There’s a reason Greek mythology has been relegated to fun fairy tale instead of popular belief. It’s not that the gods lost their powers when people stopped believing. It’s not that Christianity makes SO much more sense. The thing is, the Oracle at Delphi prophesied the Wrath of the Titans movie and the Olympus gang bolted a few millennia in advance to be spared its three dimensions of sequel lameness.
Wrath of the Titans, follow-up to 2010’s forgettable Clash of the Titans remake, is the epitome of what’s wrong with 3D and its uses in popular cinema. I don’t know which was a better beard, Zeus’ or the special FX extrava-gasm with which they tried to cover up this movie’s many holes.
Aside: I always figured the Greeks would be of the function-over-fashion mentality; they seemed like a pragmatic bunch. So why do we find Perseus fighting a wooly, two-headed, fire-breathing monster (with a serpent for a tail) clad in a mini-skirt and flip-flops? Was it laundry day?
Anyway, as the reign of the gods reaches its twilight, Zeus (Liam Neeson) implores Perseus (Sam Worthington) to help him restore order. He refuses, preferring to raise his son as a simple fisherman. So Zeus meets up with his brother Poseidon (Danny Huston) and son Ares (Edgar Ramirez) in the underworld to help Hades (Ralph Fiennes) restore the prison of Tartarus, housing head Titan and all-around magma dickhead Cronus.
But sniveling Hades and the angst-ridden Ares, god of war, betray Zeus and siphon his life force to set Cronus free to subjugate humanity. Poseidon escapes to warn Perseus, who must enlist the sea god’s own son, Agenor (show-stealing Toby Kebbell), and attempt to rescue Zeus and avert disaster.
The list of what’s wrong with this flick is so extensive that I could fill an entire hard copy issue of CL. First and foremost is the creation of non-Greek mythology. You can’t base a movie on ancient tradition and then start making shit up as you go (read: “Spear of Trium”).
Inside the mind of a Hollywood exec: “In order to spend more money and tech and effects, let’s go cheap on writing! Who needs plot and character development when we can make viewers think lava is shooting toward their heads?”
One accusation you cannot level is that Warner Brothers went cheap on casting. Worthington reprises his role as Perseus, Kraken-killing son of Zeus, chief God in the Greek Pantheon. Neeson returns as the thunder god, opposed by Fiennes as the god of the underworld, in the battle of the somber, bearded dudes.
The flick is so flatly written and derivative that it wouldn’t make a difference if WB had cast Neeson and Fiennes or Colin Farrell and Will Ferrell, who are both forgettable enough that they must be related. Wrath of the Titans is also forgettable; its bells and whistles don’t nearly cover the spread for anyone other than fans of bright lights and loud noises. Which, of course, means it should do well commercially, despite the protests of critics worldwide.