Wrath of the Titans
Zeus, king of the gods, enlists the help of his half-human son Perseus in defeating Perseus’ brother Ares, who has allied with Hades in an effort to release Kronos, the leader of the Titans and the father of Zeus and the other gods. But Perseus just wants to be left alone to live as a human with his son.
A sequel to 2010’s Clash of the Titans, Wrath throws so much at you early on that I ran to Wikipedia with my head spinning to learn more about Perseus, Zeus, Helius, Pegasus, Poseidon, Hades, Ares, Queen Andromeda, Agenor, Hephaestus, Tartarus, and Kronos. I discovered there that Kronos also had father issues; he castrated his own dad, Uranus, with a sickle. But that’s a story for a different sequel, perhaps Return of the Eunuchs.
But more than a primer on Greek mythology, you need a tolerance for nearly endless (shaky-cam) action—much of it clever, to be sure—and minimal plot and characterization. The CGI is spectacular, particularly the depiction of the underworld, and some distinguished actors do better than simply text in their performances. Ralph Fiennes (Hades) and Liam Neeson (Zeus) have a few scenes together that wouldn’t be out of place in a better movie. And Sam Worthington (Perseus) is still looking for his next Avatar. This isn’t it.
The video transfer is respectable but not quite reference quality. The production’s color palette is heavy on brown. The 3D (conversion) is reasonably effective, but because of the film’s pervasive, drab look, I preferred it in 2D.
The audio is aggressive, with deep bass and explosive effects. It’s a bit scrappy, however, and apart from a lot of sound and fury, there aren’t many surprises. But the dialogue is clear, and the music, while generally uninteresting, has its moments, particularly over the end credits.
The extras are the most impressive part of this three-disc set. They include deleted scenes plus two paths to additional information. One, called the Path of the Gods, is a short background primer on Greek mythology (you might want to watch it before the film to save you that Wikipedia dash). But it’s the second path that’s the star of the show. Called the Path of Men, it’s an elaborate, multi-panel video commentary that runs the entire length of the film. It’s the most complex use of Blu-ray’s video commentary capabilities I’ve yet seen. For film fans fascinated by making-ofs, this feature alone may be worth the price of the package.
Studio: Warner Bros., 2012
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio Format: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Length: 99 mins.
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Starring: Sam Worthington, Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy