Thursday, 14 June 2012

Review : Wrath of the Titans (2012)


Dan Mazeau (screenplay), David Johnson (screenplay), and 4 more credits »


Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Rosamund Pike
Perseus braves the treacherous underworld to rescue his father, Zeus, captured by his son, Ares, and brother Hades who unleash the ancient Titans upon the world.

Right of the bat, let me state that I hated the CLASH OF THE TITANS remake on its release. It suffered from lifeless performances, a lackluster script, some seriously dodgy CG, (Medusa looked like a damned PlayStation 2 cut-scene), and action sequences that felt supremely underwhelming, (not least in the limp-dick finale). It was a mess, but in retrospect and with my nostalgia-fueled rage somewhat tempered by the passing of time, Ive come to see it as a minor nuisance, rather than an all-out clusterfuck.

Most of the Earths populace deemed it to fit into one of these categories - Clusterfuck or nuisance.

No one thought it was worth a damn, and less than no one wanted a sequel. Yet here we are. The big bucks that CLASH brought the studios has spoken and must be obeyed. How utterly predictable.

Whats not predictable is the sheer soul freezing shock that WRATH is actually a much more accomplished than its predecessor. In fact, I found it to be something of a blast. I know, I know..I'm crazy, but bare with me a second and let me explain.

Fits of all, WRATH remedies a great many of the flaws that scuttled the previous film. Yes, this may be a money making exercise we're dealing with, but some intent has been pumped into this one to actually make it enjoyable for the audience.....a concept that completely bypassed the creators of the first film/remake.

Lets have a look at some of the shit we head to deal with in film one, and see how this one measures up, shall we?

Ridiculous shiny costumes worn by the gods are gone, replaced by more worldly and noble garb, that's far better suited to the material..

The Gods, (and by definition the high-caliber actors who portray them), are given given shit to do this time out. Lightning bolts and glowing war-hammers abound, and look exceptionally cool while they're their at it.

Sam Worthington has mid-length hair in this film. Gone is the dumb as shit skinhead. The Australian accent is still intact, but that's what we've come to expect from this guy. Sam simply plays Sam, no-matter what film he's in. And in this particular film he's actually barable. He injects a little charisma into the role that ain't in the script, and for once I didn't wanna bleed him out slowly.

The special effects are far, far superior to whats come before, and are often pretty damn jaw-dropping. Ancient Greece has never looked as pretty as it does here, and the film is never less than eye-catching, and is frequently much more than that. The finale is rather stunning, and the scenes in the Underworld all look great, especially a sequence that sees Perseus and his buddies navigate a constantly shifting labyrinth.

The monsters are a huge step up from the beasties in CLASH, (no plastic fantastic Medusa here!). Design-wise, they all look brilliant, and as I mentioned, the CG is top-notch, and really helps bring the creatures to vivid life. We get a lot more of them too, which, frankly, is the only reason we bought a seat to this gig in the first place.

The characters are more fleshed out, (that's not saying much, I know), and we actually grow to care about a few of them, in a 'this is nonsense and your a stereotypical sumbitch but I like you' kind of way. Liam Neeson is great as Zeus, and manages to inject some pathos in there, Ralph Fiennes is conflicted as Hades,and does his evil bastard schtick well, and the stunning Rosamund Pike is the stunning Rosamund Pike. The backing cast range from likable to non-entities, and that's okay. This is about spectacle and high adventure, not depth.

Speaking of throwbacks, WRATH really does feel far closer to the Ray Harryhausen films, (including the original 80's movie), from which it draws inspiration, than CLASH could ever have hoped to be, and is all the more enjoyable for it. In fact, if viewed in the same terms as such classics and GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD and JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, it becomes easy to overlook its flaws. The plot may be simple and the characters one dimensional, but weren't they always this way in those grand old matinee adventures?

Let me tell you, when I was a kid I couldn't give fifteen shits whether Jason had a back-story or not, I only gave a shit about seeing a 300 foot tall bronze bad-ass and sword-wielding skeletons. That ain't a crime, that's called being a boy, and despite life's many psychological rapings and the constant sense that we're all slaves to a twisted system of control from which death is the only escape, I'm still that excited kid in my heart. I came to WRATH looking for huge fucking monsters and God-on-God ass-whupping, and I got 'em both in spades. I'm happy.

Its gonna be tough to accept for many moviegoers that this film is nowhere near as awful as the highfaluting bandwagoneers of mainstream journalism would have you believe....yet its not. As soon as one critic deems it bullshit, the rest follow suite for fear of being ostracized for their views. Well, I couldn't give a fuck what people think of me. If I enjoy a film I'm gonna recommend it, and I did.

Despite what you may have heard, its actually a damned fun, mindless adventure movie with cool monsters, epic battles and some laughs thrown in for good measure. Listen to your inner child. He/She wants to see some big bad creatures doing copious damage to good looking extras. Not every film has to be an intellectual odyssey. I'm pretty sure you guys will have a good time with it. Especially the monster-lovers among you.

WRATH OF THE TITANS ...a film in which Liam Neeson is firing lightning bolts up demons asses and Rosamund Pike is sauntering across the screen in a tight leather outfit. Did I fucking stutter?

7 One-Eyed-Willies out of 10

No comments:

Post a Comment