‘Wrath of the Titans’ Review

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 30th, 2012 at 1:21 pm,

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

Screen Rant’s Kofi Outlaw Reviews Wrath of the Titans

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
(Good)

TAGS: wrath of the titans

76 Comments

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  1. This isn’t good news at all.I only want to spend money on 4 stars or better.3 or 3.5 stars is a rental at best.I heard the film also wasn’t even that long,a movie like this should at least be over 2hours like any action blockbuster.Oh well,i guess May 4th will have to do,not to much longer 35 days or less…

    • just lol.

  2. I’ll be seeing this tonight in the imax theater, thanks for the review
    now i know what to expect.

  3. “Even Pegasus manages to display more personality – and he’s a flying horse.”
    HA! best line from screen rant this year Kofi, well done, well done.

    • That line made me do a spit take. Well done, Kofi!!!

    • I’m sure he wanted to put a more, uh, colorful phrase in there: “..and he’s a f^%$^* flying horse”. :-)

  4. Kinda what I thought it would be, but I am still going to see it.

    • Yeah, me to. With Worthington, I always expect mediocre acting; I’m just looking for awesome action here.

  5. Sounds about right… (was never expecting this to be “5 star” or even 4 star worthy).
    I’ll be seeing it tomorrow.

    • +1

  6. “But Kronos, the Chimera, the double-torso demon soldiers – all well done.”

    They may be well done from a CGI perspective, in that they appear real looking, but from a myth standpoint they are all poor facsimiles and, in typically Hollywood fashion, “overdone”.

  7. I’m supposed to be seeing this tomorrow -__-

  8. Bwahahaha! -and people still pay full price to see these half developed film experiments done just to get your money. *head in hands*-Oh The Humanity!

  9. I was so so disappointed with this movie. This is DEFINITELY NOT worth a 3D price and I should have waited for Netflick!

  10. I saw it today and was really surprised at how bad it was, well maybe not bad but bland. The story was not at all engaging. The dialogue is awful and the relationships between characters unconvincing.

    All the creatures disappointed me especially the Minotaur that was just thrown in there. You can’t make out any of the action going on with the creatures except the Cyclops. They were the saving grace. The double torso soldiers were whipping about so fast and the camera was sooo shaky sometimes I didn’t know what I was looking at.

    I actually preferred the first one by a long way. I didn’t see the first one in 3D so that is probably why I didn’t hate it. Unfortunately the cinema was having trouble with it’s 3D showings, so I had to watch this in 2D. But I don’t mind, i prefer 2D anyway.

    • Why can’t these people get mythological movies right? I mean, come on! We have CGI technology that’s far better than decades ago, yet those movies (1980 CotT, Hercules from the 1960′s and even Superman) are far better than the ones from today. I suppose it’s because the story meant more back then, because Hollywierd today couldn’t create a coherent story if Samuel Clemens himself were a consultant.

      • Why? Well because they CAN! If something can be done, it’s Hollywood’s job apparently to over do it.

      • Why cant these people get mythological movies right? Do some of you people even know anything about greek mythology? I’ll tell you, most of it is so damn stupid. Do you prefer Pegasus springing out of Medusa’s neck after Perseus chops her head off? Do you prefer Achillese chasing Hector around instead of Hector being a man and fighting Achellese head on? lol thats exactly what happens in the original mythology. And as for the first Superman having better special effects back then…WOW… Yea right!

        • It doesn’t have be hyper exact. I would be fine with close with some adjusting and creative license. As an example……the chimera in this movie has been pushed to ridiculous extremes. Instead of a creature with a lion and goat’s head we get something twisted so far it doesn’t look like anything recognizable. Then they toss on wings and make it fire breathing to boot. I would have been fine with say the wings IF the creature had at least matched the description but no, we get this perversion.

          An example of acceptable creative license for me would be the Medusa from the original Clash of the Titans. They mixed the original Medusa with Echidna but it still retained it’s original abilities and the snake body only accentuated it’s hideous demeanor.

          So I don’t want perfect but close would be nice.

      • Well Superman from back in the day was good but very cheesy. But now we have Superman: Man of Steel which will be the best Superman movie ever!

    • Sorry for the mild spoiler. You’d have guessed it anyway when you saw the situation they were in. It’s a disappointing treatment of a mythical Greek legend creature anyway.

  11. spoiler alert
    dont mess it up for the rest of use.

  12. hopefully i will be seeing this in theaters, though probably not in 3d. i thought the first one was pretty good so if this is an improvement on the first that is great news for me.

  13. The original is a guilty pleasure that was not Citizen Kane by any means, so I even gave the fist movie in this re-boot some slack. You really can’t go into this movie expecting anything more then sword and sandal action involving crazy CGI toons. The main reason I can’t see spending money to see this is because I have played all of the God of War games, and they are pretty much as good a series of Greek myth based mayhem as you can get. And the CGI on 3 is about as impressive if not better then some movies.

