Moviegoers should stay far, far away from “Wrath of the Titans,” the sequel to 2010’s “Clash of the Titans,” which was a remake of 1981’s “Clash of the Titans.”
It’s bad enough when Hollywood films a remake of a horrible movie. It’s even worse when it films a sequel to that remake. But if the movie makes money, who cares?
Well, viewers with functioning cerebellums should care, and they should stay far, far away from “Wrath of the Titans,” the sequel to 2010’s “Clash of the Titans,” which was a remake of 1981’s “Clash of the Titans.”
Who knows, if enough people see “Wrath,” we may get another sequel — Perseus cleans up his act in “Bath of the Titans” — or a prequel — a baby Perseus has diaper issues in “Rash of the Titans.”
In this sequel, Perseus (Sam Worthington), the demigod son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), is trying to live the quiet life as a fisherman with his 10-year-old son Helius (John Bell). No more slaying Krakens. And no more wife. Io has died, robbing the world of another Gemma Arterton performance.
Zeus eventually shows up and tells Perseus that not all is well on Mount Olympus. Gods have been weakened by a lack of human devotion and a power struggle is brewing between the gods and the Titans, most notably Kronos, who just happens to be the father of Zeus, Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Poseidon (Danny Huston).
Dear old dad has been imprisoned in the underworld dungeon of Tartarus, but a plan to free him threatens the welfare of, well, the entire universe.
To try to save the day, Perseus receives help from another demigod, Agenor (Toby Kebbell), the son of Poseidon, Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), and the god Hephaestus (Bill Nighy), who is no relation to Festus, the sidekick on “Gunsmoke.”
Basically, “Wrath of the Titans” is a big-screen video game shown on IMAX 3-D for people who love special effects, battles and explosions.
The good news is “Wrath” is better than “Clash.” The bad news is that’s like saying scurvy is less onerous than leprosy.
The special effects should appeal to the easily amused as Perseus battles a Chimera, a Cyclops, a Minotaur, his turncoat brother Ares (Edgar Ramirez) and, finally Kronos, a massive CGI creation who looks like a moving mountain and spews forth destruction like a volcano. How this guy ever found a date boggles the mind.
Director Jonathan Liebesman, as he proved in “Battle Los Angeles,” knows how to blow things up, and if all you crave in a movie is explosions mixed in with punches to the face, you’ll be satisfied. But, wait, there’s more! You get to watch boulders fly through the air in 3-D. Whoopee! This is the type of movie that would make Michael Bay proud.
Since “Wrath” acts like a game with dialogue only added to separate the action scenes, it’s pointless to spend too much time discussing such niceties as the script and acting.
For the record, Dan Mazeau and David Leslie Johnson penned the screenplay. It includes such memorable lines as ”I know there is still good in you.” If you heard that sentence uttered in another film, like, oh, I don’t know, one of those obscure “Star Wars” movies, it’s just a coincidence.
The film tries to play up the family dynamic, but that’s hard to do when relationships play a supporting role to mayhem. A tacked-on love interest at the end is particularly galling.
As for the thespians, Worthington does represent a step up from the immortal Harry Hamlin, who played Perseus in the first “Clash.”
Kebbell, meanwhile, gets to act as a poor man’s Sacha Baron Cohen, trying to instill some comic relief in this moribund production. Nighy does a much better job in the jocular department.
The other actors get to collect their paychecks, and pray they don’t harm their careers too badly.
“Wrath of the Titans” is not so much ungodly as unnecessary. How many more times will Hollywood keep plundering Greek mythology and churning out mindless, violent claptrap? You know the answer, and you know who’s to blame. The fault, to plunder a quote from some English guy, is not in our stars but in ourselves.
The film opens tomorrow.
“Wrath of the Titans” (C)