"The “Gods” Are Angry. . ."
What You Need To Know:
WRATH OF THE TITANS has an underdeveloped, less than convincing plot. Sam Worthington is excellent as the heroic Perseus, however. The special effects are also impressive. Thus, the entertainment quality is high. Sadly, this is overshadowed by a series of dialogues and rivalries that sometimes seem rushed. Belief in an afterlife, faith, heroism, and forgiveness are among the potentially positive elements. However, they are cast in the light of the movie’s pagan worldview. This causes WRATH OF THE TITANS to fall short of biblical standards, so caution is advised for older children.
(PaPa, HH, FRFR, RoRo, BB, C, L, VVV, MM) Strong, mixed pagan worldview with strong humanist and Romantic elements mixed with strong false religion and moderate moral elements; light Christian, redemptive values espoused during strong scene of forgiveness, which solves a major plot problem; three light obscenities and no profanities; much fantastical violence throughout with light blood and gore, very suspenseful, includes stabbings, one impaling, two instances of very intense fighting and killing of scary monsters; one sexual reference to seducing a mermaid and light romantic kiss; brief upper male nudity; no alcohol; no smoking or drugs; and, deception, revenge, envy, resentment, blackmail, and dysfunctional family portrayal.
WRATH OF THE TITANS is a spectacular fantasy adventure. It’s not completely successful, however, and has a mixed pagan worldview with intense, sometimes scary violence.
As a sequel to CLASH OF THE TITANS (a 2010 remake of a 1981 movie), WRATH OF THE TITANS is situated within the world of Greek mythology. It begins with little introduction to the characters and little context to the story. Instead, it plunges immediately into the problem created by humanity’s waning fidelity to the gods. Because of this, Zeus (Liam Neeson) and his two brothers, Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Poseidon (Danny Huston), are losing their divine powers. Meanwhile, their evil father and ruler of the ferocious Titans, Kronos, who had subsequently been banished to the cavernous, underworld dungeon, is now struggling to escape. Along with Zeus’ godly son Ares (Edgar Ramirez), Hades betrays Zeus and Poseidon by making a deal with Kronos to capture Zeus and steal his power. This has unleashed the destructive will of the Titans on earth.
With help from Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), the demigod Agenor (Toby Kebbell), and the fallen god Hephaestus (Bill Nighy), Perseus, the half-human son of Zeus, leaves his own son to save the world. He embarks a dark, dangerous, suspenseful mission to rescue Zeus from the Underworld. Only a restored unity between the godly brothers and concerted triumvirate attack on Kronos led by Perseus can deliver humanity from the terrorizing wrath being unleashed by the Titans.
WRATH OF THE TITANS is a spectacular heroic fantasy, with some excellent special effects. The 3D is particularly good this time around. Many people complained about the 3D in the first movie, CLASH OF THE TITANS. That said, the middle of WRATH OF THE TITANS sags a little bit. It becomes a bit wearying and repetitious until the exciting big finale.
Also, WRATH OF THE TITANS has an underdeveloped, somewhat less than convincing plot. Still, the movie’s entertainment value of the movie is high. It has many creative elements, and the scenery in some shots is quite beautiful, with an almost LORD OF THE RINGS feel. Sadly, this quality is quickly overshadowed by a series of dialogues and rivalries that come across as somewhat rushed and unnatural.
There’s not much blood or gore in WRATH OF THE TITANS. However, a number of very intense battles occur between human beings and the Titans – particularly between Perseus and several beastly, grotesque creatures. Magical powers are put on display throughout much of the movie. At one point, the characters journey through an old temple full of idols that were erected for worshipping the gods. The vacancy and decay of these structures is intended to symbolize humanity’s estrangement or progression away from pagan religion. In the various fighting scenes, Perseus is clearly not physically superior to his opponents but is able to defeat them because of his bravery and courage. He is obviously the hero in the picture, setting out to overcome a hostile supernatural force.
A central challenge for the main characters and especially the protagonist Perseus is that of overcoming fear. “The mind can be the greatest trap of all,” says Hephaestus – in a motivational speech to the hero just before he enters the treacherous, maze-like Underworld. Mild and appropriate humor is elicited periodically, which eases the movie’s intensity a bit.
In sum, the worldview depicted is polytheistic with perhaps an ambiguous pantheism grounding the universe as a whole. Some of the characters pray to the gods of Greek mythology when misfortunes befall them. The most explicit and alarming truth claim is that human beings are essentially good and potentially stronger than the gods (or God?) when at their best and when working together. At the same time, however, moral virtues like hope and perseverance are celebrated. Also, forgiveness is shown to be the key ingredient for bringing about the possibility of triumph over Kronos. Moreover, there are some touching moments that portray a loving and healthy relationship between Perseus and his son Helius. There’s even a comment about “praying for your enemies”! Free will and determinism both play a role, but the fate of the world is finally left in human hands. Ultimate reality and the gods themselves are imagined as neither good nor evil. Even though goodness and justice seem to prevail, the dominant philosophy promoted is one of religious humanism.
All in all, caution is advised for older children, especially pre-teenagers because of the violence, the more scary monsters and action scenes, and the mixed worldview. Of course, parents should discuss Greek and Roman mythology with their children or teenagers, and their differences from Jewish or Christian Theism, before letting them see WRATH OF THE TITANS.