  14. Had a couple of laughs after reading your review LOL…..you completely nailed worthingtons acting skills!!!
    Will see it on tuesday in 3D, expecting to have 90 minutes to lay my brain to rest.

  15. I… I Don’t understand why some directors dont understand how crappy a shaky camera is! Its SO STUPID! It’s just terrible. You gotta have really damn fast eyes with perfect vision and photographic memory to understand and see whats going on with that crap! I have not seen the movie yet….But knowing there is a shaky camera just pisses me off.

  16. hmmm, directed by the person responsible for Battle: Los Angeles?

    I think I’ll have to wait for this on DVD (not even bluray).

    B:LA (its acronym suits it to a T) was one of the very few films in the last dozen years that I can truly say I hated.

    • I absolutely abhorred BLA but this IS an improvement over the last film, it’s not great, but it is fun, the special effects are really good, the pacing is good. I liked it.

  17. im still amped to see it, just a bit concerned on how good it actually is. im gonna watch it in imax, so the action will hopefully make it more awesome. i know what im watching, and its not gladiator.

  18. My only complaints with this are:
    -The Minotaur scene made no sense(to me)
    -Rosemund Pike’s ridiculous battle cry towards the end
    -The fact that the kid who played Helios looks like Emily Blunt

    I heard they’re doing a third one? I bet we already know the marketing campaign:
    “We Survived the Clash. We Felt the Wrath. Now…Witness the Fall. FALL OF THE TITANS DUNN DUNNNNN DUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN”

    After that movie fails they’ll forget about it for a while and then in like 2016 we’ll Have ‘Rise of the Titans’ the prequel featuring CG young Liam Neeson and the Zeus’ rise to power. It will be “Certified Fresh” and Liam Neeson will sign on as producer. Save this as a word document in case i’m correct.

    • He he he! I like that. ;)

  19. finally the 3D and the action are AWSOME worth the price of addmition, will see it again for sure

  20. I’m going against the politically correct tide here and say I LIKE movies. Like a movie? Not cool, man. Even if you do, you can’t admit it, or heaven forbid post on line about it.
    No, Wrath of Titans is not the best movie out there but isn’t meant to be – It’s meant to be fun. And it is.
    - And comparing an actor to a horse? THAT’s not cool.

  21. The first movie was feel a bit rushed and just moving frOm moving one set piece to another and the running time was so short. Can anyone confirm about the running time of Wrath of titans ?

  22. I thought that this was way better then clash of the titans special affects were pretty sick, battles were better over, good movie overall

  23. knew it would be crap, the only thing that interested me was the creatures and that’s not good enough to warrant a full ticket sale off my a**, especially if the movie has shaky cam and fast cuts. which brings me to my next point, battle LA didn’t have shaky cam (not alot of it anyways), it mainly suffered from quick cuts which gave the impression that everything was done shaky cam.

    like others, i’ll just wait until the end of the month when avenegers comes out, well worth the wait :)

  24. I feel like a total lame-o for thinking for a split second that Wrath of the Titans would be set in modern day…and wishing it would be haha

  25. @ Shacasha- That is spot on, dude!

  26. This movie was a waste of my hard earned money.

  27. @ Mongoose…the Green Lantern Movie was trash…anyway. I watched Wrath Of The Titans last night and I liked it. The shaky camera was not that bad in this movie either. And The CGI in this movie is obvious CGI…But it was better than the Green Lanterns CGI and all of Mr. Lucas star Wars movies.If any of you like the first one, then you will like this one. This reviewer is just a stuck up snob. I bet he loved Monsters Ball since he’s talking about how bad the actors are in Wrath Of The Titans. By the way, the acting was not bad. Should they be getting oscar nominees? No,but that doesn’t say the acting is bad. This is a freakin action movie.It’s made to be fun and it is. Its so stupid how people say “oh that movie is gonna suck cause it has bad acting” there was nothing wrong with the acting. Hey if any of you wanna get bored to death and watch a movie with “great amazing acting” go watch a boring movie like Monster Ball or The Notebook.. And fall asleep.

    • I liked it too and I’d give it just as many stars as he did, a solid three stars, which if you think about it means he enjoyed the movie overall, even if he thought it was far from great and I’d agree. Giving a thorough review of a film’s successes and failures does not make someone a snob, just thorough.

      • Thorough you say? lol yea sure. The guy compares Sam’s acting to a horse…. Yea not being a snob at all >,<

  28. It was fun to watch but by no means a ‘good movie’ lol :}

    • lol bet you had fun watching Spy Kids even though its not a “good movie”

      • your point is?

  29. I agree with the 3/5. It is definitely better than Clash, and the final fight was a lot longer than the one against the Kraken.

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