I must admit: I fell asleep more than a dozen times in the theater as I watched Clash Of The Titans with Sam Worthington. It’s not his fault, and I’m a huge fan, but the original just didn’t do anything for me. Still, I felt the need to catch a glimpse of Wrath of the Titans even if it was just to dismiss it. Instead, I found that the backstory already covered allowed for a better film this time around, and the depth of purpose greatly increased as well.
Perseus (Worthington) wants nothing to do with his status as a demi-god. He’s retired to the seaside to live with his young son, Helius (John Bell), and ignores the pleas of his father, Zeus (Liam Neeson), to come and fight on behalf of the gods. But when Zeus is taken prisoner by his son, Ares (Edgar Ramirez), and his brother, Hades (Ralph Fiennes), and they work to release great evil from Tartarus, Perseus reluctantly rejoins his old companions to save the world.
Did that sound epic? It is. It’s also filmed on such a big scale, with an impressive (and sometimes, overpowering) use of CGI that it absolutely rolls through on Blu-Ray. Whether our hero is fighting off the Chimera, the Cyclops(es?), or the Minotaur, we’re impressed by his bravery and his power in the face of absolute destruction.
Yes, I’m aware that the movie got panned, and I obviously didn’t care much for the first one. But now we’re dealing with a situation similar to what we saw in Christmas movies like Elf or Arthur Christmas, where the world of the gods is impacted by the evidence of a waning faith in humankind. (I saw a statistic on the ticker the other day that showed thirty percent of young adults weren’t sure there was a God.) We’re in a world where there is much said about knowledge and truth, but often at the expense of older knowledge (Narnia, anyone?) and confusing the picture.
Another movie came to mind early on, but this time as we see Perseus try to “unconfuse” the picture. After the battle with the Chimera, he’s still unsure he’s supposed to join in the global battle. The woman stitching him up says, “If you have power, you also have a duty,” to which he responds, “Just heal my body and leave my soul to me.” It’s one of those Spiderman-like (Tobey Maguire version) moments that reminds us we’re supposed to be using our powers for good, and sends Perseus into battle.
Over and over, we’re reminded that being human isn’t a weakness (Rosamund Pike’s Andromeda says, “we humans hope”). Perseus realizes as many humans have over the centuries that if he wants to keep Helius safe, he can’t hide from the global picture. He’s like Martin Niemoller realizing that he must speak up when evil comes for others if he expects others to speak up when evil comes for him.
Maybe Wrath of the Titans isn’t great, but it’s watchable, entertaining, and thought-provoking. Thanks to the ultraviolet technology, you can take the movie anywhere you want on your computer or portable device, and check in on the titanic stack of special features like which mode or path will you take, either human (the behind-the-scenes stuff) or god (the mythology that works together from ancient times to the movie itself). You can grab some deleted scenes, too, but choosing which way you want to “ride along” is easily the best part on the Blu-Ray.