Greek hero Perseus (Sam Worthington), left, attempts to free his father, Zeus (Liam Neeson), from imprisonment in the underworld in “Wrath of the Titans.” The movie is a sequel to 2010’s “Clash of the Titans,” following the further adventures of men against gods, monsters and more.

Warner Bros./Courtesy

Greek hero Perseus (Sam Worthington), left, attempts to free his father, Zeus (Liam Neeson), from imprisonment in the underworld in “Wrath of the Titans.” The movie is a sequel to 2010’s “Clash of the Titans,” following the further adventures of men against gods, monsters and more.

‘Titans’ sequel incurs less wrath from fantasy lovers

“Wrath of the Titans”

2.5 out of 4 stars

100 minutes

Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Rosamund Pike.

Now playing at West Theatre in Craig and Metropolitan Wildhorse Stadium Cinemas in Steamboat Springs.

Battling creatures so large they block out the sky feels like an appropriate analogy for the people involved in “Wrath of the Titans.”

After all, considering how little hope there was for them following their last movie, reaching for that mere glimmer of light seems all the more heroic.

Demigod Perseus (Sam Worthington) has done everything possible to live a normal life, but when you’re the son of the entity Zeus (Liam Neeson), trouble always manages to find you.

Shielding his young son Helius (John Bell) from the life of war and hardships he has faced in the past goes from challenging to completely impossible when the gods of Olympus are unable to keep the fabled Titans in check, as the destructive monsters ravage the world once more.

Behind this newfound chaos is underworld ruler Hades (Ralph Fiennes), who plans to use the strength of brothers Zeus and Poseidon (Danny Huston) to revive their long-imprisoned father Kronos, whose return to power would mean the end of mankind and possibly the gods themselves.

Once again, it falls to Perseus to preserve the balance of his human side with that of his divine heritage and save all the inhabitants of heaven and Earth.

You’d think having some time in between films would inspire Worthington to mask his Australian accent with a voice more appropriate for a character of Greek mythology.

No such luck.

Oh sure, he can do the part of sweaty, sinewy hero in his sleep by now, but the instant he opens his mouth, it all falls apart.

A line like “You gotta be kidding me” already sounds ridiculously out of place, but when he says it, it’s much worse. You wouldn’t hear me complaining if they had recast Perseus, especially since adding some new names to the cast list has paid off.

Rosamund Pike steps into the role of former princess Andromeda, now a queen in command of her own army, who insists on accompanying Perseus on his quest, along with the narcissistic mortal son of Poseidon, Agenor (Toby Kebbell).

Édgar Ramírez makes a good addition as heartless god of war Ares, turning against father Zeus purely as a big “screw you” to half-human half-brother Perseus.

Talk about a severe case of sibling rivalry.

Speaking of which, Neeson and Fiennes spend most of their time jockeying for the honor of who can sport the biggest beard and still have discernible facial expressions, for which reclusive god Hephaestus (Bill Nighy) seems to be the likely winner, as he babbles to himself incessantly, only taking a brief respite from his madness to clue Perseus into the key to entering the underworld through his creation, the massive maze, the Labyrinth.

As with the first movie, traditional myths take a beating here.

To recap, Daedalus was the architect of the Labyrinth, the Minotaur within was slain by a different dude whose name ended in “eus” and the explanation that Greek gods depend on prayers for their source of power is just as idiotic as it was before.

Mangling of classic storytelling is expected by now, and once you get past that, there’s actually a great amount of improvement in this sequel, mainly because “Clash of the Titans” couldn’t come close to capturing the wonder of the movie it remade.

The further adventures of Perseus are on firmer footing now and the rougher, tougher stylistics function better considering it doesn’t have any kind of legacy with which to contend. Part of this is due to a quicker pace and a use of 3-D that creates a more complete picture rather than the slapped-together effort we saw before.

Let’s not forget the benefit of antagonists like a race of Cyclopes, the vicious Chimera and the threat of Kronos, crafted as a walking volcano engulfing everything in his path.

If you thought the Kraken was a force of nature to be reckoned with …

“Wrath of the Titans” is about as enjoyable as it could be after the disappointment of “Clash.” There aren’t enough changes in its presentation to make it all that much better than the first, but it functions admirably overall providing this is the end of the line.

If there’s a third film in the works, there’s only one fitting response to that: You gotta be kidding me.

Now playing at West Theatre in Craig and Metropolitan Wildhorse Stadium Cinemas in Steamboat Springs.

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