Okay, so the title is not witty at all, but to be fair, last night I did lose two hours of my ever-shortening life watching a sneak preview of Wrath of the Titans (ergo, I’m not wasting what little wit I have on them).
To give some context to those of you that don’t know me, I love movie monsters, especially when they get all rascally and go hometown buffet on unsuspecting townsfolk.
So when I say that Wrath of the Titans is chock full of very cool-looking monsters who wreak all kinds of havoc and it still earned a shoulder-shrugging ehhh, you get some idea of just how dreadful this movie actually is.
Now in the interest of not being entirely negative, the character of Perseus has been developed (in the form of a son named Helius) and is given something of an arc. Rosamund Pike tries her best to make something out of nothing playing Andromeda. You get to see Zeus in action, which is cool. And you get an actual premise involving the battle between Gods and Titans in which humanity’s survival obligatorily hangs in the balance.
Other than that stuff just sort of happens. There’s never any real danger or doubt. (This is epitomized by the film’s labyrinth scene. It’s visually stunning and introduces a potential movie’s worth of obstacles both internal and external for the characters. Conceptually, it rivals Clive Barker’s hell from the Hellraiser movies and could have easily trounced it in execution. Sadly, the filmmakers never establish a rhyme or reason for this labyrinth, nor do they figure out how the characters might escape it. They just chase them around in it with various dangers both real and imagined and then it ends. They’re out. On to the next act.)
Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes regurgitate long-white-bearded, family-friendly versions of Oskar Schindler and Amon Goth. Bill Nighy breaks his crazy old bird routine out of the crates one more time.
Sadly, the rest of the cast is flat-out boring. Sam Worthington continues to have half the charisma of a sleepy Mark Wahlberg. Toby Kebbell was brought in to play the demigod Agenor because, apparently, Russell Brand doesn’t answer his phone. The character Andromeda is not only empty, she’s pointless. Her armies look like holdovers from Troy and Alexander–although for the movie’s purposes they don’t need to be anything more. Any human characters whose names don’t appear in the opening credits are just food for the smasher.
The Titan Kronos, who the filmmakers envision as a lava-flinging, Godzilla/Balrog turns out to be pretty much weak sauce. (Here’s a hint: In the Titans universe big means really, really, really, slow.) Needless to say, the climax is anything but.
But then again, the entire movie is fluff.
So, if you love watching monsters roar and smash even more than I do, Wrath of the Titans might just be your flick. For everyone else, making sure that last coat of eggshell white you just laid down on the bathroom wall dries evenly is probably a more useful expenditure of your time.