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July 17, 2012

Very Brief Review of "Wrath of the Titans"

So, this is on PPV now. I remembered that Kurt Loder had given it a fairly positive review:

Wrath of the Titans stands tall in the pantheon of schlock—it’s schlock with brio, the best kind. And if I were a contemporary lad with no memory of Ray Harryhousen’s stop-motion Sinbads and Argonauts of 50 years ago, I think I might be pretty tickled by this clamorous CGI myth-fest.

So, I gave it a shot.

Given that it's a sequel to a reboot of a movie that was campy crap in the first place, it's pretty good. Bear in mind, every review must begin with the disclaimer: This is a review of Wrath of the Titans, for crying out loud, so what are you expecting?

But it's reasonably decent. First of all, the movie introduces another half-god, Agenor, son of Poseidon, as Perseus' buddy; Agenor is a little different in that he's comic relief, and a rogue.

It's a great character, the sort of character this sort of story desperately needs, and a character which is completely original and completely new to audiences. I mean, I've never seen a humorous half-god thief character team up with a more serious half-god warrior character before, ever, in my life.

That noted, it's still welcome. (I believe all good ideas should be ripped off at least five or six times.) This Agenor fella has a good line:

HELIUS: I've read you were a great disappointment.

AGENOR: That's right, I am great.

It's too bad I couldn't understand most of of his dialogue (or most other character's, either), because the bits and pieces I heard weren't bad at all.

The story's about an evil team-up between Hades (of course) and Ares (also of course). Hades is butthurt that Zeus gets all the glory, and Ares is butthurt that Zeus gives all the glory to his precious Perseus. So they undertake to release the Father of the Gods, Cronus, from Tarterus, the Bad Neighborhood of Hades (Hell, basically) to destroy the world.

And then the heroes have to travel the world and go into a dungeon. There they encounter Monster Manual pages 33 and 123, and Dieties & Demigods pages 88-89.

The special effects are pretty good. Especially Cronus, at the end, presented as a giant made of volcanic magma.

The writing seems to confuse Greek mythology with more recent religions -- ethical montheistic religions, like Christianity -- because it keeps talking about "forgiveness" and other not-so-Greek-mythological concepts, but I don't think anyone's watching this for some kind of accurate depiction of ancient Greek god-myths. I guess they did get the jealousy and spite of the "bad" gods right.

Overall, I gotta say, it did not suck. Expectations might have helped, because I expected it to suck. The first fifteen minutes did, in fact, suck, but then Autolycus, I mean Agenor, is introduced, and it gets better from there.

Two and half stars, just barely worth it, but still, worth it.

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posted by Ace at 05:48 PM

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