Wrath of the Titans (Jonathan Liebesman) 2012

I’ve seen all of Liebsman’s films and seeing as how people are calling him the current hack de jour, I guess I should give my brief opinion on him.  Of the action hacks working today Liebsman is still bad although not as bad as some of the others working today.  Granted we are talking about different definitions of bad here.  You see with Michael Bay you have an incoherent plot and offensive/juvenile humor, with Paul “The Man“ Anderson you have even more incoherent movies along with some abusive slow mo, but with Liebsman I guess his main fault is that he is boring.  Movies like Battle LA or even today’s review Wrath of the Titans aren’t horrible movies.  The action for both of them are well staged and watchable unlike most shakey cam nightmares today and the plots are not incoherent messes.  The problem is they are both some of the most cliche, no thrills, generic, take no chances stories you will come across.  So honestly, even after saying that, I’m not sure if Liebsman is better.  At least some of the other directors you can watch their movies in a ‘so bad its good‘ way.  It is almost worse to make a movie so painfully generic you forget it as soon as you leave the theater.

Wrath of the Titans is a better movie than the first movie, but seeing as how the first set my expectations so low I could crawl over the bar set, I am damning it with faint praise.  The plot, as alluded to earlier, is painfully basic.  The father of the gods is going to break out of his prison and threatens the world.  Perseus has to go to place X to get superweapon Y to kill the latest big bad guy.  Every ten minutes or so the teduim is interrupted by Perseus fighting some mythological beast.  Really, it’s best if you don’t think too hard about the plot because of some of the potential holes.  For example all the gods are afraid of Kronos and there is a lot about gods betraying each other to gain favor with Kronos.  Yet at the end all it takes is the combined weapon of Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades to kill him which leaves you to wonder why they didn’t just do that in the first place?  I guess it can be handwaived by the fact Hades is a douche but come on!  Kronos is chained up and you can’t put aside your differences for two seconds to stab him in the chest with this superweapon?  The only real excuse is we wouldn’t have a movie if the characters acted rationally.

I guess part of why I didn’t dislike this film as much as the first is because I think there is more time devoted to the veteran actors.  Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes get a meater subplot where they essentially work out their differences and you get some smaller performances from Danny Huston and Bill Nighy.  They were a welcome breath of fresh air from all the stale Perseus main plot.  The Perseus scenes are still painful as the writers have no clue as to how to make him interesting.

The action scenes are slightly (very slightly) interesting.  I think this movie had a slightly bigger budget and I think the CGI was better done than the first (and no, I didn’t see this in 3D).  You have varying monsters and Perseus having to do different things to take them down so it made things a little more interesting.  Yet once again, without a reason to care about our main characters then I don’t really care about what is going on with the action.

Even though Wrath is better than Clash, it is still not a good movie.  There are small improvements but that doesn’t change the fact our main character is an unintersting lump of wood, the plot is bare bones at best and utter shit at worst, and it is all wrapped up in a million cliches.  If you are desperate for an action movie then maybe wait for it to come out on DVD to rent.  Otherwise if you didn’t like the first one there is no reason to come back for the sequel.

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