The Wrath of the Titans Blu-Ray Review (Mania.com)
Review Date: Thursday, July 05, 2012
Well if you’re one of those glass half full type of people you can look at Wrath of the Titans from the standpoint that at least it’s better than Clash of the Titans (2010) although that might not be saying much since that film didn’t exactly set the bar too high. Without having much of a reputation to live up to, Director Jonathan Liebesman (Battlefield: Los Angeles) is free to pretty much free to indulge himself and go crazy and largely does. Wrath becomes almost like a live-action version of the popular videogame series God of War with battles against mammoth boss creatures like a Chimera, Cyclops, the Minotaur, and the giant, flaming titan Kronos. The problem is that God of War has a log more depth of story and character than Wrath of the Titans could ever dream of having.
Set 10 years after the previous film, Perseus (Worthington) is living a simple life as a fisherman with his ten year-old son, Helius. He is visited by his father Zeus (Neeson) who warns Perseus that because people no longer than believe in the Gods, the prison of Tarterus in the underworld is beginning to crumble and threatens to unleash its denizens on the world. Perseus has no interest in becoming in the affairs of the Gods, however. Zeus meets with his brothers Hades (Fiennes) and Poseidon (Danny Huston), as well has his son Ares (Edgar Ramirez), in order to rebuild the prison. However, he is betrayed by both Ares and Hades who plan to revive the great titan Kronos.
The reluctant Perseus finds himself drawn into the fray when a Chimera attacks his village and a dying Poseidon tells him Zeus is being held captive in the underworld. Poseidon must go on a quest to locate Zeus’ Thunderbolt, Hades' Pitchfork, and Poseidon’s Trident, to form the Spear of Triam, the only weapon that can defeat Kronos. Perseus is joined by Agenor, the demigod son of Poseidon, and Queen Andromeda, as they journey into the heart of Hades realm to rescue Zeus. Wow that even sounds like the plot of a video game.
The main problem with Wrath of the Titans is that it doesn’t have a captivating villain to carry the action. Even Clash of the Titans had that in the form of Feinnes’ restrained portrayal of Hades. But here he takes a backseat to Ares who is simply dull on every level. Ares was described in mythology as "overwhelming, insatiable in battle, destructive, and man-slaughtering.” Here he is merely yawn inducing. Couple his performance with Worthington’s refusal to fully embrace his own role, and you’ve got two guys who don’t radiate much excitement or passion.
There is a liberal dose of lively humor in the performances of Toby Kebbell as Agenor and Bill Nighy as the screwball God Hephaestus. Their antics will bring you to a smile on your face but their roles are relatively small. The biggest stars might be the visual FX crew who brought to life the many beasts of Greek Mythology. The Cyclops and Kronos were particularly eye-popping. But in the end there’s a desperate lack of Adventure in Wrath of the Titans. This film should have had the spirit of those old Ray Harryhausen Sinbad films of the 1970s, not to mention the original Clash of the Titans but instead it falls flat in both story and character development.
Maximum Movie Mode – Warner’s usual Blu-Ray extra returns but a bit different than on previous Blu-Rays. Rather than the usual live cute-ins to the film showing picture-in-picture supplemental material, here you get to choose your own path to follow: Path of the Gods, or the Path of Men. The material is different in each path: In the Path of Gods you learn more about the mythology behind the film while in the Path of Men you get more of the typical behind-the-scenes type of material.
Focus Points (34:00) – This option allows you to view all of the focus point featurettes that are in the Maximum Movie Mode separately, without having to sit through the entire film. The ten featurettes are: Battling the Chimera, Agenor: The Other demigod, The Cyclops Fight, Prison of the Titans, Minotaur: The Human Nightmare, The Heavens Raise Hell on Earth, Who Are the Titans?, Hephaestus: God of Fire, Lost in Tartarus’ Labyrinth, Creatures of the Titans, Creatures of the Titans.
Deleted Scenes (10:48) - Three deleted scenes in total. These help flesh out some of the characters but tend to slow down the pace of the film so you can see why they were cut.
Mania Grade: C
Cast: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes
Writer: Dan Mazeau
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment
Original Year of Release: 2012
Extras: See Below