In partnership with

Wrath of the Titans (3D)

2012-03-28 16:41
 
What it's about:

Perseus (Sam Worthington) embarks on a journey to the Underworld to save the life of his father, Zeus (Liam Neeson), before Ares and Hades drain Zeus of all his life energy in an effort to resurrect the destructive and immensely powerful old god, Kronos.

What we thought:

The best and worst thing you could say about Wrath of the Titans is that it is, in the end, a very small film. On the positive side, it's small in that for all of its special effects and otherworldy action scenes, Wrath of the Titans is effectively a story about the relationships between the members of a very dysfunctional family. They may be gods but their bickering, in-fighting and reconciliation are undeniably and fundamentally human.

On the significantly less-than-positive side of things though, for a film that is supposed to be an epic fantasy film steeped in melodramatic Greek mythology, it feels unbelievably slight. It's the sort of film that starts and ends but does very little of any real consequence in between. We have winged horses, sweeping battles, angry gods, cataclysmic family dysfunction, fierce monsters and a massive, fiery giant of a baddie and yet none of this manages to create so much as a tiny spark of interest in what should really be a fairly classic bit of storytelling.

How could it have gone so very, very wrong?

Well, to be honest, most people who saw so much as a small portion of the previous film, The Clash of the Titans (a remake of a relatively classic 1981 film) a couple of years ago should be able to tell you exactly what what went wrong. Poorly drawn characters, wooden acting, cringe-worthy dialogue and rubbish storytelling.

Even though it's less visually impressive, Wrath of the Titans is actually quite a bit less terrible than its predecessor. The characters seem more grounded, the dialogue less teeth-gnashingly horrible, the storytelling less hopelessly inept and the tone somewhat lighter.

Still, Wrath of the Titans is a boring, nothing of a movie that even at a fairly brisk 100 minutes will have audiences everywhere struggling to keep their eyes open – a struggle to which they will no doubt constantly succumb, just as a means of escaping the headache-inducing shaky-cam action-scenes. South African director, Jonathan Liebesman's last film was the similarly boring Battle: Los Angeles and he again uses the same hyper, post-Bourne (or, more accurately perhaps, post-Saving Private Ryan) style of shooting that made those action scenes impossible to follow and thoroughly unpleasant to watch.

As bad as the set-pieces are though, Liebesman's biggest failure is his inability to infuse the film with even a tiny smattering of – what can best and most fittingly be described as – magic. This is a story of high imagination, of mythical creatures, of noble heroes and great adventure so why does it play out with all the same mechanical dreariness of watching someone doing their taxes?

They would have to totally overhaul the script, but imagine what proper fantasy filmmakers like Peter Jackson, David Yates or Guillermo Del Torro could do with similar material.         

Of course, even then, they would have to deal with the people in front of the screen as well. Sam Worthington is likeable enough a screen presence but he's far too bland to carry the film, but it's the supporting cast that really disappoints.

You would think a supporting cast that includes Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Rosamund Pike would elevate proceedings but they all look like they're just waiting for the cheque to clear so they could move onto something better.

The only saving grace is Bill Nighy who essentially plays Bill Nighy playing the old, upside down prisoner from Monty Python's Life of Brian (you know, “you lucky, lucky bastard!”), but he's not in it enough to save a film that frankly could do with a whole lot of saving.
     

Better than its predecessor but, considering its subject matter, Wrath of the Titans is far more boring than it has any right to be.

moipone tsoka 2012/03/29 12:08 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
just saw there trailer and my heart was puonding with exictement so tomorrow i am going out to see it
Miela 2012/03/29 12:21 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
http://troll.me/images/film-school-ferret/get-job-as-film-critic-hate-everything.jpg
bob 2012/03/29 2:19 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
I kinda liked Battle: Los Angeles, I wasnt expecting much from it, but I enjoyed it.
Renee 2012/03/29 2:53 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
I have no interest in watching this film - ever. Looks like an exhaustive way to kill a couple of hours. Sometimes when choosing a movie to watch you just have to ask yourself: Do I care about this story?
Nikki 2012/03/29 7:40 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Here in Dubai, it's showing at the IMAX...in 3D! Where did you watch it Ilan? ....at your grandmothers' on her old black & white Telefunken? ...please rather go comment on the 65th time you've marvelled at Gone with the Wind...Sometimes we don't want to think about something...we just want to be entertained!
Sean 2012/03/30 9:05 AM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
I enjoyed both Clash of the Titans AND Battle L.A so chances are I'll find this movie entertaining. If all else fails it can only be better than Drive. Have to give a rating before I can post so even though I haven't seen the movie I'm rating it on expectation.
Modefan 2012/03/30 11:58 AM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Someone who says Saving Private Ryan's action scenes are hard to follow and unpleasant to watch immediately loses all credibility. Add to that the line 'proper fantasy filmmakers' but fails to mention 'Tim Burton', then that settles it for me... I'll rather go watch it and see for myself
Ilan Preskovsky 2012/03/30 3:18 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
@Modefan: I just want to clear something up: I thought the action scenes in Saving Private Ryan were truly spectacular, it's just that directors who are a hell of a lot less talented than Steven Spielberg have been trying to copy what Spielberg did there but keep on falling flat on their faces. Also, the chaotic effect of Saving Private Ryan's action scenes were appropriate for the combat scenes they were trying to recreate - which is not something you could say about a lot of the action films that have followed it since. And, yes, I didn't mention Tim Burton - who I am a huge fan of - but that's just because I listed the three names that popped into my head first. They are obviously NOT the only great fantasy filmmakers out there. Hope that clears that up.
Dana 2012/04/02 7:36 AM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Went to watch this on opening night as it was the "best" option at the cinema (not saying much I know). Hubby picked it and was really excited about it but given the first movie I was dubious. Even my hubby was sighing and restless halfway through. When I asked him what was wrong, he said he was bored. I have to agree. The story in the beginning was promising but then they abandoned the story for endless fight scenes, special effects and fancy tricks that eventually just had you wishing a big rock would land on the lot of them and put the viewers out of their misery. Not worth the price of admission (and yes, we watched it in 3D - didn't help).
david Hutch 2012/04/10 11:53 AM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
I was excited when this film was released, maybe because i really enjoyed the first clash of the titans, maybe girlfriend fell asleep three quarters through, and yes i agree that it was such a small film, i expected alot more :-(
Rudolph Mare 2012/04/12 7:08 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Seems like the storyline was abandoned to make way for the special effects.
Rosemary 2013/05/31 1:12 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
This film has been on MNET before!
edmore zunga 2013/06/01 2:00 PM
  • Rating:
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
can i have the list of best movies and their prices.
NEXT ON CHANNELX
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.