Film Review: Wrath of the Titans

As titans clashing in 2010 clearly was not enough, this time audiences feel the titans’ wrath. Jonathan Liebesman’s film is predictable fare, but watchable nevertheless.

Following Perseus’ defeat of the Kracken, the demigod is living a simple fisherman’s life while raising his son. When Zeus calls upon him, Perseus is initially reluctant. Perseus soon springs into action, however, when Zeus is held prisoner and humanity is threatened…

Wrath of the Titans is a sufficiently entertaining film, although the missteps are visible. The main narrative strand is fine, but not overly gripping or original. The theme of loyalty and bonds in the father-son relationship is overplayed throughout the film. It is really hammered in, when some less obvious allusions would have worked better.

Additional strands are either weak or unnecessary. The role of Agenor is unusual, as the character is not as crucial as his build up would suggest. Perhaps the screenwriters should be applauded for this small misdirection. Andromeda, however, is completely surplus to requirements in the quest portion of the film. Her role is extraneous for the most part, in fact. There is no real indicator of love interest between her and Perseus.

Other characters in the film are often one dimensional, partly in the case of the gods. The mythology employed and adapted by Wrath of the Titans is rich. Perhaps the screenwriters could have utilised this further, illustrating the power and limitations of the gods. The film seems to go back and forth in this respect, with a lack of set principles.

The effects are good overall. Sound works particularly well throughout the film. The style of filming does not work for the best interests of the action sequences, however. The very fast camera movement makes it difficult to ascertain what is happening at times. Viewing Wrath of the Titans in Imax can emphasise this. Ghosting in this ratio can also be a problem. Thankfully, the 3D is far superior to the first movie.

Performances in the film are adequate. Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes knowingly ham it up, which make their scenes amusing. Sam Worthington plays the action hero in a suitable fashion. The accents in Wrath of the Titans are a bit of a mystery, with a variety of British dialects apparent, among others.

Some of the silliness makes the film more entertaining. Wrath of the Titans occasionally lets its humour override the solemnity of proceedings, and is all the better for it.

Trailer Round-Up

Four trailers of new movies to share this week, as well as a new a clip of Disney’s Brave. Spring/Summer offerings include a pregnancy comedy, a remake of an 80s television show, a fantastic Aardman animation, and a blockbuster sequel.

21 Jump Street

For those that are unaware, 21 Jump Street was a television show which made Johnny Depp a star in the 1980s. It was popular at the time, but never really gained a later cult following. It is for this reason I do not foresee a backlash against this new film version. According to the trailer, the film seems to retain the same premise as the television series; cops go undercover at a high school to investigate criminal activity. 21 Jump Street is out in cinemas on 16th March 2012.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Based on the New York Times bestseller, What to Expect When You’re Expecting is a comedy about pregnancy. The film features a host of stars, including Cameron Diaz, Chace Crawford and Chris Rock. The film also stars Jennifer Lopez, but hopefully she will not feature too heavily given the assemble nature of it. What to Expect When You’re Expecting is due for release Spring 2012.

Wrath of the Titans

A sequel to 2010’s Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans catches up with Perseus ten years after the events of the previous film. Wrath of the Titans reunites the original cast of Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson. Like its predecessor, the film is released in 3D; hopefully the quality of this will have improved. Wrath of the Titans is released on 30th March 2012.

The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists

This week I was lucky enough to see The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists. I can honestly say it is tremendous fun.The film features Hugh Grant as the voice of Pirate Captain, beloved by his crew but a weak contender for Pirate of the Year. The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists is released on 28th March 2012.

Brave

Set in Scotland, Brave is the newest animated feature from Disney Pixar. The animation in the clip above looks amazing. Merida, voiced by Kelly Macdonald, appears to be very much in the same vein as other recent Disney princesses. From the clip above, Merida seems independent and strong-willed, traits that are associated with modern Disney heroine. Given its setting, Brave is released is Scotland on 3rd August 2012, with the rest of the UK able to catch the film on the 17th August.

Film Review: Clash of the Titans

Seeing the film a few weeks after its release, Clash of the Titans is actually an enjoyable enough movie. Granted, this may be the case as expectations were significantly lowered by the considerable amount of negative press and reviews the film has received.

Louis Leterrier’s version makes a number of changes to the plot from the 1981 original. Sam Worthington’s Perseus no longer seeks the hand of Andromeda; instead he seeks revenge for the murder of his adoptive family by Hades. The focus in this 2010 remake is firmly on Perseus and the human characters, a lot less time is given to the gods, some of whom are ousted altogether from the film. The story, then, becomes very human, and similar to many other revenge quest themes in fantasy and other genres. In retrospect, the presence of the gods in the original film separated it from similar fare; something this remake perhaps should have kept intact.

The performances in the film are passable, with Gemma Arterton featuring as the love interest more for her looks than anything else. As villain Hades, Ralph Fiennes comes across as a little hammy, whilst Worthington’s changeable accent is distracting.

One of the main criticisms of the film is the use of 3D, which was tacked on in the post-production. Whilst one may expect it to look shoddy, in actual fact it is not that noticable. The use of 3D doesn’t necessarily detract from the film, but it doesn’t really add anything either.

As an epic fantasy adventure, Clash of the Titans is entertaining fare. Whilst younger audience members will most likely enjoy the picture, especially the action sequences, for older viewers this remake may bring about a nostalgia for the original. For all its blockbuster special effects, this remake can’t quite replicate Ray Harryhausen’s quaint but much-loved creations.