Huge improvement over the first movie and proof that Greek mythology is a perfect setting for impressive 3D movie.
Director: Jonathan Liebesman | Stars: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson
Budget: 150 million | Box office: 300 million
I was really upset with Clash of Titans and was using it as an example of bad 3D movie conversion and misused potential of story rich Greek mythology. Despite lackluster efforts from the team, it was a huge commercial success, drawing almost half a billion dollars worldwide. So the sequel was obvious from the start, but this time filmmakers did a much better job and created impressive 3D spectacle.
For starters, Wrath of Titans is filmed in 3D conversion job is done much better. The problem with the first movie was that decision to make it 3D was taken after the shooting and editing process with less than two months before release. Now the director knew they will be releasing a 3D version from the beginning of production, so all the shooting and editing was done with 3D in mind. The reason, at least according to director Jonathan Liebesman was that he wanted to shoot the movie with film cameras, as it was with John Carter.
The effect is actually somehow similar. The gritty dirty images hooked me from the first trailer (as also Marilyn Manson‘s soundtrack) and I was really glad to see that it was true for the whole movie. This style works more naturally in the film than glowing and bleak setting of Clash of Titans. Especially talking about gods, who this time go from their saveheaven to the underground prison of Kronos. I liked the idea of changing good and evil roles for the gods, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes feel much more fit to these roles than in the first part. Of course their dialogues and emotions are stale and a bit fake, but that‘s not important considering what‘s happening around.
I liked other supporting actors too, it was nice surprise to see British Toby Kebbell as a son of Poseidon. I really admired his roles in Dead Man‘s Shoes and RocknRolla and it‘s good to see him in a big Holywood production. The elegant queen Rosamund Pike (An Education, Barney‘s Version) felt right too.
The most impressive things about Wrath of Titans is the feeling of grandness and better flow of story than in the previous film. I could really see it as a whole movie, not just episodes of major events. I am risking to unleash a collective wrath of Tolkien fans, but I believe this was the first movie since Lord of the Rings to create this epic impression. Admiteddly, some sceens feel that they were created with Peter Jackson‘s masterpiece in mind, but I don‘t blame them. Plus, some ideas, like the twisting turning labyrinth of Tartarus looked really unique and perfectly done for 3D. Compared to this, Tarsem‘s Immortals looks like a nice little indie movie.
It‘s really strange to see so negative reaction from the critics and public alike, with former‘s score even lower than first Titans. For me Wrath was a huge improvement over the first part, Jonathan Liebesman‘s work feels much more natural and less forced than Louis Letterier‘s. Even though I didn‘t much like Liebesman‘s Battle Los Angeles, his method fits better here than hectic Transporter director‘s.
I think they are on the right way with the series and with Wrath of Titans already almost paid off, the third part will be easily greenlit (screenwriters already work on it). I really don‘t mind watching more Greek mythology movies, people were reading this stuff for couple milleniums, so the material is proven good, filmmakers just need to present it the right way for new audiences.