By Dalton Carver
There are times when movies, beloved by audiences and critics alike, create sequels to quench the fans’ thirst for more. Every now and then, there are those rare times when the sequel actually turns out to be a better film than the original, ensuring that time and money spent on said sequel wasn’t wasted.
Then there are those unfortunate occasions where the sequel falls disappointingly short of everything that the original was founded on. Jonathan Liebesman’s Wrath of the Titans is one of those times.
The “original” film, Clash of the Titans, was a remake, something that Hollywood has been obsessed with lately, of the 1981 movie of the same name. Directed by Louis Leterrier and written by a different screenplay staff entirely, it told the story of Perseus, played by Sam Worthington, the son of Zeus who defeated the monstrous Kraken with the decapitated head of the snake-haired Medusa.
Viewers of the 1981 version could find familiar scenes and themes, making it at least recognizable and manageable to follow. However, it was not accepted well by audiences, and save some good action scenes, barely made the cut as decent.
As bad as some considered the first, its sequel is considerably worse. Some of the cast returns, including Worthington, Liam Neeson as Zeus, and Ralph Fiennes as Hades, the ruler of the underworld, where the majority of the film takes place.
New faces also join the crew, including Toby Kebbell as the wisecracking son of Poseidon, Rosamund Pike as the re-casted Andromeda, and John Bell as Persues’ son, Helius. The film’s attempt to make the return of Cronus, the Titan father of Hades and Zeus, feel as dark and apocalyptic as possible were often shortchanged by the ill-placed comic relief portions, centered mostly around Kebbell’s character, Agenor. Although some lines managed to squeeze a few chuckles from the crowd, the humor sticks out like a sore thumb.
The film’s primary focus is on the relationship between fathers and sons: Zeus and Perseus, and Perseus and Helius. This premise, with subthemes of mortality versus immortality, could have used some fine tuning. The majority of scenes displaying said subject matter come off as cheesy and easily could have been written by just about anyone.
The movie also had many things that didn’t add to any semblance of fluidity. For instance, the divine sword that Perseus receives in the previous film sees barely any use throughout the film, and he seems to definitely need some sort of divine intervention. For a demi-god, Perseus comes off as incredibly weak, getting beaten nearly to death in almost every enemy encounter and only just defeating his opponent.
Some other weak points of the film include a pathetic love connection between Perseus and Andromeda that literally comes out of nowhere, an anticlimactic end to Cronus, and underdeveloped characters that had potential to be remembered, such as Ares and Hephaestus.
As one of the very few who actually enjoyed the previous film, I really wanted to like this movie. The trailers portrayed this sequel as at least a decent mythological action flick.
However, I was sorely disappointed, as the movie’s only good trait was the respectable use of 3D and the interesting visuals, especially the maze of the underworld scene. Otherwise, I’d recommend sticking to similar, but better filmed movies such as Immortals or 300.
Dalton Carver is a freshman majoring in communication. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org