Years after the events of Clash, Perseus (Worthington) is living with his son as a simple fisherman. He’s called to arms when Hades (Fiennes) and Ares (Ramirez) conspire to imprison Zeus (Neeson) and use his power to free the Titans. Perseus must join Queen Andromeda (Pike) and save the world.
The good news about the Clash Of The Titans sequel is that, unlike its predecessor, it actually contains Titans. It’s also a feast for the eyes, a beautifully designed world full of odd monsters and well-conceived action sequences. Unfortunately for all involved, it appears that the filmmakers were exhausted by these monstrous set-pieces, and left the character and dialogue to fend for themselves in a world of confusion and distraction.
So for every brilliantly executed booby-trapped forest chase, Cyclops attack or holocaust-by-monstrous-lava-being, there are ten lame father/son and sibling rivalry scenes. Neeson’s noble Zeus must try to win over Worthington’s Perseus and Ralph Fiennes’ returning, embittered Hades and Edgar Ramirez’ simmering, brutal Ares – despite years of neglecting them all. Zeus, Hades and their brother Poseidon (Danny Huston) face the possible escape of their father, the aforementioned enormous lava monster Kronos. And Perseus finds himself at odds with half-brother Ares and seeking his cousin Agenor (Toby Kebbell, trying hard to add some comic relief) in order to save the world. These exclusively male, soapy dramas take a bizarre turn when Zeus becomes an almost Christ-like figure and starts going about forgiving people. Don’t they know we prefer Neeson’s other particular set of skills?
With Gemma Arterton’s Io killed off before the film even starts, it’s left to Rosamund Pike to step into the lone female role of Andromeda, replacing Alexa Davalos – although if you’re going to give her this little to do, why bother? The love story here doesn’t even aspire to be perfunctory, and while Pike plays the warrior queen up as best she can, there’s little to work with.
It all feels so slapdash. Accents are a strictly come-as-you-are affair, while the script is filled with American clangers despite the lack of Yankee voices. So (Aussie) Perseus’ (British) son does “chores” and (British) Bill Nighy’s fun but OTT Ephestus greets him in amazement with, “You’re Perseus, son of Zeus! Release the Kraken and all of that!” Might as well add a “ZOMG”; it would ring as true. It’s not particularly the cast’s fault: someone signed off on this script.
Still, it does look good, and the fights largely impress. The 3D is, unforgiveably given the reception of the first film, another post-conversion job. It’s a better one, but backgrounds are still blurred and the handheld camera work sometimes jars. A disappointment on every level beyond the design, this could and should have been much better.
If even a tenth of the care and attention lavished on the production design and action sequences had been afforded the script, this could have been an adventure of legendary proportions. As it is, this fizzles whenever anyone opens their mouths.