‘Wrath of the Titans’ Review

Published 3 years ago by , Updated November 26th, 2014 at 7:59 pm,

Wrath of the Titans starring Sam Worthington Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes review Wrath of the Titans Review

If you were a fan of the first installment then Wrath of the Titans is going to be a welcome improvement; if you didn’t like the first film, this sequel is not going to reverse your negative opinion.

Wrath of the Titans picks up about a decade after Clash of the Titans, where we find Kraken-slaying demigod Perseus (Sam Worthington) having traded his sword for the mundane life of a fisherman and father to his son, Helius. (Sadly his wife Io passed away – likely because the actress playing her didn’t return for this sequel).

One night, Perseus’ father Zeus (Liam Neeson) appears to tell him of an ominous prophecy: Mankind has moved away from the gods, causing the gods to lose their powers. This loss has consequently weakened the walls of Tartarus, the underworld prison where the Olympians banished the monstrous Titans – including Kronos, the father of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon. Zeus needs help to hold Tartarus together, but Perseus is reluctant to return to battle – that is, until Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Zeus’ other son Ares (Édgar Ramírez) capture the god of lightning and begin to transfer his life force into the dormant Kronos.

With the fate of the world in the balance, Perseus recruits allies in the form of his old friend Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) and Poseidon’s demigod son Agenor (Toby Kebbell). The trio sets out on a dangerous quest into the underworld to free Zeus, and stop the Titans from breaking free and wreaking havoc upon the world.

Clash of the Titans was a somewhat underwhelming affair (read our review), with its wooden acting, formulaic, video game-style progression, poor 3D conversion and action sequences that were more lackluster than thrilling. Wrath of the Titans is indeed an improvement upon its predecessor – but not by much.

Sam Worthington and Liam Neeson as Perseus and Zeus in Wrath Titans Wrath of the Titans Review

Battle Los Angeles director Jonathan Liebesman steps into the director’s chair in place of Clash helmer, Louis Leterrier. The two ultimately prove to be on the same skill level (average), but are slightly different in terms of their shortcomings.

Where Leterrier’s signature was stiff and contrived action choreography shot at medium range using wires harnesses and such, Liebesman opts for the same kind of shooting style he used in Battle LA – namely a claustrophobic, over-the-shoulder shaky cam perspective –  which will immediately turn off a certain contingent of moviegoers. The action sequences in the first film felt like overly-contrived dance routines, but in Wrath the action (especially in the first half) is a mix of blurry up-close movement and wider tracking shots that put the human actor in the foreground, running toward or away from some CGI creature in a green screen background. Stylistically speaking it’s not very sophisticated, or believable.

Thankfully Liebesman’s guerrilla shooting style relaxes as the film moves into some of the bigger set pieces in the second and third acts, and Wrath of the Titans ultimately manages to end on a much stronger note than it begins, with some epic blockbuster sequences that make smart use of the film’s much-improved 3D format. Sure, seeing Perseus riding Pegasus towards a giant molten lava Titan is almost a carbon-copy of the first film, but Liebesman makes it look good. War simulation is definitely his strong suit.

Liam Neeson Ralph Fiennes and Edgar Ramirez in Wrath of the Titans Wrath of the Titans Review

Zeus (Neeson), Hades (Fiennes) and Ares (Ramirez) in ‘Wrath of the Titans’

The acting in the film is slightly better this time – though the script is still pretty formulaic, with dialogue that is wooden at best, cringe-worthy at worst. Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are thankfully given more to work with, as one of the subplots has to do with Zeus and Hades confronting their sibling issues as the time of the gods nears its end. Édgar Ramírez also gets a more Shakespearean (and I use that term very loosely) story arc, playing the god of war as a wounded, rage-fueled man-child with deep-seated daddy issues. Rosamund Pike and Toby Kebbell are good sidekicks, and character actor Bill Nighy (Underworld, Pirates of the Caribbean) shows up for a scenery-chewing cameo alongside a very special guest, which fans of the 1981 original Clash will delight in seeing.

Sam Worthington, on the other hand, is still as wooden and uninteresting as ever. There must’ve been a lot of CGI required to create the actor’s facial expressions in his Avatar alien body, because in every live-action role since then (see: The DebtMan on a Ledge) Worthington has pretty much proven that his range extends between blank face and feral growl. Wrath of the Titans tries to give Perseus some deeper emotional motivations (family, duty), but the scenes requiring emoting just look flat and even comical set against Worthington’s blank stare. Even Pegasus manages to display more personality – and he’s a flying horse.

Sam Worthington as Perseus in Wrath Titans Wrath of the Titans Review

Sam Worthington as Perseus in ‘Wrath of the Titans’

The Titans (and all the mystical beasts that come with them) are all well-designed and appropriately menacing – except for the Minotaur in the labyrinth sequence. Thanks to excess shaky-cam, we barely get to see what ol’ horn head looks like. But Kronos, the Chimera, the double-torso demon soldiers – all well done.

