WRATH OF THE TITANS
Author: JoAnne Hyde
March 30, 2012

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SYNOPSIS: A decade after his heroic defeat of the monstrous Kraken, Perseus-the demigod son of Zeus-is attempting to live a quieter life as a village fisherman and the sole parent to his 10-year old son, Helius. Meanwhile, a struggle for supremacy rages between the gods and the Titans. Dangerously weakened by humanity's lack of devotion, the gods are losing control of the imprisoned Titans and their ferocious leader, Kronos, father of the long-ruling brothers Zeus, Hades and Poseidon. Perseus cannot ignore his true calling when Hades, along with Zeus' godly son, Ares (Edgar RamŪrez), switch loyalty and make a deal with Kronos to capture Zeus. The Titans' strength grows stronger as Zeus' remaining godly powers are siphoned...

Wrath of the Titans is exactly what youíd expect it to be. The filmís most prominent feature is fighting. There are many crumbling rocks, balls of fire, bolts of lightning, and general mayhem as gods and demi-gods duke it out to either save or destroy the Universe. The narrative plays fast and loose with the actual stories of classical mythology, and the degree to which that bothers you probably depends on how much you enjoyed mythology back in school. I was one of those nerds who liked it, so I had to sort of forget what I knew about the real stories. Yes, there is a minotaur, and itís in a labyrinth. Itís just not the one on Crete designed by Daedalus by order of King Minos. The minotaur in that labyrinth was defeated by Theseus -- not Perseus. Yes, thereís a Cyclops -- in fact there are a number of them. Itís just not the one defeated by Hercules as one of his twelve labors. That being said, I donít think the fans in the preview audience were bothered by such minutia, judging by their applause at the end of the film. They came to see some bad**s fighting along with some awesome special effects. The film definitely delivers these, and, to its credit, itís better than Clash of the Titans.

The film begins with Perseus( Sam Worthington), as a widower with a young son Helius (John Bell), living the life of a simple fisherman. Having rejected the life of a hero after killing the monster Kraken, heís not too happy when Zeus (Liam Neeson) shows up to inform him that he needs to step up and help defeat Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Ares (Edgar Ramirez) whoíve inexplicably decided to ally themselves to free the murderous Kronos from the underworld dungeon Tartarus. Kronos apparently wants to destroy the Universe, and somehow, Hades and Ares seem to think theyíll benefit from this. Of course, Perseus canít ignore this threat when Zeus is captured and held in Tartarus so that Kronos can siphon off his strength. Cursed with the true nature of a hero, he sets out with Queen Andromeda (Rosamunde Pike) and the notoriously unreliable son of Poseidon, Agenor (Toby Kebbell). Poseidon (Danny Huston) believes that Perseus and Agenor together can retrieve Zeusís stolen lightning bolt from Ares to combine with the other two lethal weapons fashioned by Hephaestus (Bill Nighy): Poseidonís trident and Hadesís staff. These three combined are the only weapon that will kill Kronos if he escapes Tartarus. The rest of the narrative involves the difficulties -- and creatures -- they have to overcome to save the Universe.

For the fantasy genre of film that deals with classical mythology, The Wrath of the Titans fulfills its purpose adequately. Itís short on narrative and character development and long on action. The mostly male preview audience seemed satisfied, and Iím assuming that most people whoíll see the film will know what to expect. Itís not a wonderful movie, but itís not a terrible one, either.

Just go prepared for the deafening volume and the headache youíre likely to get from the 3D glasses

GRADE: B

JoAnne Hyde reviews films for BOF


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