Moviegoers eagerly awaiting a sequel to 2010’s “Clash of the Titans” may be pleased with “Wrath of the Titans,” but the more discerning majority of us will have to wait for something better.
In this new, dull sequel to a terrible remake of an action-fantasy film, Sam Worthington returns as demigod Perseus, again hoping to live a peaceful life as a fisherman, this time with his son.
But once again, the universe (or is it simply the Earth?) is threatened.
Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and his nephew Ares (Edgar Ramirez) hatch an evil plan to drain Zeus’ (Liam Neeson) powers, and resurrect Hades’ and Zeus’ father, Kronos — actually a giant, fiery beast.
It’s up to Perseus to hit the road, assemble three parts of a mighty weapon, rescue Zeus and battle the beastie before it rampages all over the place in slow motion.
In the meantime, he battles other giant, computer-generated monsters; by the time he gets to the really big one, the build-up has worn off.
For some reason, Perseus again is saddled with oddball sidekicks including a queen (Rosamund Pike); a supposedly comical cousin, the half-human son of Poseidon (Toby Kebbell); and a gratuitous pretty girl (Lily James).
Unfortunately, even giving Perseus someone to talk to during his travails does little to add depth to his character. He’s about as interesting as many of the rubbery-looking digital creatures.
Dialogue consists of the characters occasionally reminding each other of what’s going on, and the writers forget to supply Kebbell with funny lines; he just turns into scenery.
Even the most skilled among the notable cast look like they’re trying hard to stay awake. (Though to be fair, even the great Laurence Olivier grappled with this problem in the 1981 original.)
Thematically, the filmmakers pretend to depict the struggle with what it’s like to be human, but clearly don’t have much to say on the subject because they are far more concerned with battles and 3-D effects.
Director Jonathan Liebesman has been responsible for some outright junky films, including “Darkness Falls,” “Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning” and “Battle: Los Angeles.” “Wrath of the Titans” is no exception.
Still, somehow this bland sequel manages to improve slightly on its bombastic and aggressively stupid predecessor.
Starring Sam Worthington, Rosamund Pike, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes
Written by David Leslie Johnson, Dan Mazeau, Greg Berlanti
Directed by Jonathan Liebesman
Running time 1 hour 39 minutes