by     Posted 2 years, 154 days ago


2010′s Clash of the Titans was an absolute mess.  The story made no sense, the movie wasted its cast, and the film was clearly cut to hell with perhaps a more interesting tale left on the editing room floor.  The problems were compounded by thoughtless action scenes and atrocious 3D.  Wrath of the Titans solves the confusing-story problem by making the plot stolid and obstinate.  The action scenes are just as big but even more pointless, and the 3D looks fine but adds nothing to the experience.  There are some brief, glorious moments where strong performances peak through, and we get a glimpse at some imaginative designs.  These few moments help the sequel barely clear the low bar set by its predecessor.

Wrath of the Titans picks up ten years after the last film.  Perseus (Sam Worthington) is now a single father after the death of his wife, Io (sorry, Gemma Arterton!), and is trying to live the quiet life of a fisherman.  However, trouble is a-brewin’ as the gods are losing their power since people have stopped praying to them (apparently, everyone decided to become an atheist).  The gods need their powers not just for unleashing krakens, but for keeping the titan Kronos imprisoned.  Zeus (Liam Neeson) beseeches Perseus to help him save the world, but our hero promised his dead wife never to pick up a sword again, so tough luck, humanity-including-me-and-my-son.  Zeus then goes to Hades (Ralph Fiennes) for help, and he’s betrayed by the lord of the underworld (you know, the guy who betrayed him in the last movie) and Ares (Edgar Ramirez), the god of war.  Hades and Ares want to suck out Zeus’ power to wake Kronos, so the titan’s reign of terror will make people pray to the gods again (getting petty revenge on Zeus for being power-hungry eons ago is a bonus).  As Kronos awakens, mini-monsters begin to shower the Earth, and Perseus realizes, “Hey! If I want to save my son, I have to pick up a sword and save the planet!  DURRRR.”  Perseus sets off to get the help Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) and then they discover they have to get Agenor (Toby Kebbell) so they can get Hephaestus (Bill Nighy) so they can get the super weapon to defeat Kronos.


To be fair, the movie manages to burn through its set-up fairly quickly.  Unfortunately, it’s a set up that makes only slightly more sense than the last movie.  But in good faith, we try to set aside the shortcuts because we understand that Wrath wants to break free of the idiocy of the first movie.  While character motivations now make sense, they don’t provide Perseus’ quest with any momentum.  Perseus, Andromeda, and Agenor are reactive characters stuck in a repetitive plot.  Their quest is: Go here.  Find this guy.  Fight monster.  Go here.  Find this guy.  Fight monster.  Go here.  Find this guy.  Fight monster.  The only reprieve we get are when we drop in on Zeus and Hades, and are shocked to find real characters struggling with emotional conflict.  Then we come back to the human characters where if I asked you to name three personality traits for each, you couldn’t do it.

The relationship between Zeus and Hades is when we’ve wandered into a better movie where characters deal with emotions, and great actors find the beating heart buried underneath an avalanche of CGI.  Wrath tries to ditch most of Clash‘s story, but it makes the wise decision to carry over Hades’ betrayal, and Zeus’ attempts to forgive his treacherous brother.  If you can ignore Ares sulking in the background (the film is a waste of Ramirez’ talent), there’s a story between Zeus and Hades that matches the grandiosity of the special effects.


But then we return to our bland trio of Hero, Love Interest, and Comic Relief.  The best moment in their quest doesn’t come from any personal revelation or growth.  It comes when they’re swallowed up by a spectacular maze on the way to get the super-weapon.  It’s moments like this, like when we’re in Hephaestus’ workshop, or seeing the chains of Zeus’ wrists burn away his flesh that there’s a wonderful spark of imagination in the film’s design.

Sadly, that imagination never carries over to the protagonists or the monster battles.  There’s never any emotional stakes or even much sense to when a battle comes along.  The monster fights happen because a timer went off, and it was time for another set piece.  Like he did with Battle: Los Angeles, director Jonathan Liebesman shows he has mastery of sound design when it comes to crafting the set pieces.  However, in Wrath he never figures out how to choreography his fights.  When he keeps the camera still, the set piece lacks momentum, and we know we’re watching CGI fly around with little impact.  When the camera starts shaking, we don’t know what we’re watching.  These problems could have been circumvented by making us care about who’s doing the fighting.  Instead, we’re wondering why Perseus is fighting a Cyclops, and why it’s so poorly staged.

Clash of the Titans and Wrath of the Titans think that all audiences want are humans fighting big CGI monsters.  Perhaps that’s true.  Maybe audiences even want Wrath‘s 3D, which looks better but still adds nothing.  Like the 3D, all of the improvements are minor and don’t significantly change what was wrong with the first movie.  Perseus is still boring.  The story is still lifeless.  The set pieces are still dull.  But maybe audiences should keep turning out for the Titans movies.  At this pace, the ninth movie in the franchise is going to be excellent.

