Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Wrath Of The Titans

Illustration for article titled Wrath Of The Titans

As a ragingly inessential sequel to a remake of a film based on Greek mythology, Wrath Of The Titans is shopworn and derivative even by the degraded standards of contemporary blockbuster filmmaking. 1981’s Clash Of The Titans is best remembered as a showcase for the charmingly homemade craftsmanship of stop-motion animation legend Ray Harryhausen, who made his swan song one of his best-loved films. The 2010 Clash Of The Titans replaced the painstaking artistry of Harryhausen and his crew with a perfunctory 3-D conversion slapped on the generic CGI of an army of computer programmers. Clash Of The Titans at least boasted an irresistible catchphrase in “Release the Kraken!” The same can’t be said for Wrath Of The Titans, which has little to offer beyond slumming heavyweight thespians (Liam Neeson, Danny Huston, Ralph Fiennes) with silly Methuselah beards that carry most of their phoned-in performances.

The eternally adequate Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator Salvation) plays Perseus, the demigod son of alpha-god Zeus (Neeson), and the slayer of the Kraken. As the film opens, Perseus has traded in his divine lineage for the life of a humble fisherman, but when Zeus is captured by his brother Hades (Fiennes), Perseus springs into action, saving him with the help of the ne’er-do-well son (Toby Kebbell) of Poseidon (Huston) and a warrior queen played by Rosamund Pike.

Director Jonathan Liebesman, who proved his facility with special effects (and little else) with the surprise hit Battle: Los Angeles, gives the film a washed-out brown-grey palette and a plodding, perversely talky tone. For a film devoted to mindless spectacle, the self-serious Wrath doles out action setpieces stingily until the climax, which finally delivers a modest dose of dumb fun that’s much too little, much too late. Liebesman’s low-energy, low-ambition Wrath Of The Titans never even aspires to be particularly good; it merely aspires to be good enough, and fails. It’s a tale of gods and monsters that fails to do right by both parties or, for that matter, an audience it seems to imagine will settle for just about anything.