Review: WRATH OF THE TITANS (2012) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Review: WRATH OF THE TITANS (2012)

RATING: 2.5/5

Despite mediocre reviews and shoddy 3D post-conversion work, CLASH OF THE TITANS (2010) managed to overcame the negative publicity by earning a whopping $493 million worldwide -- more than enough reason to warrant an inevitable sequel. However the sequel, WRATH OF THE TITANS, suffers more-of-the-same weaknesses -- cardboard characters, weak plot and erratic pacing. But at least, the special effects are improved considerably and the climactic ending against the main villain (this time it's Kronos, instead of Kraken) is more exciting than the first movie.

Set almost ten years after demigod Perseus (Sam Worthington) saved the world from Kraken, he is now embraced his human side and lives a normal life as a humble fisherman with his son Helius (John Bell). One day his father Zeus (Liam Neeson), visits him in the village and warns him that his immortal power is fading because people has stopped praying for gods. Because of that, his brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes), who rules the underworld, is now taking advantage of the situation by teaming up with Perseus' ill-tempered brother Ares (Edgar Ramirez) and plan to unleash the darkness upon the world. But Perseus is reluctant to help until his village is subsequently held under attack, which prompted him to take action.

En route, he finds out from the dying Poseidon (Danny Huston), who is badly injured by Ares, that Zeus is held captive at the underworld. Apparently both Ares and Hades are draining all of Zeus' power in order to restore the almighty Kronos back to life. But in order to save Zeus' life, he needs to travel way deep into the underworld and he knows he can't do it alone. So he ends up joining warrior queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) and Poseidon's mischievous son Agenor (Toby Kebbell) in a treacherous quest to the underworld.

It's a shame that the plot is a letdown, even though the screenwriters (David Leslie Johnson and Dan Mazeau) does make an effort to introduce more fascinating creatures derived from Greek mythology (e.g. the two-headed Makhai, Cyclops, Minotaur) to jam-packed the entire movie. Acting-wise, Sam Worthington's lead performance as Perseus remains as wooden as ever while the rest of the actors are equally mediocre. Only Bill Nighy made quite a lasting impact as the fallen god Hephaestus, a cranky weapon-maker with a schizophrenic behavior.

Original director Louis Leterrier who previously helmed the 2010 remake, is now reduced as one of the executive producers. Taking over the directing rein is BATTLE LOS ANGELES helmer Jonathan Liebesman, who certainly knows how to deliver some worthwhile if wobbly entertainment. The first action scene is particularly an amazing work of technical accomplishment -- the exciting set-piece where a fire-breathing hydra attacks Perseus' village is shot in bravura extended takes with minimal editing. However the subsequent action scenes are reduced into his usual shaky-cam style. It's annoying as usual, particularly for a movie with such fantastical premise where it's best to be admired with steady shots and long takes. But at least Liebesman knows how to sustain his shaky-cam work to make the movie remains watchable.

As for the improved special effects, the final scene is especially an eye-catching cinematic experience which features the almighty Kronos -- a towering creature formed out of burning rock and able to set fire against anything with the wave of an arm.

1 comment:

DTG Reviews said...

The acting is much better than the original but the storyline is pretty predictable. However, it achieved something unforeseen and worth watching.