Monday, April 15, 2013

Come for the Wrath, Stay for the Titans!

I finally watched Wrath of the Titans just now.  Checked it out from my local library because I like movies that have people fighting giant monsters.  Saw the remake Clash of the Titans at the movie theater and it was fine.  Big, loud, dumb, but fun. And yes, I've seen the wildly imaginative original as well back when it was on TNT all the time.

Now I know what you're thinking.  I haven't seen that movie, but I want to know pretty much everything that happens without actually watching it.  

Gotcha covered, Home Slice.

The movie starts out with some narration that basically says "The last movie happened, and time has passed.  Oh, and Perseus' wife died."  Which I think only happened because she didn't want to be pegged for the rest of her career as the chick from the Titans movies, so she went to make classy films like Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.   Anyway, now Perseus lives as a simple fisherman with his son, Helius.  It's a good, quiet life, with no more adventures from meddling gods!  Until a meddling god shows up.  It's his father, Liam Neeson--or rather, Zeus, but really I just kept thinking of him as Liam Neeson throughout the film.  Liam says that people don't pray to the gods anymore, so the gods are all losing their power, which means that everything they've done will be undone, which means that Tartarus, the prison of the terrible titans (but basically just Kronos) is slowly coming undone.  Liam says that all the demons of Tartarus will invade earth, and that some already have, and that only Perseus can save everyone because...I don't know.  But Perseus says "No more monsters!  I want to live with my son and be happy!"  So Liam Neeson leaves.  Also, you learn that Perseus promised his wife as she was dying while delivering their son that Helius would never learn to use a sword.  Which makes sense, because Perseus is a warrior, and his woman was a warrior, so they don't want their son to learn to defend himself in a world with monsters because...I don't know. 

Down in the Underworld, Liam Neeson meets up with Poseidon and Ares and Hades to discuss how to stop Kronos from escaping.  However, Ares betrays them because he thinks Liam Neeson love Perseus more than him, and Hades betrays them because come on, when is Hades not the bad guy?  So Poseidon gets smacked around and Liam Neeson gets captured because Kronos needs to absorb what's left of Liam's divine power to finish escaping from Tartarus or something. 

Meanwhile, monsters are attacking earth, and what is supposed to be a chimera attacks Perseus' village.  I have to say that almost all the monsters in this film are pretty huge disappointments. The shaky camera angles that scream PANIC! PANIC! TERROR! make it really hard to see what's going on in any of the fight sequences, and when you do get a "clear" shot of a monster it either looks horrible or is an indistinguishable mess of fir, teeth, and drool--like the chimera.  Anyway, Perseus gets the chimera to set itself on fire and then goes to the temple to pray to Liam Neeson. But Liam doesn't show up, because he's captured, duh.  Fortunately Poseidon arrives, having escaped Ares and Hades by...I don't know.  He tells Perseus that he has to go find his son Agenor who is with Queen Andromeda and, if Agenor is worthy, to give him Poseidon's trident. Then Poseidon turns into a pillar of salt.  Or dies.  Or something.

Perseus rides his flying pony (yes, I know it's actually Pegasus) to Queen Andromeda's army, and everybody loves him because he killed the Kraken in the last movie.  Andromeda shows up and she's all happy to see him, and apparently they're old friends, and she's leading the army and she's all suited up for war, and you look at her and think "That looks far more like a Jane Bennett than a Queen Andromeda."  Then you IMDB it and realize that's because she is Jane Bennett.  And yeah, she's a twig.  There's no way she could possibly hold a sword if it weren't a prop. So you just call her Jane Bennett the rest of the movie.

Jane Bennett helps Perseus find Agenor, who's a scoundrel and a thief in the prison, and the three of them embark on a ship with some dispensable minor characters to find The Fallen One.  Perseus apparently decides that Agenor is worthy before he's even done anything, because he gives him the trident pretty freely, but that's good because that's what helps them find the hidden island where The Fallen One lived after he was...blah blah blah, they meet crazy old Hephaestus, who can never decide how to spell his name.  At first, you think Hephaestus is going all Gollum on them, but it turns out he's actually arguing with the creepy golden mechanical owl from the original Clash because...I don't know.  He pretty much tells them they're nuts for trying to go after Kronos, but then he sees Jane Bennett and says, "Hey, you remind me of Jane Bennett!"

Actually no, she looks like his wife Aphrodite, so he agrees to help them find the labyrinth, which is apparently a shortcut to the heart of Tartarus because...I don't know.  .

(By the way, this is the only time Jane Bennett is remotely useful in the entire film)

