Review: WRATH OF THE TITANS

Rating: C

Okay, so lately I’ve lived in a bit of a bubble, busy as a bee, trying not to drown in all the things I need to accomplish and the sheer exhaustion, all the while healing from cervical fusion. I paid NO attention what-so-ever to any trailers, advertising or notes on ‘Wrath of the Titans,’ so I unassumingly went in to the screening blind, so blind (like duh) that I did not even take note that ‘Wrath of the Titans’ is the sequel to the recent updated version of ‘Clash of the Titans.’ Trust me. I know how that sounds. My grandson voiced his desire to see it, so off we went to the screening, and while notably not a good film, this second film is better than its predecessor but nowhere near acceptable compared to the original. That said; my young date, who has seen the original, but not the remake, enjoyed ‘Wrath of the Titans’ and now wants to see the first one.

We find the half man, half god, Perseus (Sam Worthington) living a humble life as a fisherman, raising a son (Helios) alone and keeping his head low. He is visited by his father, Zeus (Liam Neeson) who tells him that his brother Ares (Edgar Ramirez) and uncle Hades (Ralph Fiennes) are plotting to release the evil Kronos (Perseus’ grandfather), an act that will drain the gods of their power and destroy humankind. At first Perseus refuses to do anything, but when his father is captured, his uncle Poseidon (Danny Huston) badly injured and his son threatened, he jumps to action, enlisting the help of Queen Andromeda (the beautiful Rosamund Pike) and a rapscallion (and also half man, half god) named Argenor (Toby Kebbell), who leads them to Hephaestus (Billy Nighy) – the creator of the labyrinth which leads to the underworld and of the three godly weapons carried by Poseidon (trident), Zeus (thunderbolt) and Hades (pitchfork) – so they can enter and save Zeus, defeat Ares and Hades and save mankind.

The majority of the cast is first rate as are the stunning, nearly seamless visual effects and I am particularly fond of the steed Pegasus, on whose back Perseus rides into danger. In this, Worthington comes across stiff and impassionate, although I do have to admit, he physically fills the shoes well. Nighy, as usual, plays Nighy, but it works and he provides some much needed comic relief. Neeson and Huston are excellent gods, and Fiennes, as usual, play the perfect villain, one who can still have a change of heart. I like Kebbell, too, but his character (also flavored with a touch of comic relief) is underused and poor writing keeps him and the others from really being fleshed out anyway.

My grandson seemed most drawn to the exciting visuals and at one point even became a bit frightened, assuring me with his small hand on my arm that all the creatures and effects were “fake and not real, so it is okay.” The story really is silly, so a kid his age isn’t going to become engaged or care about much but the visuals anyway, and ultimately even the few “scary” bits were minor and mild. He stayed engrossed and spoke excitedly about several scenes and that made the ordeal tolerable for me.

I did not fall asleep in the PG-13 rated “Wrath of the Titans,’ and I could easily have, but in 3D (which I usually loath), the visuals do really pop, so I stayed engrossed to a degree. I’ve been in movies where I wanted my time back, but this wasn’t one, probably because Case liked it so much. I am placing a C in my grade book. I have seen, far, far, far worse this year already.

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