'Wrath of the Titans' Movie Review (2012)

Wrath of the Titans movie review
Sam Worthington in Wrath of the Titans
Photo: Warner Bros.

A while back I considered the question asking whether it was possible to have a good sequel to a bad first film? The question arose as a result of Wrath of the Titans being greenlit, a sequel to a generally agreed upon bad film, though I personally didn't think the original was as bad as everyone said. Complications came out of the question, however, due to the fact bad movies don't traditionally get sequels, but in this day and age with inflated ticket prices, 3-D and fanboy hype a sequel to a bad film can make a lot of money as has already been evidenced by the Twilight and Transformers franchises. Perhaps Wrath of the Titans will continue that trend, but one thing is for certain, not only is this a sequel to poorly-received first film, it is worse than the original and should make anyone that bad mouthed Clash of the Titans realize what a truly awful film really is.

Wrath of the Titans
Grade: F

Wrath of the Titans"Wrath of the Titans" is a Warner Bros. release, directed by Jonathan Liebesman and is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action. The running time is .

The cast includes Sam Worthington, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Edgar Ramirez, Toby Kebbell, Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy, Danny Huston and Lily James.

When we last left the demigod Perseus (Sam Worthington), he, along with his father Zeus (Liam Neeson), banished Hades (Ralph Fiennes) to the Underworld. As a reward for his bravery, Zeus brought back to life Io (Gemma Arterton) and handed her over as if she were meat on a stick, "Here son, have a beautiful woman as your prize." It was the single worst (and best) moment of Clash of the Titans, but that's all forgotten now.

In traditional sequel fashion, Perseus married Io, but as we learn at the outset all that remains of that relationship is their 10-year-old son, Helius (John Bell). Yes, Arterton is not in the credits because Io is dead, leaving Perseus as a wounded figure and it would seem he has more-or-less turned his back on his father for a life as a fisherman. Following the events of the first film, it would seem the people of Earth have also turned their back on the gods. They no longer pray to the men and women in the clouds, which has weakened them and a plan to annihilate humankind is underway in the belly of Hell. And Zeus and his cohorts can do very little to stop it on their own.

Hades along with Zeus's other son Ares (Edgar Ramirez), the God of War, are conspiring to unleash Kronos, father to Zeus, Hades and Poseidon and overall bad dude. While it seems history paints Kronos as a god like all the rest, here he's depicted as a giant volcano-like lava monster that seems to have a weakness for destroying mountains and taaaaaaaaalllllkiiiing veeeerrrrrry slooooowlllly. Of course, when the only things you seem to be able to say are "Zeus" and "Hades" along with some other garbled, bass-driven noise it doesn't make much sense to rush through it.

Perseus is initially unwilling to return to fight the good fight, telling his father to leave, but when monsters start falling from the sky he rushes off to find Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), Poseidon's son, Argenor (Toby Kebbell) and the fallen god Hephaestus (Bill Nighy) in an attempt to get to the underworld and save Zeus who has been captured by Hades, with his power being milked to bring big bad Kronos back to life.

With the plot points out of the way I can now say that while watching Wrath of the Titans I slowly began to wonder whether video games had become so good that movies were now stealing their story structure. Or if movies have regressed to the point they are now nothing more than a story of a group of people facing a continuous number of obstacles and mazes over a series of increasingly difficult levels on their way to fight the big boss at the end. Is this all movies have become? Or is the only kind of story movies loaded with CG special effects can afford?

Wrath of the Titans is a joke. For screenwriters Dan Mazeau and David Johnson, here are a few pieces of helpful advice... Don't introduce human characters unless you plan on portraying them as humans. When you ask me to believe a small army of humans will yell, "Hold the line!" when a GIANT LAVA MONSTER is raining down fire and brimstone you have asked too much. When these same humans attempt to fight off a horde of hell-born demons with balls of fire something is wrong. Hell-born demons will probably fair quite well against fire seeing how they're from Hell and all. And, when you have me wishing the character of Argenor was played by Russell Brand just to inject some kind of life into a lifeless feature something is really wrong. No offense to Toby Kebbell, however, who seemed to be doing his best Brand impression in the absence of the real thing.

