Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"Wrath of the Titans: A McDonald's Happy Meal with Sam Worthington as one of the toys

"Wrath of the Titans" reminds me of a McDonald's Happy Meal with Sam Worthington as the toy. Watching movies is kind of like dining--there are times you want a superb five star meal and there are other times you crave McDonald's (or insert your favorite fast food restaurant here). "Wrath of the Titans" is mindless, cheesy fun and, if accepted for that, you'll enjoy it. It's the perfect McDonald's meal for the mind. As far as the visual effects and set pieces in the film "Wrath" beats its predecessor although the cheesy fun factor is a bit less in evidence here as the film has a more serious vibe. In a way that works for "Wrath" giving the film its own identity.


It's been 10 years since Perseus (Sam Worthington)last saw his father Zeus (Liam Neeson)after killing the Kraken. He married Io (Gemma Arterton in the first film), they had a son, Io died and he has returned to the simple life of fishing. Zeus returns to ask for Perses' help; the Titans are escaping and Zeus needs the help of his son to fight them. Later, Hades (Ralph Fiennes) captures Zeus and sacrifices his brother's power to release their father Kronos the most powerful of the Titans.


The Blu-ray looks spectacular--with a state-of-the-art, colorful and sharp transfer. The transfer highlights the fine CGI work and, really, this is a film about the visual effects not the acting, directing or writing.

Audio is also spectacular with a very active lossless presentation.

Director Jonathan Liebesman does a credible job of setting up the action and making the film look good. I'm not sure how the screenwriters got their jobs (Dan Mazeau didn't have any credits that I could find prior to this movie while David Johnson wrote a couple of episodes of "The Walking Dead", the horrible "Red Riding Hood" and "Orphan")for this particularly movie but they do construct a servicable script although the dialog can often be pretty over rip and stinky at times("Look at me now: in the bowels of Tartarus, saving the universe. Just follow the Navigator.")

If "Wrath" is the Happy Meal of cinema, then Sam Worthington is one of many toys that gives us plenty of distraction. Worthington demonstrates more confidence this time around (and has more hair as well). The rest of the cast vary from attractive visual distractions to amusing performances.

Luckily, most of the performances are pretty good especially Bill Nighy as Hephaestus, Rosamund Pike (replacing Alexa Davalos)as Queen Andromeda and Toby Kebbell as Agenor. As usual Neeson and Fiennes both do their best with the material their given. The best performance is given by Edgar Ramierez as Ares who provides a sympathetic portrayal as a villian. He shows up the veterans and the star in a nicely tuned performance that's more complex than what's truly in the script.

The special features include a dual "Maximum Movie Mode" where you can choose "The Path of the Gods" or "The Path of Men"--each is a unique glimpse behind-the-scenes into Greek mythology (in the case of the former)and behind-the-scenes footage (in the case of the latter). "Focus Points" allows you to see the behind-the-scenes footage if you would prefer not to watch the movie again in "Maximum Movie Mode" to see the extras.

We also get unfinished deleted scenes and, quite honestly, the film doesn't suffer for having them cut out.

Nobody will mistake "Wrath" as intellectual nor a great movie but it sure is fun.