Nonstop Movies: ‘Wrath of the Titans’

“Wrath of the Titans,” the sequel to last year’s modest hit, “Clash of the Titans” is the epitome of what’s wrong with action films today. No longer are we asked to care about characters or stories, which yes, do count even in action movies. Instead, studios just feed audience with endless special effects and excruciatingly loud soundtracks. Action movies have turned into supermodels of the movie world — pretty to look at, but void of substance.

The sequel picks up about a decade after the ending of the original, with Perseus (Sam Worthington) rejecting his father Zeus’ (Liam Neeson) offer to live as a god and living instead quietly as a fisherman with his young son, Helius. But Zeus’ brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes), still bitter for being banished to the underworld, plots with Ares (Edgar Ramirez), the god of war and also a son of Zeus, to trap him and use his power to feed Kronos, who will lead the imprisoned Titans in overtaking the world. Perseus, who is half-god and half-human, must now team up with another demigod, Agenor (Toby Kebbell), the son of Poseidon, to breach the underworld and save Zeus.

The story is pretty much established within the first 15 minutes of the film, and from then, it’s just one action scene after another, with little of it mattering. Worthington continues to be boring as the lead, but at least Kebbell adds some humor to the mix with his performance as Agenor. Rosamund Pike, who plays Andromeda, also provides some eye candy for the film’s male viewers. But without any true development of the story or characters, the action seems pointless since the audience has so little invested in the characters.

Maybe it’s just me, but I truly do miss the days of well-choreographed action scenes, which required the expertise of truly visionary directors who designed everything precisely so actors and stuntmen could pull the moves off. Everything had to be rehearsed since they often had only one chance to get it right. Nowadays, it seems like action scenes are directed in front of a computer monitor, and by just clicking a mouse.

“Wrath of the Titans” also uses a lot of the shaky-cam that’s been overused in recent films. Once a tool to portray realism, now it’s more of a way to cover up flaws in the action. With all their CGI, confusion and lack of meaningful characters, action movies are turning into big screen video games, all spectacle, no substance.

“Wrath of the Titans,” 99 minutes, is Rated PG-13 and opens in theaters today.