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Wrath of the Titans 3D - Review

Wrath of the Titans

Review by Rob Carnevale

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

JONATHAN Liebesman’s sequel to Clash of the Titans is an imagined look at a ‘lost myth’ that struggles to escape the feeling that it is anything but a studio cash-in.

It uses the same post-conversion 3D as Louis Leterrier’s critically maligned predecessor (meaning that several of the backgrounds are blurred) as well as the same sloppy approach to story and action.

The story itself finds Perseus (once again played by Sam Worthington) coming out of retirement to save his ailing father Zeus (Liam Neeson) and the world from the titans and their leader, Kronos, whose escape from captivity has been made possible by the disloyal Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Perseus’ brother Ares (Edgar Ramires).

The ensuing adventure takes him to the depths of hell and involves battles against three-headed chimeras, a trio of cyclops and a Minotaur.

Liebesman claims he saw Wrath of the Titans as a way of exploring the bonds that exist between fathers and sons as well as brothers and there are elements in the story that aspire to the Shakespearean in terms of tragedy.

But that doesn’t stop him from bludgeoning audiences with innumerable set pieces, presumably to make up for the shortcomings of the threadbare script.

This in itself might not have been so bad had the set pieces been good but many – apart from the encounter with the cyclops – are so rapidly cut together and so over reliant on CGI (particularly late on) that it’s often difficult to see what’s going on. And the 3D doesn’t really add anything.

It’s also debatable how much you’ll care about any of the characters too given the uneven tone of the performances and the all over the place accents of the cast, which reflects the international nature of the ensemble while providing another distraction.

Of those performers, the film is arguably at its best when involving Fiennes and Neeson, who are clearly relishing the opportunity to spend more time in each other’s company this time around.

But Worthington continues to struggle to inject much charisma into Perseus, while Ramires is a bland and one dimensional villain. Toby Kebbel irritates as the cheeky comic side-kick (the demigod Agenor), as does Bill Nighy’s similarly OTT Hephaestus (complete with Yorkshire accent), while Rosamund Pike is mis-cast as warrior queen Andromeda (replacing Alexa Davilos from the original), while her belated love interest element is cursory at best.

Yet another appearance from Bobo the mechanical owl (from 1981’s original Clash of the Titans) merely strengthens the feeling that things haven’t improved since Ray Harryhausen’s day, whose stop-motion creations continue to put the CGI monsters of this and 2010’s Clash in the shade.

All told, this is a sorry, misguided endeavour that deserves to suffer the wrath of anyone fool-hardy enough to pay to see it.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 99mins
UK Release Date: March 30, 2012