That said, the acting, for the most part, was on par with the original, nothing too terrible to comment on, but Rosamund Pike must look at this film and absolutely cringe. Oftentimes she's seen with her sword, swinging around to no avail or getting caught in a trap and almost being crushed before Perseus comes and is able to push the rock wall open (seriously) and save her. And then the final moments are just painful to watch for all involved and Pike's scene just hurts to even think about.

Taking the "rock wall pushing" incident into consideration, I can't help but wonder what exactly it means when you're a demigod? Perseus seems to have no greater ability than any other human most of the time, but at times he's capable of some really impressive stuff, such as having the ability to keep his pearly white intact after his head is kicked through a stone table, or the time he put the God of War in a sleeper hold. We hear Zeus say, "Your son gave you strength," and telling Perseus to "Use his power wisely," but after two films I'm still not clear on what that power is.

It's also a little difficult to come to terms with the motivations of Hades and Ares. Hades has been banished to the underworld by Zeus. Ares is mad at Zeus because he thinks he's a bad dad (there are a lot of daddy issues in this flick). Hades wants to be free and Ares wants revenge. So the two decide to release the one monster that will destroy everyone and, in return, Kronos will grant them immortality. Thing is, once Kronos destroys everything and kills everyone, Hades may be free and immortal, but he's still going to be alone. It will just be him, Ares and Kronos kicking it with a bunch of demons. What good is that? He's in the same predicament he was before, but with absolutely no outs this time. Something tells me Hades didn't think this whole plan through.

If audiences end up supporting this film to any great extent beyond opening weekend we all deserve everything we get, be it demons from hell or a Clash of the Titans 3. Wrath of the Titans makes Transformers look like Masterpiece Theatre. Not even those audience members that use the weak excuse, "Well, what did you expect?" can get away with that here. This is a film that may easily go down as one of the worst of 2012 and to realize that this early in the year is quite an accomplishment.


More Movie Reviews

'Straight Outta Compton' (2015) Movie ReviewB-

Straight Outta Compton (2015)

'Mistress America' (2015) Movie ReviewB+

Mistress America (2015)

'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' (2015) Movie ReviewB

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

'Cop Car' (2015) Movie ReviewB-

Cop Car (2015)

More Reviews
  • John-PT

    You gave a B- to Clash of the Titans, so yeah, you supported it.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      And I openly say I don't think that movie is nearly as bad as people made it out to be. Not sure what your point is. This is a different movie.

      • Jackson

        I think the point is that you gave a B- to a film that everyone absolutely hated. So maybe your F for "Wrath" means that the film is completely different from the first one and therefore actually not bad ot even worse.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

          Eh, make of it what you will. I don't care how the grades are dissected, but I stand 100% by the review. The grade means nothing to me.

      • Alex Roggio

        "Not nearly as bad" implies a C or a D while everyone else gave it an F. You gave it a B which means that you thought that it was not only "not bad", but it was quite good.

        I remember raising my eyebrows at that review of yours, because I absolutely hated that movie. Good to see that this one is just as bad if not worse.

        "Bad movies spawn bad movies". It's a rule of thumb. I don't think I've seen an exception to that rule yet.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

          Whatever, I really don't care at this point. Arguing over grades is worthless, especially when it's been ten years and the people making the argument don't remember what grade I gave the original, which only reinforces the point.

          Read the review, ignore the grade unless that's all you're looking at before seeing the movie and then come back with an opinion. Judging a movie based on the worthless grade of a critic is a waste of time. The review is what matters.

          • Al

            "Judging a movie based on the worthless grade of a critic is a waste of time."

            Umm, maybe the confusion stems from the fact that you have a grade system, but then suggest that the grade system is worthless. Why have one if it means nothing?

            • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

              I have gone over this many times and even at one point got rid of grades altogether but brought them back after people requested they be reinstated.

              The main reason I brought them back is because I understand the idea some people may not want to read a full review before going to see a movie and may want to just see a grade as some kind of indicator and then come back to the review afterward. For those people I offer the grade, but to argue a grade in the comments on a review is worthless considering the words are there to do all the explaining and after that the grade no longer matters.

