GENRE: Mythological Action/Adventure
THE PITCH: A Sequel to Clash of the Titans' remake, its several years later and man's faith in the gods continues to wane. While some gods, like Zeus (Liam Neeson) accept this fate, his jealous brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes) decides to fight for their immortality, no matter the cost. The turmoil has become so severe Hades plots to release their father/titan Kronos from the depths of Tartarus which would spell then end of humanity. With the gods numbers depleted, Zeus turns to his favored demigod son Perseus (Sam Worthington) to help defeat Hades' allies and Kronos.
MONEY SHOT: The rise of Kronos. Thanks to his grandson Ares (Edgar Ramirez), Kronos the last of the titans slowly rises up from his confines in Tartarus. The Greecian troops align themselves in a phalanx position to defend humanity, but they are no challenge to the actually creator of their world. His body shrouded in an ash cloud slowly emerges from the crater of a volcano, his body a maze of igneous rock and magma. Kronos bellows a thunderous roar and he begins to rain chaos on the townspeople residing below. To give a sense of proportion, one hand is large enough to physically wipe out an entire city. The scene is just epic - exactly what you'd expect a pissed off titan to do.
BEST LINE: With something so serious as the apocalypse, you need a smidgen of comic relief. This mostly came in the form of Poseidon's (Danny Huston) son, the demigod Agenor (Toby Kebbell) who aids Perseus and Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) on their hero's quest. When Perseus is discouraged and feels all hope is lost his cousin offers is own version of a pep talk by saying, "Too many times I was trying to escape, but now I'm the son of Poseidon and I'm trying to save the universe ... Jump in!" Perseus' son Helius (John Bell) finally meets his uncle and says, "I read you were a great disappointment," to which Agenor replies, "... I am great."
CREATURE FEATURES: If you're not up to speed on your Greek monsters, here's a quick cheat sheet to impress your friends with. In order, expect to see some Chimera, a couple of Cyclops, a Minotaur and a swarm of Makhai.
KNOW YOUR GREEK: Creative license aside, lets get a few facts straight. Perseus married Andromeda, not Io, they had nine children where one was name Heleus not Helius and the Minotaur was actually slain by Theseus, not Perseus.
THE RETURN OF... : I can't tell you who makes an appearance in this sequel because its too much of a spoiler, but I'll just say that with fans of the original outraged out how this beloved character was treated in the film's reboot, he makes an unexpected and respectful cameo. If you want to know, highlight over the blanks space and all will be revealed. ITS BUBO. He's now the silent friend of a schizophrenic fallen god Hephaestus (Bill Nighy).
GOD OF WAR OR EMO KID? Definitely Emo. Ares is literally Hell bent on destroying his father Zeus for doting upon his bastard son Perseus. Willing to inflict unimaginable amounts of pain to both, Ares is presented with a disheveled mane of hair and constantly tearing up. Through most of the film, he's venting about how Zeus ignored him and how his half-brother garnered all of his attention of late. Seriously, he looks like an Eddie Vedder wannabe than the god of war. His uncle Hades summed him up fairly quickly, "You don't know when to stop fighting even when you've already won." Somebody get this dude a Xanax stat.
AS THE GODS TURN: Lets see we can put this level of dysfunction into focus. Zeus and his brothers imprison their father Kronos in the underworld then divvy up the earth between he and Poseidon, giving Hades the shitty job of looking after their fallen father for all eternity. A little pissed on the deal, Hades plots his revenge on his brothers and humanity who are inadvertently killing off the gods by failing to believe in them. Hades eventually convinces his emo nephew Ares to help him wipe out all the gods and unleashing his father so they can maintain immortality and get revenge on all of existence. Hades cooks up a plot to trap kill his brothers, but that's not enough for Ares, so he channels his wrath against his bastard half-brother Perseus - torturing him before destroying the world. #oldworldproblems.
BOTTOM LINE: After a disappointing reboot of the franchise with Clash in 2010, its sequel seems to put this mythological series back on track. Starting with an interesting screenplay penned by David Johnson and Hollywood newbie Dan Mazeau, the film's new director Jonathan Liebesman brings an emphasis to scale in Wrath. Unlike its predecessor, this sequel forges interest in its principals that extends beyond the hero's journey. Ares as the broken son, and Hades' jealous disposition adds credence to the dysfunctional family subtext that sinews throughout the plot. Liebesman's attempt to put things in perspective - paying homage to the original while giving our heroes a true trial of godly proportion to accomplish helps the film take an Olympian leap ahead of the flawed Clash remake.
I can see Rushdie's stuff adapting well. Lots of plot to play with.