By: Garrett Collins
Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Rosamund Pike, and Edgar Ramirez
As you can probably tell from my review of 2010’s Clash of the Titans remake, I was not a fan of that film at all. And, no, not because it was a remake and I felt like my childhood was being bastardized. The entire film came off to me like it was bastardizing not only two hours of my life, but the art of film in general. There was no enjoyment to be had, and any chance they had to update scenes from the original into something new and refreshing were completely blown (*cough* Medusa *cough cough*). So, needless to say, I was not looking forward to Wrath of the Titans. In fact, I was against seeing it in theaters at all. But, if it hadn’t been for my work on this site and the boredom of my friend whom I saw it with, I probably wouldn’t have gone and just waited for the DVD to come out. Because, the only thing worse than a pointless remake, is a sequel to said pointless remake. Even Worthington himself has said since the last one came out in 2010 that they really blew that final result. So, note my surprise when I came out of this movie far more entertained than I was with the last one, and overall pretty happy with the end result.
First of all, it was great to see both Fiennes and Neeson want to be here this time. I do not know if it was a higher paycheck, a better script, or more trust in their director, but they both turned in pretty decent performances that had me on both their sides towards the end. Worthington, with his Hobbit-like hair, for all intents and purposes, was also far better this time around. While his accent did show through more than a few times, it was nice seeing him actually deliver his lines in a mostly intelligible manner, and watching him play off Neeson once again. These scenes highlighted to me the inner struggles that both his father and being one himself have put him in. I could believe that he would be living like a hermit after the actions of the last one. I could believe that he would want to be as good a father as he could be, despite what has been brought forth upon him. The way he resists going back, and then subsequently is brought back into the fold was very entertaining to watch. The other thing scripters got right this time was a proper strong female character. Pike, (like Gemma Arterton and Ursula Andress before her) was a Bond girl, and, unlike those two in their films, comes off much more than that here. As Andromeda, she most definitely plays the part of love interest and voice of reason to Perseus. But, she also leads an army towards the end of the movie. So, instead of coming off as something put in just to get a female involved in the action (as Return of the King did), it served as a pretty good plot device as well. Kudos to all 5 scripters for this.
Speaking of kudos, not much positivity can be spoken about this film without giving some to director Jonathan Liebesman. With his resume containing movies like Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and Battle: Los Angeles, two films I did not particularly care for, I was a bit sketchy going in with this film, a movie I was sketchy about even beforehand, on his shoulders. But, I must say: he keeps things moving at a pretty brisk pace, only stopping occasionally for some nicely placed exposition, and frames the action scenes nicely. If you go into this film looking for action, you will not be disappointed, as I feel that there is more action in the first 20 minutes of this thing than the entire first film combined. Where as Clash had beats they had to hit (therefore revealing the constrictions of doing a remake), here Liebesman keeps the audience guessing. Sure, there are a few side stories and plot points that either didn’t ring true or completely lost. And, even a pointless return of the much talked about cameo from last time. But, Liebesman doesn’t let that deter him, and does a fine job of what was put in his hands.
It must also be noted that the 3D here is pretty well pulled off. There is a lot of ash and fog thrown in the audiences’ face, and plenty of perspective shots to keep those looking for cool ‘coming at you’ 3D action satisfied. It worked for and immersed me, and I was actually plenty impressed. Especially in the Pegasus perspective shots. Overall, I would recommend this film, which, as already stated, has plenty of plot holes, but makes up for it with pretty good action. On a bit of a side note, I also am wondering if I am not the only one that had Star Wars flashes while watching this. Because, not only do they use the “I love You, I know” line, they also give vibes of a connection that is not unlike that of Luke and Vader in their films. Which all leads to a pretty good story about what it takes to do your father proud. Just as these effects artists did to Ray Harryhausen. Summer has come early for those looking for a decent action film.
3.5 out of 5