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Wrath of the Titans
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Wrath of the Titans

“Wrath” and “clash” are words of action! Not just normal action, either. The modern Clash of the Titans and its sequel Wrath of the Titans represent an effort to turn these nouns into entire movies. How do these films deliver on their promise of loud, shiny mayhem?

The creative forces behind an action movie frequently try to include as much distracting story nonsense as possible, often to the detriment of the viewer. The 1995 Stallone vehicle Demolition Man exemplifies this (see: futuristic bathroom seashells). One technique that has been employed more frequently in recent years is to reuse the story from an earlier, successful movie. Examples abound, from Planet of The Apes to Gone in 60 Seconds. The upcoming RoboCop and Total Recall movies also fall into this category. Reduce, reuse, recycle does not always work perfectly, as seen in Planet of The Apes, Gone in 60 Seconds, and probably with the upcoming RoboCop and Total Recall reboots. In order to hedge the multi-million dollar investments made with Clash and Wrath, the filmmakers doubled down on past success by copying an older movie (the 1981 version of Clash of the Titans) as well as ripping off ancient Greek mythology.

Our hero, Perseus, is played by Sam Worthington. Unlike his turn in Terminator Salvation, where his terrible attempt at an American accent destroyed the character, Worthington is able to deliver a convincing portrayal of the Greek demigod in both Clash and Wrath. Using his native accent, which is Australian, permits the audience to accept the actor as an ancient Greek. This is due to the fact that any ancient language translates directly into a British-type speech pattern, especially in American movies. Alongside a cast of other vaguely English ancient Greek characters, Perseus embarks on adventures to spite, and later to save, the gods. Playing Zeus is Liam Neeson, who can make any movie vastly more enjoyable. Please reflect on this fact when considering the watchability of Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.

The specific tasks to which Perseus commits himself are largely irrelevant to the enjoyment of the movie. In Clash, Perseus must fight off the punishment the gods against an insolent mankind, personified by the Gorgon monster. In Wrath, Perseus must save the gods from the wrath of their progenitor, Kronos. It is the manner in which Perseus rails against his inner deity that makes the movie fun. Instead of boring introspection, these movie make the wise choice to show the conflict within Perseus through the critical lens of his head. Specifically, his head being smashed through marble pillars, off of marble statues, and into marble flooring. The progression of emotions felt by Perseus is:

content–>guilty–>angry–>frustrated–>cocky–>sad–>content

Perseus doesn’t really have an arc, instead he has a character oval. The really satisfying parts of these films take place in between angry and cocky, when the main battles against arrogant gods and impossibly powerful monsters are in full effect.


If you saw the trailers for these movies and decided that they are mindless, loud, nonsensical tripe, you’re probably right. However, the story oval followed by Perseus makes these worth watching.

X Factor of +1.  I’m a sucker for Pegasus.

Action
Acting
Editing
Effects
Consistency
Captivation
Clarity
Painlessness

 

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2 Comments

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  1. Pete says
    2012/04/08, 19:42

    Graphs are very important for illustrating facts.

  2. Libby says
    2012/04/11, 16:07

    I am going to utilize the character oval any time ever in the future where I get to teach writing again. That is effing brilliant.

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