Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Wrath of the Titans - Movie Review

Wrath of the Titans - Movie Review

Cast: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Rosamund Pike, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Nighy
Director: Jonathan Liebesman

The sequel to the Clash of the Titans has a lot to live upto after being widely derided upon release two years ago.

While it wasn't a bad story and bringing to life of the old Greek myths, it really was lambasted for its poor use of 3D.

This time around though, The Titans are hoping for a new lease of life.

Set a decade after he defeated the Kraken, Sam Worthington's Perseus, the demigod son of Zeus (Neeson) is trying to live a quieter life than the action man of yore.

With a 10 year old son in tow, he's lying low.
But above him, all hell is breaking loose among the gods as they begin to lose control of the imprisoned Titans and former enemy Kronos - and Zeus, the father of the gods, starts to lose his grip on what's around him. Plus throw in betrayal into the mix and an old enemy and it's all on.

Worse still, Kronos' strength grows stronger as Zeus' remaining godly powers are siphoned, and hell is unleashed on earth.

Enlisting the help of the warrior Queen Andromeda (Pike), Poseidon's demigod son, Argenor and fallen god Hephaestus, Perseus bravely embarks on a treacherous quest into the underworld to rescue Zeus and save mankind...

So, the big question is if this sequel is better than the first one a couple of years back?

Well, the answer is sort of.

You're not really in any danger of having your cerebral cortex being troubled by any major plot or character development - but then this really was never that kind of film. Any subtleties of Greek mythology have been jettisoned too in favour of actions and fiery explosions.

It's more about spectacle - which I have to say this delivers a lot more than first time round thanks to some truly apocalyptic CGI.

Acting wise, Worthington holds his chops and gives Perseus a gruff exterior; making him more of a fighter doused with love for his son; Fiennes and Neeson have a little gravitas as the warring Hades and Zeus; Toby Kebbel brings a bit of self awareness and levity as Poseidon's son Argenor, and Pike brings a bit of class to a slightly bland Queen Andromeda. Bill Nighy deserves some praise as a nutty and insane Hephaestus who talks in a broad Yorkshire accent - his is also the only nod back to the previous generations of the film thanks to an iconic Titans artefact.

But the film, at its heart is simply a sequence of action sequences; a brash and noisy blockbuster that cares not for its characters merely services them with moments to hack and slash their way through their next challenge.

It's a shame as there are glimpses and snippets of a story lurking under the lavish FX work. It's a generational tale of brother vs brother conflict and of mortals who've lost faith in their gods; it throws in Cyclops, Pegasus, a Minotaur and Tartarus - so there's clearly an acknowledgement of the source material. Plus a final showdown between Perseus and the big bad Kronos (which resembles the Beast from playstation game Infamous 2) has some pretty good moments. That and moments within the Underworld as it shifts around Perseus work so well in 3D and Imax - and give this a clear heads up on the original.

But somewhere along the way, the care and attention has gone more on the digital side rather than equal effort put into the story.

Which is fine - if you want fantasy action and an FX-fest then you're in luck.

Anyone else may feel the luck of the gods has finally run out in this visually stunning and epic film, which is lacking in depth but is perfect popcorn entertainment.


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