Josh Wilding Reviews: WRATH OF THE TITANS 3D
Chances are you've probably already decided whether or not you'll be watching the follow up to Clash of the Titans this weekend, but if you're still on the fence, check out my review after the jump. [Minor Spoilers Ahead]
Set a decade or so after Clash of the Titans, the widowed Perseus finds himself once again living the simple life of a fisherman with his son Helius. Meanwhile, Hades has a plan to bring back the evil Kronos, his and Zeus' father, in a bid to keep hold of his immortality. This results in Zeus seeking out Perseus for his help as the lack of faith in the Gods means that they no longer have the power to face a threat such as this one by themselves. After a few minor twists and turns, it's basically a case of getting them from point A to point B with a handful of battles in-between. Along the way, we are also introduced to a few new characters, as well as once again meeting Andromeda (who is far more battle hardened than when we last saw her). The script is far from groundbreaking, the characters are one dimensional, and the story simply offers up very little which is either original or particularly fresh. However, what it lacks in terms of a strong story, it more than makes up for with some edge of your seat action and visually impressive set pieces. Very much like Battle Los Angeles, director Jonathan Liebesman keeps the momentum going, giving viewers just a few minutes to relax before the next fight comes along. The only downside to this is that it will barely give you a chance to digest what you have already seen before being thrust into more of the same. Luckily, they're each impressive and exciting enough to avoid becoming too much of a blur and this means that there is just no way anyone could ever accuse Wrath of being boring.
Sam Worthington is impressive as Perseus and as the anchor around which the film revolves, it's a good job that he manages to carry the fairly weak characters that surround him. The fact is, if you're not a fan of the actor, this will do very little to change your mind. However, Worthington undeniably adds some charisma and likeability to the son of Zeus. Toby Kebbell is equally as likeable as Agenor and manages to offer up a few lighter moments in an otherwise (mostly) serious affair. The beautiful Rosamund Pike needs to do very little to grab our attention, but despite a feisty performance, Andromeda is something of a bore. Édgar Ramírez makes for a menacing Ares and a formidable foe for Sam Worthington's Perseus (their battles make for some of the best moments) and both Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes deliver the kind of quality performances we've come to associate with them both. They are both given a lot more to do than in Clash and this leads to some absolutely fantastic scenes near the end of the film. Perhaps the strangest thing about Wrath are the varied range of accents on offer. Sam Worthington continues to struggle to cover up his natural Australian accent (although he does a considerably better job of it than in the last film), while everyone else has a range of English and Spanish sounding accents. Bill Nighy's eccentric Hephaestus speaks with a strong Yorkshire accent and it hard to imagine just who thought that was a good idea. It's distracting to say the least.
Clash of the Titans remains the film that just about everyone always uses as an example of a BAD 3D conversion. Thankfully, Wrath manages to really deliver on this front, and although it's still not quite enough to make a 3D ticket an essential purchase, this is one of the best conversions of 2012 so far. There are a handful of flinch inducing scenes where debris or weaponry actually pops out of the screen, and it's clear that Liebesman has an understanding of what most want and expect from a 3D film of this type. The special effects are also mostly top notch. A few of the Cyclops have that glossy look of being CG creations, but the various other creatures and environments throughout the film are very impressive from a visual standpoint. Fiery villains such as main bad guy Kronos look particularly awe inspiring and there's no denying that despite any other flaws, Wrath is a damn good looking blockbuster. With a running of time of roughly 90 minutes, the film flies by and to make it any longer would have actually been unnecessary. The last few minutes clearly set the stage for a sequel, but whether that is either wanted or necessary is sure to vary from person to person.
Wrath of the Titans is very much like a video game. There's a lot of running and fighting with a few moments of talking in between and a giant boss battle at the end. It may not tell the smartest story, but it is 90 minutes of good old fashioned fun.
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