'Wrath of the Titans': A man-god battles to save the world

It's a question that has plagued mankind since ancient times: what do you do for an encore once you have killed the Kraken?

In this clamorous and compacted sequel to 2010's Clash of the Titans, there's little left for Perseus (Sam Worthington) to do except save the world.

The old Gods, notably Zeus (Liam Neeson) and Hades (Ralph Fiennes) are dying. It's easy to tell. With their long gray hair and beards they look like a sad reunion tour of Crosby and Stills.

There's a distressing amount of faux-mythology you're supposed to digest, but all that matters is that in the end - and at the end - Perseus must vanquish Kronos, a mountain of molten flame.

But first, there is a series of pointless, time-killing quests Perseus undertakes with Agenor (Toby Kebbell) and Andromeda (Rosamund Pike).

Fanboys will no doubt mourn the absence of Gemma Arterton, Worthington's love interest in the first Olympiad. One of the first things Perseus says to Andromeda is, "My wife died." How come this is a personal detail you only share with the hot blonde, dude?

Although Perseus is famously half-human, half-god, his only discernible power is consistently incredible luck. Time and again, he faces unbeatable foes - cyclops, minotaur, dragons - and avoids death by the width of a DVD (which is where this film should go with all due haste).

At least the use of 3D in Wrath of the Titans is better than in the original. Of course that's not saying much since the first time around the 3D technology seems to have been left in the hands of Mrs. Schaefer's 4th grade class.

Rarely has a film so equally balanced macho and nacho, but Wrath does leave us with a few valuable lessons: a.) fratricide is a nasty business, best left to the Greeks and b) fighting fire with fire may sound good, but it turns out to be a really stupid idea.

OK, you also learn something about flying horses, but I don't want to spoil the ending. Just in case there's another Titans sequel.



Contact David Hiltbrand at 215-854-4552 or dhiltbrand@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @daveondemand_tv. Read his blog, "Dave on Demand," at www.philly.com/dod.

Wrath of the Titans

Directed by Jonathan Liebesman. With Toby Kebbell, Ralph Fiennes, Danny Huston, Bill Nighy, Édgar Ramírez, Liam Neeson, Rosamund Pike, Sam Worthington. Distributed by Warner Bros..

Running time: 2 hours, 0 minutes.

Parent's guide: PG-13 (for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action).