dazzling pearly whites, and a head-spinning labyrinth segment is surprisingly fun (even if it rips off, of all films, Alien Vs Predator). Spectacularly dumb, then, but spectacular nonetheless. 3/5

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