Oh, and they fought cyclopes.  I forgot to mention that.  The cyclopes looked terrible and for some reason they spoke a different language from everybody else.  But the one other woman on the adventure (Jane Bennett's friend) prayed to Ares, which was dumb because Perseus clearly told everyone "Don't pray to Ares or he'll show up and kill us."  So that's what Ares does to all of the expendable minor characters, proving the tried-and-true Law of Questing that you should never bring more than one woman on a quest.  Perseus, Agenor, and Jane Bennett escape into the labyrinth.  Boring stuff happens, and Perseus fights an extremely disappointing minotaur, and meanwhile Hades and Liam Neeson are talking, and Liam keeps calling Hades brother and says they should join forces, and Hades says he's scared, and Ares is a jerk to both of them.  And after Perseus gets separated from others, and after they decide the map that Hephaestus (the guy who built the frreakin' labyrinth) gave them was worthless, they somehow all find each other right on the doorstep to Tartarus just as Kronos has drained the last of Liam Neeson's power and is almost free.  So Ares tries to kill Liam Neeson, and Perseus is all, "Daddy!  Noooo!"  And Ares knocks him around.  And then Hades totally changes his mind and tries to help, so Ares smacks him around. And I don't remember if Jane Bennett gets smacked around here or not; she gets smacked around pretty much any time they're a reason to draw a sword, so they all kind of blend together. She does, however, try to cut Liam Neeson's chains with her sword, but fails miserably. Liam tells Perseus to use his power within, and then Perseus takes the sword and is all, "This is a man's job!"  And he hacks the chains down with no trouble at all. 

And then they escape.  Right to where Andromeda's army is setting up camp.

Liam Neeson is dying, and he tells Perseus he has to use the Ultima Keyblade to beat Kronos.  It's made up of the Thunderbolt of Zeus, the Trident of Poseidon, and Hades' Pitchfork, which I think needs a better-sounding name. And they have the pitchfork and the trident, but guess who has the thunderbolt?  Ruh-roh, it's Ares!  So Perseus prays to Ares to meet him far away from everybody else who could help him.  Jane Bennett and Agenor prepare the army to fight Kronos, and the lone cool-looking monster in the film shows up:  the Makhai. Apparently, they're not used very often in myth, and in the movie they're basically these two-torsoed death-warriors, fighting back-to-back and constantly spinning, cutting down soldiers in a circle as they plow through the army.  It's pretty creative and rad.  Jane Bennett even stabs one!  Then she gets thrown to the ground and is pretty much done. Agenor lights a bunch of stuff on fire, which doesn't do much.  Hades shows up and heals Liam Neeson, and the two of them show up and wave their hands around and blow the makhai to bits.

Meanwhile, Perseus and Ares fight.  Ares brought along Helius, and Perseus says "Don't hurt him!"  And Ares says "I'm not going to hurt him. I'm going to hurt you.  And make him watch."  Then he kisses Helius on the head because..I don't know. They fight, and Ares keeps smashing Perseus' head through stone columns and walls, causing Perseus to bleed slightly.  (See, now Perseus is fighting for his son, which makes his skull turn to adamantium)  Once Perseus is down for the count, Helius picks up a sword, and Ares turns his back on the hero to laugh at the kid.  When he turns back around--gasp!--Perseus has moved, and the good guy jumps on the bad guy (who looks like a hairy Ringo Starr, for the record), stabs him, and takes the thunderbolt.  Then he puts the three items together to form Voltron.

No, not really, they form the Ultra Spear of Light and Goodness. And off he goes on the flying pony.

Kronos shows up, and it turns out he's just a really big molten lava man.  Which is disappointing in ways I can't even begin to explain.  Liam Neeson and Hades hold him off for a while as they say the word "Brother" and the end of every single line.  "Come on, Brother!"  "Let's finish this, Brother!"  "The first strike is mine, Brother!"  "We're totally brothers, Brother!"  (In case you hadn't guessed, all is well in their world again)  Then they tick of Kronos, who sends a massive attack at them.  Liam Neeson pushes Hades out of the way and somehow absorbs most of the giant wave of black doom.  During the distraction, Perseus flies into Kronos' mouth, since apparently Kronos has to swallow the Ultra Spear because...I don't know.  Kronos explodes because...I don't know.  And everybody cheers.  Zeus dies and Hades says "Well, I've used all my power."  And then he leaves, because...I don't know.

Back in her tent, Jane Bennett is suddenly planning battle strategies in case there are more attacks, because apparently she missed the Lord of Darkness and Molten Lava blowing up.  She also took time to change and get completely beautiful again despite the fact that everybody else in the army is grimy and bloody from the war.  Perseus comes in and kisses her because...I don't know.

And Agenor calls himself Helius' uncle because...I don't know.

And Agenor tells Helius his nurse's name is Tiger.  And she and Helius both laugh at this because...I don't know.

And then Perseus finds Helius on a hill, and Helius says "I think it'll be great to go home and be a fisherman!"  And Perseus basically says, "You know we're never going back there."  Because...I DON'T KNOW!!!

So Perseus gives Helius a sword, and Helius says, "It's heavy!" And Perseus says, "Dude, if Jane Bennett can carry one of those things, you can."  And Helius says, "Yeah, you're right. I got it."

And then the movie is over.

So, this movie was really bad.  And I know you're saying, "Duh.  You watched Wrath of the Titans. But even for a bad movie, this was no good.   Story was boring, characters didn't make any sense, and the Creature Feature factor was a major disappointment.  They kept slamming the "fathers and sons" angle over your head.  I mean, if a guy who will admit to enjoying the original Titans remake and the first Ghost Rider movie says your sequel's got problems...well, your sequel's got problems.

So naturally, Clash of the Titans 3 is currently "in development."  Though I understand it's not exactly full-steam-ahead at this point, it is unfortunately too far away from "not at all in development."  Because I know me.  And I know at some point, I will likely be checking Math of the Titan from my local library.  Just out of curiosity.