Friday, March 30, 2012

Wrath of the Titans

Perseus battles a bunch more monsters. And that's about it. Made for people who are in the mood for some good old fashioned mythology-lite.

Rated PG-13

for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action.

Wrath of the Titans

As we learned in the first Titans movie, the Gods are fueled by the prayers of man. Once men stop praying to the Gods they become weaker. They begin to lose their influence and their power. They begin to become – gasp – mortal!

In case we forgot the whole Prayers Give Gods Their Powers Rule, it’s helpfully repeated time and time again during the movie to keep us informed. In fact, the entire movie is one giant plot reading. Characters here are not in the business of discussing any amount of dialogue unless it expressly reveals some sort of plot forwarding. Like the first movie, this one is a victim of exposition. Characters are relegated to explaining copious amounts of backstory, and after their done with that, they must explain what has to happen in the future. When they’re not explaining the plot, which is full of god-like weapons, mysterious characters, and billowing monsters, they’re fighting.

Wrath of the Titans and all the people that populate it, yes even the great Liam Neeson (Zeus) and Ralph Fiennes (Hades), are simply an excuse for action scenes. There are some great actors here, but they’re relegated to espousing plot details and beating up other people or monsters, that’s it.

The demi-god Perseus (Sam Worthington), son of Zeus is back. Even after defeating the Kracken in the first movie he’s decided that he wants to live life as a man instead of living life on Mount Olympus ruling over men next to his father. Perseus has had a son, whom he loves dearly. We know this because he says it a lot. There aren’t actually any scenes between the two of them that make you feel like they truly care for each other. There’s no time for any character development like that. We must have action!

Cronos, father of god-brothers Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon, is about to escape from his prison. If he does he’ll lay waste to the world and everyone in it.

Wrath of the Titans is simply and excuse to run through as many action scenes as possible. Perseus fights his way through Cyclops, minotaur, two-headed fire-breathing beasts, and even a god or two himself. Yes, Perseus is a lowly fisherman, but when he needs to he becomes the world’s greatest warrior in two seconds flat.

Perseus and his crew bounce from one CGI-laden action scene to the other without much time to stop and gather ourselves in between. The computer graphics seem much better this time around, but they only go so far. The appearance of Cronos, who is a gigantic lava monster, is neat at first, but like all special effects of this ilk they get old fast when there isn’t some kind of believable human element backing them up.

Wrath of the Titans seems way too keen on finishing the movie as fast as possible. It races towards its conclusion as fast as possible. Soon you find yourself at the movie’s climax without even realizing how you got there. The movie moves at a dizzying pace, because the action-centric plot says that it must. The climax proves somewhat exciting, but then it’s undercut by being far too short and being followed by intentionally, but unfunny humor and sappy melodrama. Finally, at the end they had time to get us to care about the characters, and all they did was crack a few lame jokes. That’s the ‘Titans’ movies for you though. Like a Cyclops they have tunnel-vision, they aren’t concerned with characters, just CGI-infused action.

2 1/2 out of 5

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