I was practically cringing when Sam Worthington played Perseus in the 2010 Clash of the Titans, but after his recent outing in the surprisingly good Man on a Ledge, I was half-expecting a decent showing.
Sadly, Wrath of the Titans, which plays fast and loose with Greek mythology, proved utterly disappointing thanks to Jonathan Liebesman’s treatment, a garbled script, and visual effects overkill.
Wrath picks up 10 years after Clash, with Perseus living an innocuous fisherman’s life in a remote village with his son Helius.
Of course, as all Hellenic myths (or in this case, a far-fetched one) goes, Perseus is visited by Zeus (Liam Neeson, though I’ll always remember him as Qui-Gon Jin), who discloses that the walls of Tartarus are shaking because the gods’ powers are on the wane, and that a catastrophe is coming.
The hero, naturally, refuses the call to action, and only seriously gets off his ass when a monster plonks itself right smack in the center of his backyard and starts nomming on his neighbors.
What follows is a formulaic tale that’s incredibly insipid, though it’s got it’s humorous bits thanks to Toby Kebbell’s performance as the roguish Agenor.
Of course, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the folks behind the scenes had played a bit too much World of Warcraft. I mean come on. Major evil imprisoned deep beneath the earth, a world shattering disaster, and a manifestation that’s spouting fire and oozing lava? Sounds a lot like Cataclysm, ain’t it?
Don’t get me wrong. The visuals aren’t bad, and they must have spent a fortune on getting the 3-D to work the way it did (which was better than the previous film).
Yet ultimately, there’s very little going on beyond the visuals. Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes’ (who plays Hades) were the two biggest names on the set, and they practically carried the show. Bill Nighy (he was Viktor in Underworld, and Davy Jones in POTC) was exceptional too, but he had all of 15 minutes of screen time. The rest of the cast pretty much played second fiddle, with Worthington’s performance being the least impressive of the lot.
Now that I’ve stepped out of the cinema and ditched my 3-D glasses, I’m wondering if this film should be renamed Wrath of the Critics. It’s a miracle the film’s passed muster at all.
Watch ONLY if you must.