PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

April 4, 2012

‘Titans’ sequel not much better the second time around

Sean McBride
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — 2010’s “Clash of the Titans” was a major disappointment. This shallow remake of the 1981 film had a bit of nostalgia going for it, but the film was mostly known for wooden acting, cardboard characters, hit-and-miss special effects and embarrassing post-conversion process 3D. Internet fan boys cried for out blood and even the film’s star, Sam Worthington, badmouthed the remake to the press.

Yet for some reason, Hollywood producers decided that there was a need for a sequel. I’m not sure why this was, but at least the 3D looks OK this time around.

“Wrath of the Titans” picks up the story a decade or so after our hero, the half-man, half-god Perseus (Worthington) defeated the Kraken in the first film. He’s living a quiet life as a fisherman, but turmoil upon Mount Olympus will soon call him back into action. It seems that the nefarious god of the underworld, Hades (Ralph Fiennes) has conspired to trap his brother Zeus (Liam Neeson) which ends up freeing all manner of giant, mythological beasties. Filial duty thus forces Perseus and a few friends to head off to the underworld in order to save Zeus and put the world right again.

Fans of classical mythology will hate it all, but the film never intended to stick close to any of the original Greek stories. This is all about one buff demigod squaring off against a non-stop parade of computer-generated monsters. The film has no more depth than an average video game, but the monsters do look cool and the 3D mostly works this time around. I’ll admit that it’s kind of fun to want to duck every time a giant monster showers the audience with debris.

The rest of the film isn’t nearly as interesting. The story is still a tangled mess, the action sequences little more than cinematic mayhem and Worthington is too humorless of an action hero to give the film that essential sense of popcorn fun. Neeson and Fiennes are quite regal in their godly roles, but nobody else in the cast is trying to live up to their acting standards. Apart from the 3D, there’s nothing here that’s really any better than the mediocre 2010 film.

Which, I suppose means that we’ll get another sequel in a few years from now. I vote for “Bath of the Titans,” where our muddy hero has to battle a giant rubber ducky monster in his tub.

Movie reviews by Sean, “The Movie Guy,” are published bi-weekly in “The Port Arthur News” and seen weekly on KFDM-TV and KBOI 2-TV. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@kboi2.com.