Movie review – Monsters and gods at war

2012-03-30 08:13

Film: Wrath of the Titans
(Nu Metro)
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Featuring: Sam Worthington, Rosamund Pike, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Bill Nighy
Rating: 7/10
Ah, that elusive thing – a sequel that is streaks ahead of its predecessor. Wrath of the Titans is the next chapter in the story of Perseus, mortal son of Zeus, who – as expected – saves the world again, though he does a much better job this time around.

And it’s directed by a local lad, Jonathan Liebesman. His debut was the interesting horror Darkness and his previous project was the insomnia-fighting sci-fi flop Battle Los Angeles, so he will be pleased to have escaped the yoke of that albatross.

Clash of the Titans, the 2010 remake of the 1981 classic, provides some of the framework for this sequel but it is really a stand-alone film, which is where it’s success lies. Sam Worthington, for whom the remake was his ­follow-up project to the Avatar juggernaut, reprises his role as Perseus, but his love interest, Andromeda, is played by Rosamund Pike this time around – a vast improvement.

The trio of great Olympians – Zeus, Hades and Poseidon – are the sons of Cronus, the creator and destroyer, the original Titan and he’s back thanks to a hellish pact between Hades and Ares, the god of war. With the time of the gods waning in Greece, Zeus is losing his power and can only overcome Cronus with the help of his demi-god son Perseus who is determined to be a fisherman instead of a warrior.

This film mishes and mashes Greek mythology, remoulding it at will to fit the convoluted,
action-packed and special effects-heavy plot. Worthington doesn’t bother to disguise his Australian accent, Pike goes with her British one, as do Ralph Fiennes (Hades) and Liam Neeson (Zeus) – the rationale being, I suppose, that no one really knows what that lot sounded like any way. But in the end it’s not the accents that matter.

This is a 3D film that goes large on epic battles and god-like interventions to save the world, while leaving character development and even romance to pick up sloppy seconds.

Perseus takes to the skies on his winged horse, fights the Minotaur and the Cyclops, while squaring up to one demigod brother and joining forces with another, all the while trying not to let Andromeda in a fetching Xena: Warrior Princess ensemble distract him.

Wrath of the Gods is a simple escapist pleasure with battles that pit gods and monsters against each other. What’s not to like?

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