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Film Friday: ‘Wrath of the Titans’ surprises

March 30, 2012 at 5:18 am by MrCere  - 

Lets make one thing clear up front: Don’t go to the theater expecting too much from “Wrath of the Titans.” Don’t expect to be emotionally invested or deeply moved or to have your intellect challenged or to be dazzled by dialog or performances; none of those things will happen.

And, even the best special effects films can leave viewers feeling like they have been pick-pocketed by bright lights and huge databases of computers generating artificial pixels of men and monsters like most of the films with “Transformers,” somewhere in the title.

But this sequel to “Clash of the Titans,” (which may or may not form the strangest ever trilogy with “Remember The Titans,”) has its charms. Admittedly, it might be that nostalgia or sentiment crept up on this reviewer and pulled me into childhood memories of the 1981 “Clash” staring Laurence Olivier and Harry Hamlin. But, the 2010 film that also stars Sam Worthington as Perseus completely failed to do so.

The fun is better here as the Australian-sounding Perseus reluctantly returns with the help of a few unlikely friends, to save the world from a humanoid balrog-creature (Cronus) as tall as the earth’s biggest skyscraper. There is the usual quirky, funny sidekick, the expected love interest and the emotionally important child. The story here serves mainly as vehicle to get to the next action sequence but despite all that, it still manages to have its charms.

A strong trio of experienced actors helps as Liam Neeson (Zeus), Ralph Fiennes (Hades) and Bill Nighy (Hephaestus) chew up the less-than-stellar dialog with flair. There is plenty to criticize but doing so misses the point and illustrates the disconnect between critics and people paying $10 for a circus show. This film is all about seeing the ancient heroes of myth doing their thing on a grand (mostly) scale. It never aims high; it never makes a pretence of being anything other than borderline-silly fun. And, on that front it does succeed. The is a B-movie with a big-time budget and nearly all of it spent on action. If you don’t like them, stay away.

There are fearsome creatures, fun sequences, believable effects, beefcake, and best of all, characters out of “Bulfinch’s Mythology,” running around fighting each other and things on the big screen. I found myself enjoying the ride despite expecting not to and having little patience for other films with similar goals like the recent “John Carter.”

The film is available in 3D and reports indicate it is a much better at this than its predecessor, but I viewed it in good, old-fashioned 2D and didn’t mind one bit.

The Dwarf Lords who rule the all-volunteer, not-for-profit TheOneRing.net from a secret underground cave complex, thought readers might find some value in reviews of other fantasy or related films. Look for film release summaries and reviews from Senior Staff Writer Larry D. Curtis (MrCere@TheOneRing.net) each Friday.

Posted in Film Friday on March 30, 2012 by