If you were a fan of the first installment then Wrath of the Titans is going to be a welcome improvement; if you didn’t like the first film, this sequel is not going to reverse your negative opinion. If you’re wondering whether to shill out for the 3D ticket: the last half-hour is worth it, and overall the format is better-utilized, but for most of the runtime it isn’t a necessity.

Wrath of the Titans is now playing in theaters everywhere. It is Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action.

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For an in-depth discussion of the film by the Screen Rant team check out our Wrath of the Titans episode of the SR Underground podcast.

Our Rating:

3 out of 5

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  1. I’d give it a 4/5 just because I was surprised by some of the action sequences. As far as the “Shakey cam” goes, I didn’t think it was that bad. Definitely not as shakey as this review made it sound. (Nothing against this review or the reviewer)

    I had a blast. It’s much better than ‘Clash’.

  2. Okay, I saw it yesterday, and I pretty much agree with Kofi’s review (although I have to say, I didn’t find Worthington THAT bad – he still sucked, but I think he managed to outshine Pegasus… just ;)).
    And is it just me, or was Rosamund Pike just making weird faces towards the end of the movie? She started out pretty good, but by the end, her acting felt staler than a seven year old bowl of oatmeal.
    Anyway, I see now why it has a runtime of 1hr30min… it’s because there wasn’t really that much they could have added. Even with the short runtime, It still felt dragged out during some of the scenes.

    As far as special effects go… it was pretty good (that scene where you see Kronos’ hand and thousands of people falling from it – pretty powerful stuff IMO) – although, as Kofi mentioned, those shaky, were annoying, but overly so that it ruined the viewing (I managed to see the Minotaur just fine – and what an ugly mug it has)
    In general, I think it was much better than Clash…
    All-in-all an okay movie (I give the 3 stars – nudging towards 2 and a 1/2)

    P.S. Liam Neeson’s beard was funny.
    That is all.

    • *Edit: “but NOT overly so that it ruined the viewing…”

  3. Just got back form watching the 2-D version. I agree the 3-D would be cool to see in the last 30 minutes. It moved along at a good pace without any boring spots. this is where I think the 90 minute run time helped.

    I give it 3.5 out of 5.

  4. I like the movie especially in IMAX 3D was worth it, I”ll give it a 3 out of 5 just because the way they ended, it shouldn’t have ended it the way they did, if you seen the movie then you know what im talking about. smh

  5. Wait? Lois Leterrier, the guy that made The Incredible Hulk (which i love)also made Clash of the Titans?! (A movie i hated) suddenly i don’t want him back for a possible TIH 2

  6. I still don’t get why Perseus is the only male adult without a beard. :-)

    • *Like*

  7. going to see it on wednesday. hope it will be an improvement over the first one

  8. Save your money and wait for the rental. This movie was awful on so many levels it gets a letter F out of 5. If you are 13, male, and full of testosterone then you may like it, I doubt you will love it.

    Monsters – 2/5
    Gods – 1/5 (1 is derived solely from the fact the Neeson and Fiennes are in this movie)
    Hero – 0/5
    Human element – 0/5
    Hot leading lady – 1/5
    Story – 0/5
    Overall visuals – 2/5
    Money grab scale (1 = movie managed by a passionate director (see LOTR series), 5 = movie managed by the studio’s executives (see Pirates of the Carribean series) – 5 +

    Please, someone with some talent make a God of War movie already and bring back my faith in the Greek mythos.

  9. Movie was fun, the Chimera and Cyclops battles were cool.

    The last set piece with Kronos was awesome, hell I’ll even say epic and more satisfying that the battle against the Kraken.

    • I agree. I especially loved the Chimera fight scene because it was just an awesome creature.

  10. Shoot, for me and the wife, the best part of the flick was the forest scenes with the Cyclops. They looked great and were funny as hell

    • Agreed,best fight scene of the movie.

  11. Its awesum. Just saw it. Amazing action scenes.

  12. i dont get why they say (its got video game like fights) arnt games striving to be like movies

  13. Saw it yesterday in 3D….

    Plot = nonexsistent
    Dialogue = not much needed, nor expected
    “Acting” = Sammy was really indifferent throughout the movie and his son was a desaster, has Mr. Worthington put on a lot of weight???
    3D = for post conversion actually quite good
    Sepcial effects = good
    Action/Entertainment = ok

    All of this I expected, but I must say that my already very low bar for a plot was not met.

    Bill N. and the other gods were very refreshing, not enough screen time though.

    Hades “change of mind” was a bit sudden.
    Did Mr. Lava actually speak or was it just rooaaaarrrr all along? What did he say?
    Was anybody else let down by the final fight and how abruptly it ended?

    Thankfully there will be no sequel…..2 brainless movies of this kind are more than enough.

  14. hi guys i watch it today and really enjoyed it. a lot better more intence than the first. good job will buy on blu ray then released..

  15. This movie is very entertaining and that is all I can say! Don’t listen to some of these hard to please no life people in here. People always expect an Oscar worthy movie! WTF?? I love everything about it and yes it was better than Clash. Liam Neeson reminded me of Moses, only missing the Ten Commandments tablets! LOL!

