Set a decade after his victory over the Kraken, Perseus is forced to put his tranquil life as a villager aside and enter the heated battle between the gods and the Titans. With his traitorous brothers Ares and Hades aiding Kronos, Perseus must venture to the depths of the underworld in order to save his father Zeus, and stop the titan leader from overthrowing the gods.
Director Jonathan Liebesman brings the sequel to 2010’s ‘Clash of the Titans’ to cinemas with ‘Wrath of the Titans’, his follow up film to 2011’s ‘Battle LA’. Writers Dan Mazeau and David Johnson have delivered a screenplay which very much continues along the same lines as ‘Clash’, with little emphasis on story or character development and a focus on spectacular action and set pieces.
‘Wrath’ wastes little time getting straight into the action following a brief catch up with our main character from the original film ‘Perseus’ and a quick reference as to why we won’t be seeing some of the characters from the first film return. This sets the tone for the rest of the film, as there is barely a moment from beginning to end where the characters are given any substance to draw upon or any moments to shine that don’t involve thrusting a weapon one way or the other.
What story is included is mostly a generic quest tale comprised of getting the group together, touching base with a few key sources of information and carrying on towards the objective. Unfortunately it’s not without its sillier moments and you won’t find too much intact from classic Greek mythology either, the film more draws upon its source material for the settings, and characters, with a few ideas used in parts of the film as opposed to any specific story arc. Curiously the title of the film refers to Titans in the plural sense and for the most part of this film there isn’t a single Titan to be seen.
Where the film does a little better is with the creatures, the set pieces and the action sequences along the way. Where Medusa was the highlight of the first film, here we see a similar second act high point with the use of the Cyclops. Creature designs are mostly fun and entertaining and are backed up by some strong visual effects, it’s obvious where the production budget was focused with this film and the quality is definitely on screen.
Thankfully while ‘Wrath of the Titans’ is another in a long line of current 3D releases this film makes solid use of 3D technology, purely for the visual spectacular the use is effective throughout the entire film never fading away for long period of time leaving you wondering why you have the glasses on. With swords and tridents being thrust about, large chunks of debris flying across the screen and splashes of lava there is no shortage of opportunity to capitalise on the 3D experience and this film delivers.
Here we have Sam Worthington in the action role, he brings a solid physicality to his performance here but his dramatic delivery leaves something to be desired, with a flimsy script to draw upon there wasn’t much of a compelling nature for him to provide. Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes both worthy of better material than what they have to work with here manage to inject some heart and passion into the film and Bill Nighy is given very little opportunity to shine being left as something of a missed opportunity.
Overall ‘Wrath of the Titans’ is a difficult one to recommend, and certainly not without reservation. It’s a superficial but entertaining action film filled with tangible gods and mythical creatures that will entertain some audiences but likely disappoint those with an awareness of the mythology upon which the film draws inspiration from. Ultimately the strong onscreen visuals don’t make up for a lacking screenplay.
I’m giving ‘Wrath of the Titans’ two out of five stars, it’s in cinemas from Thursday 29th March 2012.