Review: Wrath of the Titans

Posted March 29th, 2012 at 3:45 pm

It’d be difficult to approach Wrath of the Titans with a completely open mind. The film it follows, Clash of the Titans, was dull and almost single-handedly began the downfall of 3D in the US. Those low expectations though may actually be an advantage for Wrath. Though flawed it’s an entertaining film with some spectacular special effects. Even more surprising – the 3D is worthwhile and enhances the experience. 

The story follows Perseus (Sam Worthington) who must travel into the underworld to rescue his father Zeus (Liam Neeson). Zeus’ other son Ares (Edgar Ramirez) has turned on him and handed him over to Hades (Ralph Fiennes). The plan is to sap Zeus’ powers and transfer them to the leader of the imprisoned Titans – Kronos – (father to Zeus, Hades, and Poseiden) who would then unleash hell on the world.

Where the negativity towards Clash really makes an impact is in the early minutes of Wrath. There is no real emotional attachment to the characters – no real care for their fates or the conflicts that are at hand. I wasn’t sure the film would be able to break out of that but it somehow did despite inherent confusion around their relationships and motivations without having Clash’s plot fresh on the mind. It just took a little time for it to come together.

Wrath of the Titans isn’t going to win any awards for dialogue which is sketchy to say the least and almost laughable at times. In fact the movie tends to just move from one set piece to the next with the story taking a back seat. The action is what ties it all together and ultimately leads into a massive final battle. It was actually somewhat startling just was how brisk the pace was and how quickly events advanced – by the time that battle came around it didn’t feel as though it was already time for the film to be concluded.

That is a compliment as the first film was plodding and anything but an enjoyable experience. The effects in Wrath are extraordinary and the uniqueness of the various monsters, and the sheer size of Kronos, adds to the fun. While I rarely would recommend paying extra for 3D – and I still wouldn’t necessarily with Wrath – there were some really cool moments that were taken advantage of with the technology and it added some valuable depth to scenes. All things being equal going with the 3D wouldn’t be a bad decision here.

Wrath of the Titans achieved something unanticipated – it entertained and even made the prospect of a third film in the series somewhat appealing. Expectations, albeit very low, were easily exceeded. There are better overall options in theaters right now (21 Jump Street, The Hunger Games) but for the crowd seeking action Wrath of the Titans is worth considering.

Rating: ★★★☆☆