Wrath of the Titans (2012)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Wrath of the Titans</strong> (2012)

(On Cable TV, January 2013) The sad news is that Wrath of the Titans doesn’t have the arch melodramatic tone that made its predecessor so much fun to watch: “Release the Kraken!”, anyone?  The good news is that this sequel to Clash of the Titans remains a relatively entertaining action/fantasy film: the bare-bones plot serves handily as an excuse for well-choreographed action sequences involving grander-than-life fantastical creatures.  Director Jonathan Liebesman shows a good eye for flowing action sequences, and the film has a few gorgeous continuous shots in which the action plays out beautifully.  Tons of fiery special effects add more interest, especially when dealing with the skyscraper-sized end boss.  Sam Worthington holds the film together as no-nonsense reluctant hero Perseus, but Bill Nighy has a bit of fun as a half-mad god while Liam Neeson also makes an impression as a bound Zeus.  Thematically, there’s a flicker of interest when we realize that the story is taking place at the twilight of the gods’ influence over human affairs: there’s a last-hurrah atmosphere to the plot that interesting in its own right.  Still, let’s not kid ourselves: this is pure spectacle, the fantasy elements being excuses for bigger action set-pieces.  Wrath of the Titans works well in this context, and delivers the high-gloss entertainment factor that viewers of the first film expected.  That first entry wasn’t all that good, but this follow-up best succeeds at what it tries to do, and that’s already quite a bit better than many recent action/fantasy hybrids.

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