Now Playing: Another Defeatable ‘Titan’

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.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆


  1. Drew


    I’m trying to decide whether to see this in 2D or 3D. Generally I’m a fan of 3D, but HATE bad post-production 3D.

    Will you please compare this to a 3D film that was comparable in terms of quality? You say that the 3D was better than ‘Clash’, but wouldn’t any 3D be?

    Is it better than the 3D used in ‘John Carter’? I thought that 3D was pretty weak, so I’m hoping so.

    Your opinion (as well as Aaron’s or anybody else’s) would be greatly appreciated.

    • It’s comparable to ‘John Carter’ 3D. It’s certainly better than the View Master Reel type 3D used in ‘Clash’. As for adding anything to the actual movie, I’d say no. Truthfully I felt like it made some stuff look smaller, like Cronos. Plus there are a few “jump out of the screen just because it is 3D” gimmicks included that were really annoying.

        • EM

          Now, there’s an idea for a gimmicky flick based on an established intellectual property: View-Master: The Movie. I’d like to see the 3D glasses handed out for that one.

  2. Drew


    So, overall, you would say that the 3D actually detracts from the film, and that I certainly wouldn’t be missing anything if I see it in 2D. Is that about right?

    • Exactly. There are numerous parts in the movie that are extremely dark where the 3D glasses simply darken it to a point where you almost can’t see anything going on at all.

      There are also a lot of scene with puffs of sand and dirt and lava, which are all hard to contemplate while wearing 3D glasses.

      Though my caveat is I hate 3D to begin with so given the choice I’d see everything in 2D no matter what it is. So, take that for what it’s worth.

  3. JM

    The director of ‘Wrath’ is Jonathan Liebesman, whose next project is Michael Bay’s ‘Ninja Turtles.’

    His filmography is young:

    Battle Los Angeles
    The Killing Room
    The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
    Darkness Falls

    Is this guy the next David Fincher, or the next Paul W.S. Anderson?

    All I know is that ‘Wrath’ has Bill Nighy, which means I have to watch it.

    • Nighy plays Davy Jones with a beard in the movie.

      ‘The Killing Room’ was actually a really good little survival/horror/thriller movie.

      I don’t want to even think about what ‘Ninja Turtles’ is going to be like.

      • All I know is if you remove Teenage, and Mutant from the story (they have already decided to remove it from the Title, Idiots) then you have removed half of the reason that made them unique.

        Supposedly Bay says the Oooze in the original comics was from outerspace. I don’t remember that and I definitely know they were called Mutants. Michael Bay is becoming more and more like George Lucas every day. It’s insane that these jerks think they can just rewrite history because they get paid alot of money.

        I will NEVER see a movie called “Ninja Turtles”, The original is a perfect encapsulation of the storyline, yes it’s more closely tied to the cartoon than the comics but hey it was a fun little movie.

        • JM

          TMNT was created and self-published by Eastman and Laird as a joke.

          The entire ‘Ninja Turtles’ mythology was created by a marketing department for a toy company.

          The first cartoon series differs greatly from the original, and it was titled ‘Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles’ in europe.

          I don’t remember any outrage over ‘Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.’

          ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II’ was Vanilla Ice’s film debut.

          Eastman is working with Liebesman to make sure the script fits perfectly with, and expands, the mythos.

          Paramount changed the title to help market to a broader audience.

      • JM

        David Fincher’s ‘Heavy Metal’ movie is dead, and Robert Rodriguez has the rights.

        Brilliance only happens at the perfect intersection of director, cast, and script.

  4. Drew

    Thanks, Aaron. However, your comments about hating 3D no matter what are quite telling.

    You can’t possibly even entertain the thought that 3D wasn’t necessary for ‘Hugo’. The use of 3D actually assists in telling the story, and advances the plot in that film.

    The 3D in ‘Hugo’ allows us to be voyeurs, hidden in various spots in the station, and spying on certain people and happenings that are taking place. It also gives us an opportunity to experience things through the perspective of a child.

    3D was positively crucial to the screenplay of ‘Hugo’, and it is absolutely necessary when watching that film.

    There are many scenes in ‘Hugo’ that end up being downright silly when viewed in 2D.

    I’m a fan of 3D when it is well done, and adds to the experience. ‘Captain America’ was post-converted, and fantastically so! You can’t tell me that 3D didn’t add a lot to the shield throwing, and other aspects of the fights.

    Luke, are you out there? Is the 3D in ‘Wrath’ as good was the post-conversion for ‘Captain’?

    • Never saw ‘Hugo’ in 3D. I saw ‘Cap’ in 3D, and my view on it might be tempered by me not really liking the movie all that much, but I didn’t think that the 3D was all that special there either.

      That’s why I added a caveat though. I don’t like the technology at all just so you know who you’re talking to. I do, however, think that it does more harm than good (or no harm) in ‘Wrath’.

  5. Luke hickman

    Sorry for the absense. Been out working.

    Everything Aaron has said about the 3D is true. Too dark, too foggy and it lessens the granduer of Kronos. I’d say it’s just shy of Thor’s transfer. Not the best, but not the worst. The lamest part is the jump to widescreen. I’d recommend 2D.

    Aaron, were you at that double header of screenings?

    • I went to ‘Wrath’ only. No way I was going to go to ‘Mirror Mirror’ too. Yuck. I was enjoying a nice dinner across the way while you were all suffering through that piece of crap.

  6. JM

    Why is the metacritic of ‘Wrath’ twice as worse as ‘Mirror Mirror’?

    It’s like a systemic failure of the entire critical establishment.

  7. Drew

    This is off topic, but I’m posing it to all of the HDD staff, nonetheless.

    Do any of you know if there is a review of ‘Melancholia’ on the way? How has HDD not reviewed this yet? I really need some info about the video and audio quality.

    HDD has now reviewed ‘Virgin Witch’, but not one of the most acclaimed films of 2011.

    • JM

      ‘Melancholia’ was shot digitally, so the transfer should be flawless.

      Twitchfilm says the video is impeccable and the DTS-HD 5.1 is spectacular.

      The entire internet knows of Josh’s hatred toward Lars von Trier, so Magnolia probably didn’t bother sending HDD a disc.

      The ‘Virgin Witch’ review was hilarious. I don’t think Luke’s seen nudity before.