Saturday, 31 March 2012

187, Wrath of the Titans

You only have to look back at Blog 30, way back in April 2010 to understand that regardless of the critics opinion, I was a Titans fan.  Growing up as an illiterate child in a literate household my only bedtime reading salvation was a book entitled 'Myths & Legends'.

Night after night (and you have to understand that this was a time when TV had 4 channels and a bedroom TV was only for celebs such as Russel Harty & Benny Hill) I would see myself to sleep with tales of Perseus, The Minotaur, Cyclops, Beowulf, Grendel etc and dream of Greek Gods looking down from on high, commanding prayers from mere mortals to allow them the power to keep under lock and key the Titans that would destruct the world given half a chance. 

Even though Critics slated the first movie I still found it easy to apply sincere gratitude for some of my childhood memories being finally projected onto the big screen for all to enjoy and the thought of a sequel -well, lets just say that this film is by far in my Top 3 of 2012 anticipated titles behind the last Batman movie and The Avengers but did it uphold my childhood ambitions of greatness?

Well, Yes.  Although not all would agree.  Firstly, lets get this whole 3D thing put to bed right now. 3D has been around since forever & in many guises but its fair to say the most recent carnation is by far the best but its still sadly only an afterthought.  The first Titans movie was a disappointing 3D experience and the lure of a potential 'Real 3D' is what we all dream of - this does not have it.  Again, as an after addition it only adds depth of field and to be frank, 2D will be just as impressive so from a non-critics, critics eye - only pay for 3D if its advertised as "Real 3D" (as the Avengers will be) and you wont be disappointed.

So after 4 paragraphs its actually time to talk about the movie.  I Loved it!  It starts a good 12 years after the first one with Perseus sadly widowed (possibly from Gemma Arterton but I'm not sure) and living the life of a lowly fisherman with son in tow, still in contact with daddy Zeus but by no means taken the godly throne he is so entitled too. The story follows an uprising in the Heavens where Perseus's half brother Ares defies Zeus and works with Hades to release Kronos, father to the brothers three and the plan to bring persecution back to the mortals and destroy earth.  Perseus, cousin Agenor, Queen Andromeda and a whole army of followers set off to bring down Ares and Hades with  a surprising result to bring peace to earth as we know it, and that's all your getting - no spoilers here!

Worthington, Neeson & Feinnes all return (brave move) to rekindle their roles and this time the female presence sees Arterton swapped out for former Brit 'Bond' babe Rosamund Pike (OOOOoosh!)  In addition to the aforementioned cast its Toby Kebbell (Garsiv from Prince of Persia) who gets my nod of appreciation for his slightly comical portrayal of Poseidon's son and like minded demigod Agenor.  A brilliantly cast role and one that manages to add a few chuckles along the way.

But here's the real good bit - being only 99 minutes long it does not take too much time to get going and the introduction of a Cyclops, Minotaur and finally, Kronos himself as the 'baddies' are nothing short of utterly spectacular.  These were my childhood villains finally visualised as I expected them to be and not a fleeting snapshot as the Kraken was in part one but long, sweeping shots that held prowess on the 70ft screen in front of me, each one offering a awe inspiring gasp from my hidden child within.

From the second Perseus mounts Pegasus on his quest my heart started beating double time.  Cyclops was my favourite mythological creature of all time, and they give us three of the bad boys!  Then the Minotaur - only in it for a few minutes but exactly as I expected to find him, in a labyrinth with no apparent way out, Superb. Finally, Kronos himself, father of the Gods - exactly portrayed as he was in my mind and seemingly replicated from the Titans edition of the P.C classic, Age of Empires (The Titans) - all of my dreams were coming true!

I'm getting over dramatic but my love for these stories just wont let me hear a bad word against them.  Even the surprising portrayal of lost God Hephaestus, played by the utterly brilliant Bill Nighy managed to add further elements of unexpected humour to our pretty bleak story of loss and trauma and I for one loved every minute of it - even though the 3D was dismal!

Forget the press, forget the cash or the stigma surrounding this one - if you're like me and you like your blockbusters big and bold then this is a great story. 

I must admit thought (sheepishly) that even I still have to rank this 3rd on my list of potential great 2012 movies - The lure of the last Batman by Chris Nolan or even the culmination of every great Marvel hero which has come to pass over a decade of movie incarnations, together on the silver screen is just too much to wish away the top spot to a dodgy 3D sequel - Sorry.

Most importantly & like it or not, its way better than part 1, so for the die hard fans among us (and there is one like minded soul who I know will read this, Mr Box!) don't let the critics put you off - step forward and enjoy - I certainly did!