REVIEW: Wrath of the Titans

Deus ex machina
Review by Vives Anunciacion
Published April 3, 2012
Inquirer Libre

Wrath of the Titans
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman

I don’t remember mentioning in my review of Clash of the Titans (2010) that the etymology of Dios (Tagalog Diyos) is apparently from “Deus” the Modern Greek version of “Zeus.” Anyways, Wrath of the Titans felt like the makers of the 2010 embarrassment tried to pull all stops to apologize to the audience. No, it’s not Crap Of The Titans, if that was what you were expecting.

Ten years after the slaying the Kraken, the Olympian gods are disappearing into oblivion one by one as humans cease to pray. With their powers weakened, the Titan Kronos, father of Zeus (Liam Neeson), Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Poseidon (Danny Huston) reawakens from his imprisonment  in Tartarus and seeks to regain control of the universe.

Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson

Zeus attempts to stop Kronos from reawakening, but is betrayed by his own son Ares the god of war (Edgar Ramirez) and Hades. Perseus (Sam Worthington) is again called to action to save his godly father and ultimately the Earth from impending destruction.

With ‘Clash’ laying the foundations of the backstory, ‘Wrath’ puts a lengthier focus on the father-son relationship between Zeus and Perseus which, like the heavens opening after a dark storm, makes a slight resonance with Perseus’ relationship with his own son, Helius (John Bell).  Action proceedings are given mild comic relief with the addition of Hephaestus, weaponsmith of the gods (Bill Nighy) and Agenor (Toby Kebbel), one of Posiedon’s demi-god sons. If only there were more exposures of these two on screen.

Bill Nighy as Hephaestus

This one actually looks good in 3D, and boy do the images pop in IMAX. From a technical perspective, the lighting design, practical and computer-generated effects blend really well onscreen. At some point, all those explosions and falling debris reminded me of Saving Private Ryan. Also, I’m not sure if the film holds the record for the first one-eyed point-of-view shot in cinema history. However, strictly speaking, there’s not enough wrath and Titans in the film to merit the title, so let’s just call this Itch of One Titan.

Still, excessive on-screen fire-and-brimstone doesn’t correspond emotionally, but ‘Wrath’ is decidedly much better than ‘Clash’ in story, characters and visuals. Yes it still has bad dialogue. But yes, it’s still a big-budgeted B-movie. In fairness, there was a wee spattering of applause after the screening. Apology accepted.

Two things will result from this Wrath. Either the story ends here (which I doubt, regardless of the boxoffice take) or a third installment is made, which could either be a prequel or a sequel.

The prequel could be about how the brothers Zeus, Poseidon and Hades overthrew their father Kronos – the Titanomachy or War of the Titans in most Greek myths. Or the studio can just wrap this up by linking Perseus with his more-famous grandson, Hercules. I’m quite sure they will call that movie Last of the Titans.

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