Wrath of the Titans (Blu-ray / DVD)
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman
Distributed by Warner Bros.
I enjoyed the first Clash of the Titans. There, I said it. I feel better.
Mind you, I’m not talking about the 1981 Harry Hamlin-starrer with the amazing Ray Harryhausen work (though I like that one, too). Nope, I’m talking about the critically derided 2010 version. The one starring Schindler, Voldemort, and Not Christian Bale from that last Terminator flick. Yep, I found that movie to be fun. Good? Not much, no. But fun, dammit.
I just want you to know what you’re in for with this review. If you despised that previous film, no problem! Let’s part ways now, and I’ll catch you next review. But, if you did find Clash likable on a braindead, popcorny level, stick with me as I tackle the Blu-ray for its follow-up, Wrath of the Titans.
Set some years after the last installment, Wrath catches up with demi-god Perseus (Sam Worthington), now a widower looking after his young son, Helius. Yes, I said widower. For whatever reason, the gorgeous Gemma Arterton couldn’t make it back for this sequel so apparently neither could her character from the original. Strike one, Wrath.
Perseus spends his days raising his son, fishing, and living an all-around simple life, which is all the character seems to desire. After all, he did kill a friggin’ Kraken in the previous movie. There’s not a whole lot left in life to top that, y’know? Climb Everest, maybe?
Anyway, before the five-minute mark, Perseus’ deadbeat of a dad Zeus (Liam Neeson, phoning in a performance that’s better than most of those from actors who actually try) attempts to enlist his son in an expedition to the Underworld. There, they are to plead with Hades (Ralph Fiennes) to allow them the opportunity to rebuild Tartarus, a prison for the dangerous god Kronos that is crumbling due to the ever-weakening powers of the gods. Perseus refuses, only to discover some time later that Zeus has been taken captive by Hades and the treacherous Ares (son of Zeus, half-bro of Perseus). Both Ares and Hades have devised a plan to drain Zeus’s power in an effort to restore life to Kronos, who has promised the gifts of power and immortality to the two villains.
Naturally, Perseus discovers the plan, then sets out on his magical flying horse to battle monstrous foe after monstrous foe until he can finally venture into the Underworld and…
Ah dammit, I’m boring the hell out of myself here. I can’t even imagine what it’s like for you, Dreadful readers. Look, who gives a minotaur’s ass about the plot? I mean, honestly? All I expected out of this Syfy Channel Original on ‘roids was a fun, ninety-minute escape from reality with loads of cool creatures and entertaining action. And d’you know what? I got just that. Wrath is light on story, heavy on creatures, and is a breeze to sit through and enjoy. It’s junk food cinema, to be sure, and there’s nothing wrong with that (so long as the movie in question is doing its best to keep the viewer entertained).
If you want highbrow filmmaking, look elsewhere. If the thought of (admittedly well done) CG creatures running amok offends you, look elsewhere. But if you’re looking for a nice dollop of the cinematic equivalent of comfort food, you could do far worse than this beer-and-pizza action/fantasy.
Warner Home Video has given us a decent Blu with this title. In the way of presentation, you get what you’d expect from a big studio release: a super-sharp, crystal image and rockin’ audio. Bonus features-wise, we get three deleted scenes, and a series of well-produced and interesting featurettes on both the production of the film (titled Path of Men), and the myths which inspired the film’s story (Path of Gods). These featurettes can be accessed while viewing the film in Maximum Movie Mode, or you can choose to watch a selection of them individually in the Focus Points section of the bonus features.
Look, you already know whether or not you want to see this. I doubt my review has swayed you one way or the other. If you’ve decided to give it a shot, I hope you dig it. If you’re only here to gather ammo for the comments section below… well, hey! I hope that’s fun for you, too.
Path of Men
Battling the Chimera
Agenor: The Other Demi-God
The Cyclops Fight
Prison of the Titans
Minotaur: The Human Nightmare
The Heavens Raise Hell on Earth
Path of Gods
Who are the Titans?
Hephaestus: God of Fire
Lost in Tartarus’ Labyrinth
Creatures of the Titans
3 out of 5
3 out of 5