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When they announced a remake of the 1981 Harryhausen stop motion Clash of the Titans I did cringe. However, with Raiders of the Lost Ark screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan behind the script, I held back my cries of ‘nooooo’ and waited to see it. I was pleasantly surprised and quite enjoyed it. The strong cast led by raspy voiced Sam Worthington did indeed help. Still, I was surprised that it merited a sequel. Friday brings you Wrath of the Titans and this time the Titans are pissed and out for blood. Or rather ONE Titan is pissed – Kronos – and is using his bitter son Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and his equally angry grandson Ares (Edgar Ramirez) to bring about the end of the already weakened gods including Zeus himself played by Liam Neeson.
With a different director at the helm, Wrath of the Titans has a darker feel to it. Jonathan Liebersman wastes no time with backstory. Yeah, Perseus retired from heroics and here he is with his son fishing and living a simple life and then BLAM, there is his dad telling of great troubles due to the fact that people have stopped worshipping the gods and that he needs his son’s help. This lack of faith in such a short time seems a bit weird to me since you have had more proof of crazy god stuff with Krakens rampaging around and flying horses in there too, which would probably make me pray a lot more to them than before if things had been, you know, peaceful.
Perseus reluctantly takes on the mantle of hero again mainly to protect his son, who he leaves for other people to protect from the various rampaging demonic creatures that have apparently been released from Tartarus. He teams up with Queen Andromeda and Poseidon’s son Argenor, played as muscled comic relief by Toby Kebbell. Argenor leads them to the home of Hephaestus (Bill Nighy) who in turn leads them to the entrance of Tartarus where they attempt to rescue Zeus from Hades and Ares.
I won’t give much away. There is much scuffling and fighting and jumping and yelling and all that other hero stuff that you expect from a movie where big tough guys wear skirts. The score is tension filled to keep you gripping the arm rests through the nonstop race to the climatic end. My son felt that they did not face enough monsters. Apparently dopey Cyclops and mutated Minotaur’s were not enough for him. I have to admit that Kronos, despite his titanic nature and all the destruction at his mighty molten hands, felt a bit anticlimactic. I don’t know if this has something to do with how the ‘real’ or ‘awe’ seems to lose a bit for me when the effects are almost too good.
Like all heroic tales, this action packed story is based on filial anguish, brotherly jealously and father son bonding moments. Liam and Ralph talk it out, Ares and Perseus don’t, Argenor doesn’t get a chance to reconcile with his dad, Poseidon, but is okay about it, and Andromeda looks all spunky with her faith in her hero and poor set upon humanity. All that family drama brings a tear to your steely eye.