Wrath of the Titans review

Well, it's better than its predecessor, but that's not much of a recommendation. 2010's Clash of the Titans was rubbish, whereas Wrath is merely tolerable. It certainly helps that the 3D work is way more effective here than the dreadful tacked-on embarrassment of the earlier effort. The camera swoops and swirls down dangerous caverns instilling a healthy dose of vertigo to the IMAX viewer and numerous flying boulders and weapons coming flying towards you in the pumped up action moments. That said, the performances, with one exception, are of the subdued and sombre variety, devoid of personality and almost laughable.

Worthington is back with a customary one-note turn as Theseus, Fiennes looks less comical this time round as arch villain Hades, Neeson is a glum Zeus losing his immortal powers, Pike is unintentionally funny as a fiery, gung ho Andromeda while Ramirez, so superb in that three-part masterwork Carlos, here phones it in as Theseus' angry brother Ares.

The plot, immaterial is it is, deals with a quest. Theseus must relinquish his human side, and search for his father Zeus, being held captive by Hades underground. Ares, the son with a massive chip on his shoulder, has double crossed his father and is now in league with the arch tyrant as they plan to unleash the catastrophic Kronos, the all powerful father creature that will bring hellfire and damnation to all the inhabitants. Theseus and his ragbag team of adventurers, also including demigod Agenore (Toby Kebbell, wasted), encounter giant Cyclops to battle with as well as many other obstacles in saving their world.

For a brief time on their journey they are joined by old and wizened Hephaestus (Bill Nighy). With his long shaggy hair and beard and cod Northern accent, Nighy has a ball in the role and is a joy to watch. Virtually unrecognisable, he singlehandedly takes the movie and pulls it up by its bootstraps, giving it a welcome lift and bringing some much needed energy to the pedestrian storyline and low key playing. It's tragic that he isn't on screen long enough. While present, he rescues this impersonal big budget affair from being tiresome and makes it entertaining. 

It plays more like a video game than a movie so doubtless young boys will find all the carnage and mayhem most edifying. The CGI visuals certainly impress, but as the characters and plot fail to engage, you're left with an empty exercise in Hollywood bombast. It's well put together to be sure but ends up as yet another formulaic studio effort lacking in magic.

Wrath of the Titans at IMDb

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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