Although it grossed $493 million worldwide, 2010’s Clash of the Titans is a film best left forgotten, a lamentable plot and poor 3D combining with equally poor acting in a disappointing effort. Nonetheless as is so often the case, money talks, and the franchise has yielded an unearned sequel. Changes needed to be made and they have been, not least in the form of new director Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles). With some impressive looking trailers promising a look at some Titans this time round, has the sequel improved on its predecessor?
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The answer is both a yes and no, for while there are some marked advancements, Wrath is still guilty of many of Clash’s shortcomings. Some of these faults can be found in the story, which finds Perseus (Sam Worthington) enjoying the quiet life with his young son Helius as a fisherman 10 years after his Kraken slaying feat. When Zeus is betrayed and Kronos (very angry, very powerful Father of Zeus, Poseidon and Hades) is freed, Hell on Earth is unleashed and Perseus must take up the fight once more. Allying with Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), Poseidon’s son Argenor (Toby Kebbell) and fallen God Hephaestus (Bill Nighy), Perseus embarks on a quest to overthrow the Titans and save mankind. No biggie.
There are also a few subplots peppered in throughout which have varying degrees of effectiveness. Previously unimaginable alliances owe a lot to the impressive acting, particularly from the always excellent Liam Neeson, and the many Daddy issues within the film are adequately explored. However, the relationship between Perseus and Rosamund Pike’s Andromeda is reduced to the exchange of meaningful looks, and feels overly forced. Additionally, you won’t have to search too hard to find plot holes, some of which are truly baffling and made all the more infuriating when all that is required is a simple line of exposition. Still, more often than not these character moments serve as solid intermissions in between the intense action sequences.
And action is where Wrath of the Titans undeniably thrives. The visuals are nothing short of spectacular; from gruesome looking monsters mercilessly killing humans on the battlefield to a chaotic trek through an underground maze, it’s thrilling to watch. There are even (wait for it!) some great 3D moments thrown in, made all the more striking on an IMAX screen. Liebesman does well to up the ante as the film runs its course, and the finale is a suitable show-stopper.
Sam Worthington’s performance is certainly a step up from Clash, but there are still too many patches of dialogue that lack the emotional punch they warrant. Elsewhere, the new characters perform capably. Toby Kebbell’s Argenor is good value for the odd chuckle, whilst Edgar Ramirez adds some heft as the jealous Ares. Bill Nighy’s Hephaestus walks the thin line between awkwardly funny and just plain weird frequently, in perhaps the most bizarre performance of the film.
“Any Last Words?” The visuals are God-like, but the shoddy narrative prevents Wrath from ascending into film immortality. At least it’s better than Clash.
Wrath of the Titans was screened at the BFI IMAX courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures in partnership with Substance PR.
Wrath of the Titans is out in cinemas TODAY. Check out the trailer below:
Starring | Sam Worthington, Rosamund Pike, Liam Neeson, Danny Huston, Toby Kebbell, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Nighy and Édgar Ramírez.
Director | Jonathan Liebesman Certificate | 12A Run Time | 1 hour 39 minutes