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    Movie Review: Wrath of the Titans Is Packed With Special Effects, but Not Much Else

    Wrath of the Titans Warner Bros.

    Review in a Hurry: Sam Worthington equips his sword and shield for more 300-inspired mayhem. From the director of Battle Los Angeles and the writer of Red Riding Hood, this recipe for terrible is mercifully short and only terribly mediocre. On the bright side, Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes reprising their roles as Zeus and Hades means plenty of hamming it up as those wacky gods of war!

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    The Bigger Picture: Picking up a decade after he defeated the Kraken, Wothington's Perseus has settled down as a fisherman with his young son, Hellus. That lasts about five minutes since Hades (Fiennes) and Zeus' other son, Ares (Édgar Ramirez), have teamed up to unleash über-baddie Kronos, the long estranged dad of Z, H and Poseidon (Danny Huston). But first, Zeus is kidnapped, so Perseus must assemble a team and trek to the underworld to save his own God-father and make sure no one "releases the Kronos!"

    That's pretty much the plot. A search for a theme would say this is a tale of fathers and sons, but that would be stretching it.

    The only reason to see Wrath of the Titans is for the endless array of computer-generated boss fights. With titans that are ginormous and a fiery underworld that's visually stunning, the production value impresses.

    As cool as some scenes are (a fiery mountain-size creature, a moving castle that shifts like a Rubik's Cube) there's no real sense of urgency.

    Worse, none of the moments build upon the previous ones. Perseus' outfits seem to reset after every fight from battle ravaged to newly worn. This is less an actual movie and more an HD clip that is on constant loop at Best Buy.

    Wrath of the Titans is a sequel that's better than the original only because Clash of the Titans set the bar so low.

    Toby Bell (War Horse) has a few meta moments as Poseidon' son Agenor, coming just short of referring to Perseus as the dude who did that "release the Kraken" thing. Rosamund Pike (Barney's Version) replaces Alexa Davalos as a much stronger, more entertaining warrior Queen Andromeda. Billy Nighy overacts as fallen god Hephaestus; but did you really except him not to?

    The 180—A Second Opinion: Speaking of overacting, Neeson and Fiennes finally get their immortals on. They're like a tag-team wrestling duo dispatching all sorts of finishing moves with cool lightening bolts, firestorms and even a neat forcefield. If there's a next one (Bath of the Titans, perhaps?) can it just be about the gods kickin' butt?

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