ʻWrathʼ disappoints much like its prequel
April 6, 2012
There were a lot of things wrong with 2010’s “Clash of the Titans,” none of which were fixed in the sequel. “Wrath of the Titans” is just as dull and aimless as its predecessor, and the 3D effects are every bit as disastrous.
The movie picks up a few years after “Clash.” Perseus, reprised by Sam Worthington, has given up his monster slaying ways, and now lives as a simple fisherman with his adolescent son. But when the Greek gods’ scheming unleashes a new evil on the world, Perseus is forced to take up his sword to protect humanity.
A good sequel will capture the best parts of the original, and present them in a new and surprising way. “Wrath” does none of that.
This is fundamentally the same movie from 2010, rehashing the original’s quest narrative to a tee: team up with a rag-tag band of misfits, go looking for a powerful weapon and use it to stop an impossibly large monster.
This time around the Kraken is replaced by Cronus, a big, bad Titan determined to destroy the universe. He’s sealed away in an underworld prison, but Hades, played again by Ralph Fiennes, wants to let him out for dubious reasons.
Strangely, “Wrath” even does away with the only redeeming aspect of the original: Liam Neeson’s performance as Zeus. Neeson makes a return in “Wrath,” but as a marginal background character, and without the pomp and melodrama that made him entertaining. Instead, he spends most of his screen time hobbling around like a feeble Gandalf.
There is little sense of direction in the plot of “Wrath,” down to the core motivation for the heroes and villains. There is also no greater significance to the action, and no meaningful themes to explore.
There are hints of a subplot about the relationship between fathers and sons, as well as between brothers— Zeus and Hades battle it out, as do brothers Perseus and Ares—but neither ideas dubiseem to go anywhere. Viewers looking for more than an action set pieces will be disappointed.
Like the original, “Wrath” is also presented in 3D. It is also just as bad.
When debating the merits of 3D movies, “Clash” is often cited as an example of what not to do. After a last-minute decision to release “Clash” in 3D, the movie, which was shot traditionally on film, was digitally altered to give it the extra dimension. The result was a noticeably less vibrant, headache-inducing blunder that added nothing but dollars to ticket prices.
With two years to learn from their mistake, one would think the producers of “Wrath” would have at least done the 3D right. Not so. The effect, which was also added digitally in post production, is understated to the point of pointlessness, and even detracts from the presentation by muting the brightness. This movie is one of those rare cases where you actually get less for paying more.
“Wrath of the Titans” is nothing but an unnecessary sequel to an unnecessary remake. It is an amateurish and altogether heartless creature feature destined to be forgotten. It ends with a strong setup for a sequel, but why bother?
Michael Brun is an alumnus of UW-River Falls.