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WRATH OF THE TITANS

SYNOPSIS:
Dangerously weakened by humanity's lack of devotion, the gods are losing control of the imprisoned Titans and their ferocious leader, Kronos, father of the long-ruling brothers Zeus (Liam Neeson), Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Poseidon (Danny Huston). The triumvirate had overthrown their powerful father long ago, leaving him to rot in the gloomy abyss of Tartarus, a dungeon that lies deep within the cavernous underworld. Perseus (Sam Worthington) cannot ignore his true calling when Hades, along with Zeus' godly son, Ares (Edgar Ramírez), switch loyalty and make a deal with Kronos to capture Zeus. The Titans' strength grows as Zeus' remaining godly powers are siphoned.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Greek mythology holds many great stories and brings together some of the great myths of ancient literature – with something to say about human nature, even when the stories are about gods. I rather doubt that the film’s target market of teenagers will be too concerned about Greek mythology, nor are they likely to learn any of it from this movie. That is despite the fact that Liam Neeson’s sensorious voice as Zeus delivers a briefing at the start to establish why we are inside a myth.

Cinematically incoherent – and with frequently incoherent dialogue – Wrath of the Titans reminds me of those cars that are seen and heard driving around with the windows down and the speakers blaring. You can hear the thump thump thump before they get near and after they’ve gone, but you can’t hear what the music was.

Actors of the calibre of veterans Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes lend their stature and authority as the filmmakers try to give the film a serious, worthy tone, and the lovely Rosamund Pike brings class to the film, but these talents are wasted. Aussie bulk Sam Worthington continues to garner heroic roles where he is the strong silent type, with nary a smile or weepy eyes. A bit of light and shade would be welcome...

But in reality, the film is more a pinball arcade game than a movie, an endless cacophony of blazing monsters, crumbling stone pillars and caves, fierce monsters and gods with varying degrees of super power. The many fight scenes are a blur, devoid of tension as a result, and the battle scenes are incomprehensible. There is quite a bit of cheese, too ...

Amidst all the ancient temples and gods with spears, we hear what seems like Englishmen in a local pub – but turn out to be English actors Bill Nighy (as Hephaestus), Toby Kebble (as Agenor) and Fredie Drabble (as Apollo). Rosamund Pike manages to tone her accent down to neutral, and Sam Worthington (as Perseus) keeps his almost-concealed Aussie, while Ralph Fiennes (as Hades) and Liam Neeson (as Zeus) stick to their ‘high’ English. Edgar Ramirez (as Ars) is a pleasant change with his Latin accent as does Alejandro Navarnjo (as Mantius).

It all ends up sounding and looking silly for the most part, rather than an inspirational drama about fathers and sons at war and redeeming each other.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

WRATH OF THE TITANS (M)
(US, 2012)

CAST: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Rosamund Pike, Ralph Fiennes, Bill Nighy, Danny Huston, Edgar Ramirez, Toby Kebbell, Lili James, Matt Milne

PRODUCER: Basil Iwanik, Polly Johnsen

DIRECTOR: Jonathan Liebesman

SCRIPT: David Johnson, Dan Mazeau (1981 screenplay by Beverley Cross)

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Ben Davis

EDITOR: Martin Walsh

MUSIC: Javier Navarrete

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Charles Wood

RUNNING TIME: 99 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: March 29, 2012







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