  • carrie

    " it is worse than the original and should make anyone that bad mouthed Clash of the Titans realize what a truly awful film really is." Didn't you give a B to CLASH OF TITANS??

    i saw it this afternoon in France:it's better-made than CLASH OF TITANS but less awfully funny and if someone can explain me the motivations of most characters ?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Not sure I understand, yes, it is worse than the original, which I said wasn't as bad as people made out. Why are you guys having a hard time understanding this?

      • Khaira

        I think the problem lies with ur statement " not only is this a sequel to a bad film, it is worse than the original "....which implies that you too considered the first one to be bad irrespective of you mentioning initially that you didnt mind it...

        i feel that can be rephrased as " not only is this a sequel to the much-maligned first film , it is in fact much much worse than that ".....obviously thats my humble opinion and does not in any way belittle your views.....

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

          Although the review, in my opinion, is entirely clear even before that sentence I will take your advice and change that one small part.

  • http://nktkomarov.livejournal.com/ Nick

    Gotta love how Worthington is barely visible in the header picture.

  • Josh

    Brad I think people might confuse your statement t with the very first clash of the titans from Back in the day. That's my thinking or that they just didn't fully read everything properly. Regardless thanks for reviewing this over mirror mirror.

  • Akd1287

    I'm glad I read this review before purchasing tickets. I almost took the bait of CGI'd Greek Mythology.

  • Winchester

    I think the confusion arose because in fact the 2010 film WAS as bad as people made out. And even the 1981 version is no great shakes either.

    Anyway it seems sorted now....................em.....Wrath...........yeah, I've been planning to skip it since it was announced anyway.

  • Kyle Coley

    the first one was good not gonna lie. just watching the trailers and with this review I'm going to stay away and watch some WWE this weekend.

  • Athar

    I normally do not agree with your reviews Brad as i feel they are too harsh. One of the few cases where i did agree was Clash of the Titans. It wasn't as bad as it was made out to be. So now i am in a dilemma. Should i not pay heed to your review and try it out(which i have done most of the times) or should i not go for it (considering that our view on this franchise is the same). Any suggestion?

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      That's a tough one, but I think any time you read a negative review you will most likely come out of the films saying, "It wasn't that bad," no matter what. It's just human nature. So perhaps my review will help you enjoy it a little more... but don't take that as an endorsement. I would prefer no one watch this and the studios try harder when it comes to these kinds of films.

      • Athar

        Almost all the other reviewers have agreed that it's better than the first. Good enough reason to try it out.

        I remember dragging a group of friends to Clash of the Titans, a movie none of them had even heard of (not all Hollywood movies are well promoted in India). They were all disappointed and gave me some not-so-kind peace of their minds. I guess this time i will have to go for it alone.

        Thanks for the tip though (Hope your review does help me enjoy the movie)

  • Susan

    Also, don't opinions and feelings change over time. A "B" a few years ago isn't innately one today.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Yes, but now you are using logic and no one likes that. ;)

      • Susan

        Not to mention that grades are arbitrary. I know why you went back to using them after the backlash to you dropping them, but it's really your larger details on why you find something worthy or not that are the driving factor for me.

        • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

          Yeah, grades are pretty much meaningless when it comes to movie reviews and when posting this one I felt an F might be a little harsh, but I honestly couldn't think of anything I liked about it and F seemed to be the best grade as a result.

  • http://Www.theoriolereport.com Bob

    I thought the first one was terrible so I have no desire to see this. If I go to the movies I'll see 21 Jump Street or Hunger Games.

    Do you think this or Mirror Mirror will put a dent in the Hunger Games money machine? It'd be a shame if Titans does better than John Carter...

  • Alex Roggio

    Gemma Arterton was the best part of the Clash of the Titans. I remember loving her spunk thinking she could be a star one day. She was pretty good in Alice Creed and Prince of Persia too. Such a shame they wrote her out of this one. It could have been the only thing to get me to watch it. I'm passing on this. Not even on DVD. What a joke.

  • Darth Agnan

    I can't wait for you to unleash your wrath on this on the nex podcast...

  • http://topyxyz.wordpress.com Topy

    Finally an F we could all agree on...

