DVD Release Date: June 26, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: March 30, 2012
Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action)
Genre: Action-Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Drama, Sequel
Run Time: 99 min.
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Actors: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Rosamund Pike, Edgar Ramirez, Toby Kebbell, Billy Nighy, Danny Huston, John Bell

Zeus, Hades and Poseidon—Greek gods, brothers and box-office kings from 2010’s Clash of the Titans—are back in Wrath of the Titans, a sequel that lays out a sprawling story of dueling gods, approaching doom and the possibility of power through forgiveness.

But like Clash of the Titans, Wrath knows that its audience is less interested in character drama than it is in the two-torsoed and two-headed creatures that Zeus’ son Perseus must battle. Those creatures, like the Kraken from Clash, are more memorable than any of the human or divine characters in Wrath of the Titans. The sequel is a CGI-driven, 3D spectacle, much improved over its abysmal predecessor but failing to generate enough human interest to make it worth seeing.

A prologue brings us up to speed: Perseus (Sam Worthington, Avatar), the son of Zeus who had defeated the Kraken in Clash of the Titans, had vowed to live as a human. Just as well for him, as the time of the gods is drawing to an end. No longer are humans praying to the gods. That lack is causing the gods to lose their power. If they lose enough of it, they’ll become mortal.

“A calamity is coming,” Zeus warns, and soon that calamity begins to manifest on earth, as the gods battle for control. Zeus’ son Ares teams with Zeus’ brother Hades and with Kronos, the father of Zeus, Poseidon and Hades. The titans are unleashed, and Perseus must fight off massive creatures while protecting his earthly son, Helius (John Bell, A Shine of Rainbows). He’ll eventually have to save Zeus, too.

That’s a rough outline of the story. But what about the Kraken? They’re not around for the sequel, but there’s a Cyclops, a minotaur, a chimera and a legion of two-headed warriors known as Makhai. The special effects are impressive, and the 3D—this time not a post-shoot rush job, as was the case with the worthless 3D in Clash of the Titans—impresses every now and again. Visually, Wrath of the Titans is not uninteresting.

So why does it feel wan and predictable? Director Jonathan Liebesman (Battle: Los Angeles) pours his energies into the battle scenes, while first-rate actors like Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Rosamund Pike do their best to bring dignity to their dialogue. Yet we never feel the weight of what’s at stake. Sam Worthington, who has been less than impressive in films like Man on a Ledge and The Debt, might seem an easy target for those looking to assign blame for the movie’s ultimate failure, but he comes off pretty well as Perseus. The story also includes an element of finding one’s strength through forgiveness—something that distinguishes the story in Wrath of the Titans from other blockbuster-movie narratives. But it’s not enough to propel the storyline to a satisfying conclusion.