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Mythmash

by Ann Morrow on April 4, 2012

Wrath of the Titans
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman

Nice guys finish last: Worthington in Wrath of the Titans

The gods of Olympus are a bunch of Tinkerbells. Or so it seems in Wrath of the Titans, a frenetic, imbecilic action movie that just happens to involve Zeus and his extended family of deities. As the supreme being (Liam Neeson) explains to his demigod son, Perseus (Sam Worthington), if mortals stop praying to the gods, they will die. And since no one claps their hands in prayer for Poseidon (Danny Huston), he dies. Apparently, Greek gods die by death-by-crumbling-to-dust, just like Hammer studios’ vampires.

There is nothing in this sequel to Clash of the Titans that’s remotely original, other than how the screenwriters have reached new lows of laziness. Since there’s about a gazillion stories regarding the gods of the classical world, one can only wonder how Wrath ended up without one. Yeah, Zeus gets captured by his brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and his jealous son, Ares (Edgar Ramirez), who chain him down in the underworld, and Perseus must leave his peaceful fishing village and his 10-year-old son to save his sire, and somehow Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) is involved, so there can be a blonde warrior queen to be tossed about like a rag doll, and there’s several not-funny throwaway lines regarding Perseus’ legendary defeat of the Kraken in the first movie, but none of it makes much sense, especially how Hades wants to release the Kronos to destroy the world of men.

Despite being strenuously 3D, the nonstop action is flat—and clanky, and repetitive, and apparently was shredded instead of edited. Wrath does have some nifty monsters, but either they aren’t integrated into the plot (like the Cyclops who are so inept they can’t even squash a stumbling human), or their scenes are so jumbled you can’t tell who they are or what they’re doing, as with the Minotaur who gets really peeved when Perseus wanders into his ridiculously CGI labyrinth. The dialogue may be the lamest ever: just a lot of nattering about fathers and sons and brothers and half-brothers. Poor Worthington—who seems like a nice enough bloke and should probably be cast as one—is noticeably depressed by Perseus’ having to run around doing little of consequence and doesn’t even try to appear divinely heroic. Neeson and Fiennes may have laughed all the way to the bank, but this cosmic joke is definitely on the audience.