    Like Brad, I also felt the original deserved a C+/C grade (not in 3D). At that time people were still welcoming, but I disliked the fact that it was completely different from the original (not that they couldn't). I just grew up learning the story in school and I just can't get over the fact that the future generation could be watching that in their literature classes.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      I felt a lot of people judged the first film primarily for its awful 3-D, overlooking the fact the movie itself wasn't downright awful.

  • P

    How was the 3d in this one? Just curious

    • maja

      Brad loves this question.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      BEST 3-D EVAR in the whole wide world.

  • Winchester

    I never went to see the first film in 3D - that's why that aspect never clouded my opinion on how bad it was to start with.

  • http://them0vieblog.com Darren

    I quite liked the 3D here (well, as much I "like" 3D), but then again I didn't dislike the film with any great passion. I'm still with Brad on the "Clash of the Titans was okay rather than terrible" train, but it looks like I'm now alone on the "Wrath of the Titans is a little bit below average but not terrible" train.

    Then again, I had a great deal of fun trying to make sense of the decision to frame the Greek pantheon in decidedly Christian terms. (Hades = bad, for example.) I think Wrath of the Titans might actually be a fantasy about the conversion of Greek god archetypes to Judeo-Christain archetypes. Pretentious nonsense, perhaps, but it does make the movie considerably more interesting. (It's probably rude to post a link, but I did put up an article on that.)

  • markymark

    Damn, from the trailers I thought this film would be better then the original.

    Other reviews seem to suggest it is better too, though they focus on the improvement of action and special effects.

    Not gonna see a sequel to a bad movie. Let alone in cheap 3d again. Fool me once!

  • Aakash

    Love your bad reviews Brad and your take on whether movies are becoming long video games is very true.
    Having just finished Portal 2 which has 10 times better story, character development and writing than any of the last 3-4 years summer blockbusters. The state of summer cinema is really getting low.
    Hopefully there will be more bad than good this year

  • LJF

    Haven't seen Clash and don't wish to see Wrath, If i want to watch Titans and Gods clash I'll replay the God of War franchise.

  • gsi

    Went to see "wrath" in 3D save your money and see it in 2D there really wasnt many 3D scenes that had that wow factor,

    Story wise ...meh!?

    I wasnt overly impressed but it was still fun to watch

    Highlight for me was the AVENGERS trailer in 3D which looked good

  • Seiko

    I have no idea what people's problems with these films are. They are action packed, are about "journey's" so of course they'll fight many monsters along the way. Persues is capable of much he just sort of wishes he was human and not related to the gods, who killed his family on multiple occasions and whatnot, his friends, and more people endlessly (because this movie's entire situation is all their fault). THey are also not goofy which makes them way better than Transformers 1-2 in the very least.
    Go "Wrath Of The Titans!"

  • Seiko

    P.S. The Original Clash Of The Titans from the 80's is one of the poorest acted, poorest made films I've ever seen.

  • Snicket

    Drinking game: Whenever someone asks Brad how the 3D was you take a shot.

  • zyzygy

    and if you take a shot everytime someone says you gave the first one a B you'll end up in the hospital.

  • Jeff

    Is it possible to have a different ratings scale? Like a "thumbs up", "thumbs down" or "meh"?

    Just seems like it would clear up a lot of people's problems while still keeping grading system of some sort.

    • http://www.ropeofsilicon.com/ Brad Brevet

      Eh, I think grades work well enough and this will be the absolute last time I ever discuss them. A lot of people got to see this discussion so hopefully it clears some things up. I've considered the ideas you offer but I'd rather have the wider range of options. After all, the majority of people don't have a hard time with it.

  • RC

    It was a crime to remake Clash of the Titans in the first place, and every copy of it should have been destroyed it was that awful, but instead a sequel was made which I thought couldn't be worse than the first. I was wrong! In my opinion it's the worst film i've seen since Green Lantern. Such a shame to see Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson in this sorry excuse for a film, and why do film makers keep putting Sam Worthington in films, he can't act people! how long does it take to realise that???

  • http://topyxyz.wordpress.com Topy

    I'd love to hear about this on the podcast. Although, I didn't think it was that bad. It's at a C+/C/C- range for me. Stupid story, awesome visuals. Kronus didn't make any sense though...