For the record, I hated the ‘Clash of the Titans‘ remake. The only thing worse than its acting was its awful screenplay. To this day, it also remains the worst example of post-conversion 3D. In fact, the 3D was so bad that some folks in the industry predicted that it would kill the future of the format. But as much as I loathed that movie, I have to admit that I actually don’t mind the new sequel, ‘Wrath of the Titans’.
If you’re like me, you’ve stricken ‘Clash of the Titans’ from your memory. I only remember a few things about it, some of which are actually blended with scenes from ‘Prince of Persia‘, because the two films were both set in the desert and featured the gorgeous Gemma Arterton. Knowing that most of us have mentally blotted out that atrocity, ‘Wrath’ opens with a brief narration that recaps the events and characters from the first movie. The funniest part about this is that while the filmmakers try to reestablish that world, they completely ignore it in other ways. For example, Queen Andromeda was played by the exotic-looking brunette Alexa Davalos in ‘Clash’, yet here she’s played by the fair-skinned blonde Rosamund Pike. Hey, at least they’re both easy on the eyes. I have to laugh at the fact that the big actors – Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Sam Worthington – were all required to return for the sequel due to contractual obligations, while someone barely known like Davalos didn’t.
In ‘Wrath’, Hades (Fiennes) convinces Zeus (Neeson) to come down to hell to lend a helping hand. When he gets there, his godly son Aries and Hades catch him off guard and offer his body to free the most dangerous titan in existence – Kronos. With the heavens falling and the gods losing power, the only person who can save Zeus and the world from the destructive force of mile-high lava monster Kronos is Zeus’ demi-god son Perseus (Worthington). Just like ‘Clash’, Perseus is told what must be done to save the day, and the rest of the movie is dedicated to watching him accomplish those tasks. There’s not much that needs be done and none if it requires figuring anything out on his own.
Everything that made ‘Clash’ so bad is improved upon in ‘Wrath’ – the story, the script, the acting, the 3D, the effects. ‘Wrath’ isn’t great by any means, but at least it features the fun that was absent in the first film. This is the mindless action movie that we all expected two years ago. My biggest complaint has to do with one shot in the movie that jumps to letterbox so that it can create an image of something that appears to come out of the screen by expanding that object into the black bars at the top and bottom. Since this only happens once, it seems more experimental than anything. And in case you’re wondering, no, it doesn’t work. Instead, it’s distracting. I doubt we’ll ever see it again outside of trailers.
If you’ve already seen ‘The Hunger Games’ and yearn for more violence, then consider the big dumb action movie ‘Wrath of the Titans’. It looks great and sounds great (this should make for a demo-worthy 7.1 Blu-ray release). ‘Wrath’ doesn’t quite make up for the terrible first movie, but it’s a step in the right direction.