Game-style Mythology

It was exactly two years ago this week that this column first graced the pages of What’s Up Yukon, with a review of Clash of the Titans. Ironically, its sequel is currently playing at the Yukon Cinema.

While Wrath of the Titans is a somewhat better film, it’s not better by much.

Sam Worthington reappears as Perseus, the mortal son of the god Zeus, in this confusing rehash of Greek mythology.

Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are also in the cast once again, as Zeus and Hades respectively, but they’re scarcely recognizable behind a pair of long beards and flowing locks.

The fearsome Kraken monster is replaced by a two-headed griffin-like creature, which is dutifully slain byPerseus early in the film.

But its presence is just a warm-up for the multitude of perils thrown at the indomitable Perseus.

PHOTO: Warner Bros Pictures Sam Worthington in Wrath of the Titans

There’s a trio of Cyclops-type giants, endless volleys of random fireballs falling from the skies anda sinister, labyrinthinestoneworks that entraps the hero and his allies.

Ultimately, there’s a gargantuan lava-like creature in the form of the god Kronos, who looms threateningly over the battlefield, as mortal forces struggle valiantly against the malevolent titans.

The muddled story-line is that Perseus is minding his own business in a little Greek fishing village and raising his son Helius, 10 years after his epic battles with the Kraken and Medusa.

His father, Zeus, drops by, to remind him that the populace still isn’t paying any respect to the gods, who are in danger of perishing in the absence of prayers directed their way from the earthly realm.

Perseus seems as if he couldn’t care less, but is later goaded into action when he receives word that Zeus has been taken prisoner by Hades, the god of the underworld and his brother Ares, the god of war, and is chained up in the netherworlds of Tartarus.

The two plan to steal Zeus’s powers in the service of releasing the sinister god Kronos, father of Zeus.

That’s about it for plot development, as Perseus braves countless threats in his quest to free his father and save humanity for/from the gods.

The special effects are better than the first outing in 2010, but that’s really all that Wrath of the Titans has going for it.

It’s hard to tell who’s who as the endless pantheon of gods strut their stuff, much less to care about them at all. Character development is at a minimum, and the film has an overall claustrophobic and depressing quality to it.

The only female presence in a film dominated by sweaty, dirt-encrusted male protagonists is the British actressRosamund Pike, most recently seen on local screens in last year’s Johnny English Reborn and 2010’s Barney’s Version.

Pike plays a very comely warrior queen role. Unfortunately, she’s given too little time on screen in the general melee.

Wrath of the Titans has a video game-like quality to it, as Perseus struggles through innumerable matchups with one adversary after another. It’s a serviceable vehicle for one-dimensional action video thrills, but generally a poor excuse for a film.

Wrath of the Titans plays at 7 and 9:10 p.m. with weekend matinees at 1 and 3:10 p.m. at the Yukon Theatre. It is rated 14A for violence.

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