The sequel to the 2010 hit film comes almost exactly two years after its predecessor, Clash of the Titans. In that time it seems the team behind the film have managed to fix some of the issues that plagued the first movie, but unfortunately have left other glaring ones as they were which regrettably leads to an unsatisfying and wholly unremarkable experience.
Wrath of the Titans continues the adventures of Perseus (Sam Worthington), a decade after his defeat of the Kraken. He is attempting to lead a quieter and more peaceful life with his son, as a fisherman in a small village. However his plans to settle down are quickly thwarted by his father Zeus, who informs Perseus that the Gods have been weakened by humanity’s lack of devotion to them, and are subsequently losing control of the imprisoned Titans. Perseus must fight to protect his village, his son and the entire earth from being destroyed, and so he embarks on a treacherous journey into the Underworld to overthrow the Titans.
The opening minutes of Wrath of the Titans offer genuine hope that the filmmakers have added some heart into this film, as we see Perseus and his son fishing together and living their peaceful life. The first film lacked any emotional resonance and it almost seems as though this one has seen to that issue by giving us someone to care about. You genuinely want to care about this relationship between a son and his father. However, not five minutes into the movie this hope is long gone, as the film transcends into the same dreary territory already visited by Clash of the Titans. Zeus comes down from the heavens and informs Perseus that he must save the planet from Kronos, the all-powerful Titan who had previously been trapped in the Underworld but has now overthrown his defences and is about to destroy the earth. From here it spirals into a bombardment of effects and monsters, all of which are technically brilliant, but dull and lifeless.
The dialogue is clunky and wooden, and taken far too seriously. Sam Worthington is clearly trying hard, but he is out of his depth in scenes that require much more than thrusting a sword into some fierce creature, and who knew the ancient Greece had Australian accents? Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are above the material given to them, but they still cannot save the film and their scenes mostly fall flat and don’t achieve the level of severity that is clearly intended. One saving grace is the surprise addition of Bill Nighy, who brings a slice of humour to the film and is obviously having a lot of fun in his role, which is a nice change from the rest of the film which is trying so hard to be taken seriously.
The 3D effects are a huge step up from the original, and the creatures in the film are impressive. There are some excellent action set pieces, the most original and inspired being the sprawling maze that acts as the entrance to the underworld and the lair of the deadly Minotaur. However, without anyone to genuinely care about and root for, it all just becomes a huge mess of effects, which gets monotonous and repetitive very fast.
It’s difficult to recommend this film to audiences, however if you are just interested in some cool monsters and fighting scenes then Wrath of the Titans is an agreeable enough way to spend a couple of hours. On most other levels though, it fails to impress or inspire in any way, and will most likely leave you unenthused and bored, or else laughing at some truly ridiculous dialogue.
By Nathanael Rice
Wrath of the Titans is now showing in cinemas across Australia.