Sometimes, I’m lazy. Okay, often I’m lazy. And when my sister watches a movie without me — especially when it’s one I have no interest in at all — I’m like, hey, why don’t you write a review of that? And, very occasionally, she does:
Greek mythology is a love of mine, so I will watch just about anything having to do with it, from cheesy action flicks to animated Disney films and so forth. So, when Wrath of the Titans came on TV, I decided to DVR it, even though I heard it was supposed to suck.
Yeah, it kind of sucked.
Some SPOILERS. Read at your own peril.
Perseus braves the treacherous underworld (for all of ten minutes) to rescue his father, Zeus, from the evil clutches of Ares and Hades, who are conspiring to unleash the ancient Titans upon the world!
Well, actually, it’s more like one Titan, Kronos, but I guess “Wrath of the Singular Titan” doesn’t have quite the same ring, does it?
1. Sam Worthington reprises his role as Perseus, the human son of Zeus.
As far as acting goes, I think Worthington might be better in this film (and, inexplicably, sounds more Australian than last time, at least to me) but his character is still kind of boring — the same old, “I don’t want to be a demigod cause gods bring nothing but pain, blah blah blah.” The only real difference is now he has a kid and a dead wife. This is presumably so the film can both bring in a father and son theme, and have a Perseus/Andromeda romance.
I feel that both of these fall flat. I never really buy this paternal love that Zeus has for his son and vice versa. (Zeus comes to tell Perseus he needs help to keep the Titans in Tartarus, and Perseus basically says, “Pfft. Not my problem.) So this, “My son gave me strength,” line they share at the end of the feels forced.
And Perseus and Andromeda have little to no chemistry.
The whole of their romance seems to be Perseus looking at Andromeda and thinking, “Hey, you’re a girl, and I’m a guy, so . . . ”
2. The idea of a god’s death is interesting. At one point, Hades says that fear motivates his turning against Zeus, because while humans have the underworld, the gods only have oblivion. I like the idea that a god might be afraid of death — I just wish there had been more time to flesh out that idea. Or, at the very least, make the death of a god seem more significant. There’s a high death count for the gods in WotT, and they all pass in a fairly uninspired way — turning to ash figures and then disintegrating.
3. Ares’s motivation for betraying Zeus is that Zeus loves Perseus mooooorre *whine* and . . . look, if you have to play that angle, then it would have been nice to see it with someone who has a more legitimate complaint against their father, like Hephaestus. Hephaestus created most of the gods’ tools, like Hermes’s winged sandals or Aphrodite’s girdle –or, in this movie, the Spear of
Destiny Triam, the only weapon that can take down Kronos *eye roll*. But more importantly, in some versions of the myth, Hephaestus is the son that Zeus flings out of Olympus and permanently cripples after Hephaestus has the balls to try and stop his father’s advances towards his mother.
I’m just saying that if any god has a reason to be pissed at Zeus, it’s this guy.
4. Another reason Hephaestus has to be pissed?
I like you a lot, Bill Nighy, but this made me sad. Hephaestus should not be the kooky old man with the slight limp who babbles at mechanical owls. *grumpy face*
5. I don’t buy Rosamund Pike as a warrior princess. Sorry. The comic relief, Agenor, is okay though, mostly because, in the very best scene of the film, he smacks a morose Perseus and tells him to suck it up. I loved this.
6. And finally, I’m pretty sure I’ve read this comparison before, but . . . why is Kronos a giant lava monster again?
*sigh* I miss James Woods as Hades.
Perseus: “We can’t do this.”
Agenor: (smacks him) “Muttonhead. Two days ago, I was trapped in a cell in a dungeon, admittedly, trying to escape — (to Andromeda) — unbecoming the son of Poseidon — (back to Perseus) — but today I’m here, and I’m trying to save the universe. Jump in.”
Hades: “You want me to say it, brother? You want me to say I’m afraid? Doesn’t that go without saying? When mortals die, their souls go somewhere — there’s no place where gods go when they die! There’s nothing, just oblivion . . .”
Zeus: “Where is my snarling bastard of a son, Ares?”
Hades: “Death was circling you. That was the last time I’ll have the strength to chase it away.”
Agenor: “Your majesty, I realize in a labyrinth with a million possibilities, this is the last thing you want to hear . . . but follow me.”
Hmmm, I don’t think we own a copy of Disney’s Hercules. I should do something about that.
Toby Kebbell (Agenor)
. . . .