Published Mar 29, 2012Seemingly, when approaching this sequel to the mealy, mediocre bastardization of Greek mythology, Clash of the Titans, the creative team and Jonathan Liebesman (who is easily one of the worst working directors alive) decided that the things to focus on weren't complex characterizations, thematic consistency, plausible writing or mythological accuracy. Instead, they felt that Wrath of the Titans needed broad, sarcastic humour and completely incoherent action sequences, mainly because Perseus (Sam Worthington), the son of Zeus (Liam Neeson), seems like such a wisecracking smartass.
This tone, if you want to call it that, is the only main distinction between the films, since the plot again finds Perseus going on a quest ― this time to the underworld to save his father from Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Ares (Édgar Ramirez) ― with a ragtag team of sidekicks, only to encounter an endless series of challenges and monsters.
Tenuously there's some clumsy subtext about the importance of family ties, with Zeus understanding how expelling Hades might have ticked him off somewhat and Perseus coming to blows with his seriously pissed-off half-brother, Ares. But, more importantly, Poseidon's illegitimate son, Agenor (Toby Kebbell), is along for the ride, making constant snarky comments and big goofy faces when the gang battle a cluster of Cyclopes and eventually wind up in a labyrinth designed by Hephaestus (Bill Nighy).
It's all unbearably executed in an '80s cartoon sort of way, with constant expository reminders of character names and objectives, routinely flipping back to interchangeable shots of Zeus hanging by his arms ― much like Andromeda in the first film ― so that we don't forget why Perseus is fighting.
On the plus side, the animation of the Cyclops, the Minotaur and eventually, Cronus is actually quite astounding despite the cheap, pornographic use of 3D. It's just unfortunate that you never really get to see it amidst the completely desultory action sequences, with inexplicable shot compositions and frustratingly shaky camerawork, which are Liebesman's trademarks.
In fact, the only thing that Liebesman has proven throughout his resume of cinematic atrocities is that he has neither the vision nor interest in concerning himself with tone, subtext or even basic narrative coherence. It really is time for him to move on to a different industry, like real estate or stocks, where his particular skill set would be greater appreciated. (Warner)