After a worldwide take of nearly $500 million, a sequel to the critically panned reboot of “Clash of the Titans” was perhaps inevitable, taking around $300 million the usual “law of diminishing returns” has applied here.
When we left Perseus, demi-god son of Zeus (Liam Neeson) he had defeated the Kraken, won the girl and all was well. He has now retired to the simple life of a fisherman, enjoying the company of his young son Helius, following the death of his wife.
Of course, the simple life cannot continue if we are to have an action movie and sure enough, he is soon called upon to rescue his father from the evil clutches of Hades (Ralph Fiennes) and Ares (Edgar Ramirez) who is using Zeus to retain his own immortality by appeasing his father “Kronos”. Kronos for his part, has reduced power as the ordinary folk move away from worshipping the gods.
Kronos, a mass of fire and stone, is understandably a bit peeved at being cast into the dungeons of Tartarus, part of the Underworld, following his earlier overthrow by Zeus, Hades and Poseidon.
If you think this all sounds like one big “Greek Tragedy”, then yes of course it is, the original in fact and yes there will be a test later.
Following an attack on his village and a quick bit of Chimera slaying, Perseus flys off astride his trusty Pegasus to see Queen Andromeda. Andromeda is now played by the shapely Rosamund Pike clearly having fun ordering Centurions around whilst speckled with fresh fake blood.
A quest is what is needed and Perseus is tasked with locating Hephaestus (Bill Nighy), the maker of the trident, lightning bolt and pitchfork with the help of Agenor (Toby Kebbell). Following an encounter with some rather large and angry cyclops, they locate the weapon maker who also incidentally designed and constructed Tarturus. This huge maze like structure, with of course a Minotaur thrown in for good measure, has a secret back door entrance left for Hephaestus to use during it’s construction.
The party continue to be dogged by Ares who pops up at will to decimate the troops, seemingly whenever he is prayed for or too.
The dwindling group move ever onwards until the inevitable massive climax which aims to outdo the previous film’s Kraken encounter. Whether that is achieved is debatable but the ending leaves everyone looking rather tired which does not bode well for the third and completing film, if there is to be one.
It is difficult to criticize a film that sets out to be daft, mocks itself at every opportunity, with actors and filmakers having fun and puncturing any pomposity with a modern slang put down. Nobody actually says “whatever” but you get the idea.
Bill Nighy’s character and scenes come across like “Monty Python and the Life of Brian” and there is no gravitas or sense of heft to any of the scenes or characterizations, despite the acting talent on display. Half an extra star added as no one actually asks, “what have the Romans ever done for us?”.
You can imagine Greek scholars gnashing their teeth as this mash up of mythologies pays fast and loose with classic stories and “facts”. Is this the worst type of Hollywood blockbuster, probably but you should be under no illusion when you buy the ticket.
The very definition of popcorn film-making, lots of it but lacking any substance whatsoever.
If you enjoyed the first film you will know what to expect and should not be too disappointed.
For those new to the series, this is a sword and sandals epic with lots of fighting, monsters and collossal amounts of CGI, with actors and film maker tongues placed firmly in their cheeks.
Nobody takes it too seriously, nor should you.