With 2010′s Clash of the Titans remake, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes had a delicious partnership as estranged brothers Hades and Zeus, and the creature special effects worked well more often than not. Fortunately, the sequel Wrath of the Titans has remained on to all those good elements and added a few new ones, just as ridiculous as the first one, but actually enjoyable this time around.Just about everything is improved this time around, from Sam Worthington’s more forgiving haircut to Toby Kebbell and Rosamund Pike in snappy supporting roles to the effects and 3D, both of which are a little fantasy-movie-generic but are at least not objectively bad this time. The plot is dead simple– Zeus is held hostage in the underworld by his brother Hades, who is plotting with their Titan father Kronos to take over the world. Perseus must travel to Hades to rescue Zeus, and is joined in his quest by warrior Queen Andromeda (Pike) and goofball rogue Agenor (Kebbell), who turns out to be the son of Poseidon. They meet a series of obstacles and helpers along the way (including Bill Nighy as the very funny Hephaestus), and eventually arrive in Hades where Perseus doesn’t just face down the rumbling Titan, but his own half-brother Ares (Edgar Ramirez), who lives up to his name of the God of War. watch Wrath Of The Titan.
A lot of times you can throw this many talented actors into the soup of a big action movie and lose them, but director Jonathan Liebesman lets all of his actors inhabit their roles, Ramirez bringing a genuinely terrifying edge to Ares, and Neeson and Fiennes running wild near the end of the film– if you don’t want to see these two wearing giant beards and zapping people with lightning bolts, you’re clearly not thinking about it hard enough. Liebesman also shows a lot more skill in directing action than he did with the shaky cam nightmare Battle: Los Angeles, and though the large-scale battle at the end of the film is kind of a dud, there are individual conflicts sprinkled throughout the story that unfold with imagination and energy. It’s still too heavy on CGI and hoary dialogue to feel truly urgent or fresh, but Wrath of the Titans largely works around those flaws and makes it part of the old-fashioned charm. watch Wrath Of The Titan.
Sam Worthington once again brings a nicely measured soul and strength to Perseus, and though he and Pike have zero romantic chemistry, their characters are appealing enough on their own to root for them anyway. Wrath of the Titans is determined to succeed, and somehow manages to pull it off. There’s no real reason to make another one of these but for an unwanted sequel, Wrath of the Titans feels surprisingly worthwhile.