The ancient Greek mythological realm is ready made for Hollywood script writers. There are seething rivalries, petty jealousies, jilted lovers; pretty much every conflict known to man is already pre-packaged with at least a few immortal deities to go along with it. Even with all of this rich material, Wrath of the Titans chose ‘daddy issues’ as its central conflict and plot instigator. When you are dealing with names as powerful as Zeus, Hades, Ares, and Perseus, daddy issues cannot be the first story idea which jumps to mind.
Oh, where to begin to describe this ridiculous story. Perseus (Sam Worthington) and his son, Helius (John Bell), reside by the sea as fishermen and seem to be living an enjoyable, yet isolated, life. Perseus’s dad, Zeus (Liam Neeson), drops by seeking his son’s help warning of dark days to come. Perseus, ever mindful that daddy did not pay him very much attention as a child, refuses and sends Zeus on his way. Zeus meets up with another of his sons, Ares (Edgar Ramirez), to go and meet Hades (Ralph Fiennes) in the underworld to see what is making all of the trouble. Oops, Zeus’s poor parenting strikes again. Ares, jealous of his father’s love for his half-brother, Perseus, teams up with Hades, also jealous of Zeus, and starts torturing Zeus and tries to wake up Zeus’s daddy, Kronos.
This script received thumbs up from the green lighters? This is Hollywood’s big budget mythological movie this year? Daddy didn’t pay attention to me; daddy likes my brother more than me, so now I feel like destroying half of the world. Oh, and the Gods are starting to lose their powers. Why, because humans do not prey to them anymore. It turns out that the Greek Gods are like fairies in Peter Pan. If you do not believe in them and clap your hands, they fall down and die.
Here comes Perseus to save the day. First, though, he must put together an ad hoc band of heroes to travel down into the underworld and set things right. He picks the beautiful Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) who is required to look good with some dirt smeared on her cheeks rather than to provide any useful qualities to the group. Perseus also picks up another demigod, Agenor (Toby Kebbell), a son of Poseidon. Agenor appears to be an ancient Greek version of Russell Brand. Together, this disparate group encounters Cyclops, the God Hephaestus (an annoying Bill Nighy), the Minotaur, and evil creatures which have two torsos wielding four swords but share the same legs.
There are plenty of technical special effect achievements to marvel at though. The Cyclops are very well done as is Kronos who after being turned to stone for so long lets the lava flow. Those leg-sharing double torso guys are also pretty intriguing to watch as they swivel around chopping up tiny humans. The editing process would have benefited from a bit of a leash though; Perseus’s fight with the Minotaur is almost impossible to watch and as a result, the audience never gets a very good look at the monster. There are just way too many cuts in that scene to make it seem incredibly frantic.
Wrath of the Titans is a misleading title. It should be called, “The Titans’ Offspring Cannot Move Past Their Childhoods and as a Result, the Puny Humans Must Suffer.” Last fall’s Immortals is superior in comparison because the character’s motives are more understandable and the Gods seem almost normal instead of caricatures inside a soap opera melodrama. Do yourself a favor and stay far away from Wrath of the Titans.