Rating: C-


Like Us


FB Comments

  • terry

    You are full of yourself Matt!
    WOTT part one was awesome. The story was easy to follow and the action and CG were top notch.
    You are an anal, film purist.

    • Tarek

      No it wasn’t. It was a painful total mess. I concur with Matt on this.

    • Mike

      You’re smoking crack, terry. This movie made NO SENSE. It jumped around like crazy, the plot jumped around without explanation or resolution, and was just simply ridiculous. CG was good, true, but the script and editing was pure trash. Complete waste of talent, this film was.

  • WEV

    perhaps now people can accept that Jonathan Liebesman is a shitty director, end of

  • Bobo

    Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy Clash. I loved it. Apparently a lot of others did too. 500mil worldwide ain’t nothing to sneeze at. Just ask John Carter.

  • Fuck Hollywood


  • Hairyman

    @Bobo – More people enjoy the Twilight films by your reasoning. I still think they are shit. People don’t always watch what is good i.e. The Hurt Locker. People turned out to see the latest Transformer bore-fest.

    @WEV – I agree

    @Matt – This was a terrible film and a C- is flat generous. A D- is more appropriate.

    • Bobo

      There are a lot of people who would tell you that Twilight and Transformers are great films. I may not agree with, you may not agree with them, but their opinions are still valid. Film is highly subjective. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. I’m sure there are a lot of people who hated the movies you enjoyed.

  • spongefist

    I watched this last night, and with out any shadow of a doubt this was the worst movie I have ever seen, yes even worse than Clash. I have a 7 year old daughter so I get to watch some pretty bad movies, but nothing and I mean nothing compares to this.

    I honestly thought it was going to break out into a Monty Python film. The acting was SO BAD it was hilarious. The action so pointless it takes pointless to extraordinary new levels. The dialogue was amazing in it’s awfulness (Worthington talking to his flying horse actually had me in tears of laughter).

    How can you take a group of extraordinary actors and make them look this bad. That is some talent.

    The hilarious mix of accents, Neeson playing Zeus as the Taken character and the all time worst great line of all time at the end ‘let’s have some fun !’ what !!!!!

    Worthington’s Aussie accent begged for him to scream ‘put a prawn on the barbie mate’ at one point.

    The chick deserves an Oscar for the worst facial expressions ever portrayed in a movie ever. She basically had two: constipated and kicked in the fanny (UK translation not US)

    I have honestly seen school plays that are better, far better.

    They managed to take all the great elements of Greek mythology and rape them into oblivion, again, an extraordinary skill.

    I thought it might have been just me and my mate who had this experience, but so shocked with how bad it was I questioned other viewers at the end and they all agreed it was the worst movie they had ever seen as well. Everyone was shaking their head and laughing in amazement at how bad it was.

    In spite of all this, go see it. To bear witness to the worst movie ever made is something that is your duty in this life time.

    Incredible !! Just incredible. I am only just recovering from the amused shock of the experience.

    • Ryder

      And people think that The Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons is just a character…….Worst comment EVER ^

      • spongefist

        Ryder, are you 12 years old?

        Do you draw dragon pictures on your school books when your meant to be listening to the teacher?

        and would you like to take a moment to point out just one good thing about the movie. Just one. So that I can learn where I went wrong in my very, very accurate review that accurately places Wrath of The Titans as the most hopelessly shit bit of movie making of all time.

  • ScaredForMovies

    Seems to suffer the same fate as the first movie. Dazzle people with slick visuals and hope they don’t notice the lack of substance and flat characters. A lot of movies have that problem. But it did make a lot of money worldwide in spite of the critical beat down it took. I guess the Michael Bay crowd has to watch something in between Transformers sequels.

  • king

    the idiot who wrote this did’nt see wrath of the titans that is 100% sure it is a wonderful film

  • mattinacan

    spot on Matt, shit movie franchise. we should fear Ninja Turtles with Liebesman at the helm.

  • Warpcrafter

    That was Tobe Kebbel? I just assumed it was Russel Brand. His irritating one-note whine nearly made me walk out of the theater. And there was no explanation or attempt to explain how Perseus and Pegasus managed to survive being inside Chronos when he exploded. I know he’s a demigod, but damn… And yes, the 3D was entirely pointless.

  • Pingback: Wrath of the Titans (2012/US) « zerosumo

  • Pingback: Weekend Box Office – THE HUNGER GAMES Remains Victorious While Nostalgia-Fueled AMERICAN REUNION and TITANIC 3D Follow

  • Siran

    Ok, I don’t think anyone is going to argue that the mkeare (I refuse to use the term “first one”) was a flaming piece of shit. They had no right to do what they did to one of my fav fantasy/mythic movies of all time. I am a huge fan of the original but . . . well anyway. I will actually watch this. Why? I actually liked the mkeare in so much if they had titled it anything but Clash of the Titans. Like even. . . Bash of the Titans would have worked for me. It’s like trying to make Crows with Brandon Lee it just never worked the same again. This one might be fairly entertaining (in mindless action sort of way) since it will be using its own script and idea.

Click Here