Wrath of the Titans Revisited

Posted on May 1, 2012

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First things first, I apologise for the lack of updates on the website. The Vampire Bestiary is for the most part finished (a few maps need completion but nothing major). I have sent off to sign up to the GSL. That takes about 3 weeks or so. Therefore I plan to have the book on sale as soon as that all goes through, so before the end of May. Thanks for your patience.

Wrath of the Titans (Movie) Review

I got to see Wrath of the Titans a few weeks ago, in a nutshell, its dreadful.

The Story: It really seemed like there was no story. There’s nothing sacrificed. The characters are throwaway. Technically the heroes don’t lose ANYTHING through the course of the movie. The ending is too predictable. There is no sense of impending doom.

The Acting: Sam Worthington isn’t a great actor. His emotional range is limited. Normally that’s okay for an action hero (just ask Schwarzenegger, Stallone or Willis) if the action delivers.

  • I love (looking at) Rosamund Pike, but her character basically does nothing. She’s just ‘there’.
  • Aginor (The son of Poseidon) has a few nice comedic lines, but too few and far between.
  • Hephaestus (Bill Nighy) wasn’t great and really isn’t in it long.
  • Zeus (Liam Neeson) and Hades (Ralph Fiennes) were, for the most part, “dialling it in”.
  • Ares couldn’t really hold the role of main villain. The actor played him like a stoner. I expected the god of war to be angrier.
  • The supporting cast that accompany the main three heroes on the quest virtually have no lines and thus no character. So we don’t care when the inevitable happens to these ‘red shirts’…unlike the first movie where we got to know some of the characters.
  • Kronos (albeit CGI) also does almost nothing and could never make out what he was saying (which wasn’t much); he mumbles worse than a pre-reworked Bane in the Dark Knight Rises.

The Action: There’s no gravitas to the action. Perseus has literally been given ‘God Mode’ in this movie because he has infinite hit points. Ares is smashing his head through MULTIPLE pillars, then heel stomping him into solid stone and crushing the stone beneath him. I mean I know the character of Perseus is a ‘demigod’ of sorts but after you see him take the beating you get the impression nothing can hurt him.

The first movie had its flaws, but was saved by the action scenes.

In this one there are several action scenes:

  1. Chimera battle: Pretty good scrap, although the editing made it seem like Perseus’ son gets barbecued, Perseus doesn’t react, goes to heal his wounds then his son pops his head round the corner. He was right in the line of sight when it breathed on him for goodness sake! WTF!?
  2. Perseus’ Flashforward Vision Apocalypse of Kronos: Actually a better showing of Kronos’ power than the end fight. Too brief though, lasts about 10 seconds.
  3. Cyclops Battle: Easily the best scene in the movie by far.
  4. 1st Ares Battle: Ares catching the dagger was cool but after that the rest was wishy washy. He kills an unarmed girl (who prayed to him – and in doing so summoned him) to show how bad he is. Moral of the story – don’t pray for war kids.
  5. Minotaur Fisticuffs: Utterly irrelevant, too quick, edited so fast we can’t see what’s going on.
  6. 2nd Ares Battle: Functional (given the not so surprise twist) but otherwise unremarkable.
  7. Makhai Troops (End Battle): Move far too fast to really focus on what’s happening. Ruined opportunity because the designs were cool. Also did anyone else notice that one of the mortal armies tactics for keeping the makhai at bay was to have a load of flaming trenches on the battlefield – AGAINST FIRE BEINGS THAT HAVE JUST BEEN SHOT OUT OF A VOLCANO! Its actually made me think about the stop motion animation of the Harryhausen era and why so much CGI nowadays seems pointless. The Makai are a great example of this. In something like Jason and the Argonauts, the director not only gives time for us to see the skeletons when introduced, but also there will be moments when the skeletons (or other monsters) will pause, rear up, or otherwise act ‘real’. With the makhai scene the bloody things are constantly on the move and virtually so fast we don’t have time to appreciate them.
  8. 3rd Ares Battle: Devolved into fisticuffs much too quickly. I mean between them they have the three most powerful weapons in existence, but lets do some WRESTLING! For basically the third fight running Ares looks like he’s not really trying.
  9. Kronos (End Battle): Kronos almost does nothing (even though in the flashforward sequence at the start he seemed awesome). Okay thats not quite the case, he sort of punches the ground causing big nuke like shockwaves and later he shoots fire out of his eyes (which Pegasus goes through unscathed)…trust me when I say I’m making it  sound cooler than it was. Kronos takes a few attacks from Zeus (which daze him for a few seconds).

Okay, so what did I like…?

The aforementioned cyclop’s scene is great. Ares has this really cool mace that has such a satisfying crunch (with accompanying sparks) which is neat. Aginor has a few good lines (and one great line). I fancy Rosamund Pike (but she looked better in the equally bad Doom movie). I like the design of the makhai. The Kronos flashforward scene was tasty.

Everything else was basically dirt.

A very generous 3 out of 10. Can’t see this getting a third instalment.

The Makhai

One of the few interesting things about the Wrath of the Titans movie was the design of the Makhai soldiers. I picture them as abominations of the underworld, the souls of dead warriors, twisted through torture, fused together with fire and magic.

In the movie we see a few different attacks from them:

  • Spinning Whirlwind Attack: Given that they are large size monsters, a reach of 2 squares makes this a great standard action.
  • Grab, Spin and Hurl: Pick up a medium size target, spin them and hurl them as a projectile.
  • Javelin of Magma: Used against Zeus early in the movie.

So the following stats are based on two takes. Firstly a Level 30 Minion version, necessary for when Zeus and Hades blast them into oblivion with but a single attack. The second is a Level 18 Elite version, more akin to the monsters that rip through the human army in the movie.

For the minion version, because minions are so fragile at the epic tier, I decided to have them require two hits to kill (since they look like two bodies fused and melted together). However, since Zeus and Hades were one-shotting them, if you score a critical hit against them, they are destroyed outright. So movie continuity is preserved.

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