    • No, but I expect a movie to be good. This wasn’t. Maybe some people are TOO easy to please.

      • No, but I expect a…. blah blah blah, if you bend over I’m sure I could get that stick out for you :)

  16. Read your review Kofi, so funny thanks it made me chuckle.

    Haven’t seen this yet, kinda know what to expect, so as for the wooden acting…. hell yeh!! who gives, the film isn’t gonna win any oscars, just as long as the fight scenes are cool im totally there!

  17. I really liked this movie a lot i think it was a major improvement from Clash because it was more real, i mean look at all the actors in this movie and compare them to the last one and you’ll find that they’re all a lot different and a lot more improved. Hades and Zeus had more chemistry Ares the god of war was outstanding and even Sam Worthington was better than the he was in the last one. I think he was really smart to do Wrath, in case none of you knew (although you probably heard from Screen Rant) Sam despised the first one and wanted to do a sequel because he knew that it sucked really bad and that the series deserves a fun movie. I don’t understand why a lot of you say that Worthington was awful in this movie, i thought he was a lot of fun and really cool to watch on screen, i completely understand if you didn’t like him in the first one because in that he was really just this angry emo guy who was looking to fight everyone that he ran into although he looked pretty awesome in that one from a costume and and a fighting standpoint his acting really was bad in that movie, i guess he may not be good at playing characters like that. What i liked about in this one was that he wasn’t always giving the finger to his father Zeus, like in the last one when he first meets Zeus he hates him and tells him to get lost, in the sequel when he first sees him he doesn’t tell him to get lost at least not as harshly as he did in the first one, i guess that makes Sam’s Perseus kind of heroic to me because he’s moved on from a lot of the hate that he felt towards his father, just like Sam did with the last movie. When it comes to the effects i think that they were pretty good like the effects on Chronos as a giant lava monster were sick, and the Chimera and Cyclopses were also really cool. I thought that the action was really incredible but my favorite fight wasn’t with the cyclopes it was the last battle with Perseus and Ares in the temple of the gods i liked how it was kind of an emotional battle how Ares was fighting really just to be heard by his father and his brother, and really all he ever wanted was to be noticed by his father but when you look at the father Zeus grew up with you can easily tell that Zeus never learned what love really was so therefore he didn’t know how to care for Ares and show his affection to him, so therefore he took the easy route by judging him as a bloodthirsty war monger, and since that was the only thing he ever called Ares, Ares let that define him and continued to fight in numerous wars to get his father to talk to him more, and that didn’t work so he therefore turned against him. So i thought Ramirez did a really good job playing that guy, i also liked Toby Kebell as Agenor i hope in the 3rd movie they make him a little more serious though he was comedic but a little too comedic for me. I really didn’t like Rosamada Pike in this one (forgive me if i spelled her name wrong) actually overall i don’t think shes that good an actress, i didn’t even like her in Die Another Day and in this i thought she did a bad acting job and i never even thought she was pretty. But really overall i loved this film i saw it twice once with my friends and the second with my dad and i had fun both times, i look forward to the third one (its being written now for those of you that haven’t heard) hopefully it will be the best of the three. I highly recommend this on a friday night with some friends its a ton of fun. However one thing i would change is in the last fight with Ares and Perseus when Perseus had Ares in a choke hold and was holding him down i would have had him say to Ares,

    Perseus: “I’m so sorry your hurt brother, i’m so very sorry.”

    Ares: “GET OFF!!! You father stealer.”

    Perseus: “I didn’t steal your father.”

    Ares: “Yes you did he hates me”

    Perseus: “No, no he doesn’t hate you, he’s just scared. Because he has love all of us and he just doesn’t know how.”

    Or something like that.

  18. This movie SUCKED!!!

  19. this is one of the worst films i have ever seen, the story made absolutely no sense. the scenes would randomly jump from one to another without any story and half of the film just seemed pointless. some things that annoyed me were… the labyrinthine, it is meant to be an impenetrable and impossible without the aid of the special map given by the designer, however after 5 minuets of being in there they find themselves slapbang in the middle. the Minotaur was a joke. for some reason Perseus kissed that bird at the end even though there was no indication throughout the entire film that he liked her. random things happened for no reason. the gods changed sides all the time. joke of a film, the first one was better.

    • agreed,totally

  20. Didnt think it could get any worse than the first piece of crap but unfortunately it did. It made no sense what so ever n the acting nearly made me gag. i used to like greek mythology, not anymore. Dick heads

  21. What total dreck. Worthington has been awful in every film I’ve seen him in and this is no different. I’ve accepted disappointment from him, but theist sad part is thinking back to their performances together in Schindler’s and seeing Neeson and Fiennes now. I guess the reality I’ve failed accept is that I’m not a fan of middle of the road, mindless action. Lol at Neesons beard? Lol at the laughable ease with which almost all of these characters abandoned their motivating convictions so quickly and easily!