Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action.
Starring Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Édgar Ramírez, Toby Kebbell, Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy, Danny Huston, John Bell.
Written by Dan Mazeau, David Johnson and Greg Berlanti, based on characters and story derived from the Clash of the Titans screenplay by Beverley Cross (1981).
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman.
I was as surprised as anyone when I heard there would be a sequel to 2010's Clash of the Titans, considering its tepid critical and box office response but, whatever. It pulled in nearly $500 million (a big chunk of that from Europe and Russia), so a sequel it is. This time, it's Wrath of the Titans, and most of the gang is back to clean up the trouble caused by Greek gods.
Sam Worthington plays Perseus, a demigod (half god, half human) who is living as a simple fisherman and single father after the heroic defeat of the Kraken in the first film. Despite his wish for a sedentary lifestyle, Perseus is visited by his dad Zeus (Liam Neeson) who warns him that the gods are in trouble because his brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes) is conspiring with Zues' other son Ares (Édgar Ramírez) to unleash the power of their dad (and Perseus' grandfather) Kronos, a gigantic lava uber-god who had previously been imprisoned by his sons.
Perseus resists getting involved to protect his son Helius from harm, but his plans are altered when Hades sends out a double-headed fire-breathing dragon to destroy his fishing village. Zeus is captured by Hades and Ares in the underworld dungeon of Tartarus, as Poseidon escapes and tells Perseus he must enlist Argos Queen Andromeda (played this time by Rosamund Pike) and one of her prisoners Agenor (Toby Kebbell), who happens to be the demigod son of Poseidon. Before dying, Poseidon gives his trident to Perseus, informing him that Agenor can use it to lead them to Hephaestus (Bill Nighy), the man who forged all the tridents of the gods, who can also lead them to e secret passage to Tartarus.
Perseus, Andromeda and Agenor somehow get to Tartarus and free Zeus in time to forge an alliance with Hades against Ares and Kronos before a great battle.
Wrath of the Titans is quite similar to Clash on many levels. The down side is a weak story loosley based on Greek mythology accompanied by dumbed-down dialogue (most of which is spoken in a thick Australian accent by Sam Worthington). On the up side, the sequel is slightly more enjoyable that Clash, due to a few characters who are drawn a little better than the first installment, most notable being Bill Nighy as Hephaestus. The reconciled relationship between Zeus and Hades (great to have the Schindler's List buddy team back again) is also a little interesting. Speaking of Neeson, Fiennes and Nighy, without them, the acting gravitas might have been all but non-existent in Wrath, so it's a good thing they signed up.
In the end, what we have here is a big-budget movie including dazzling special effects (in 3D, I might add) with a forgettable story inside. Wrath of the Titans may make a bunch of money in Russia and break even in the US, but I hope all that extra cash doesn't preclude another sequel.
The gods would not want that.