** (out of four)
Here's the rotten thing about destroying humongous mystical beings: Kill one, and everyone expects you to kill ‘em all.
So after ousting the Kraken in “Clash of the Titans” (a movie that also had plenty of wrath), Perseus (ever-bland Sam Worthington) can’t raise his son peacefully without his dad, Zeus (Liam Neeson), expecting Perseus to save the world again. That comes even before the betrayal of Zeus’ backstabbing son Ares (Edgar Ramirez), who’s such a jerk that even Hades (Ralph Fiennes) tells him to calm down.
Some semi-amusing jokes every so often modulate “Wrath of the Titans” to elevate it above “Clash,” a mediocre remake that replaced its 1981 predecessor’s outdated effects with maximum seriousness and empty bombast. Yet “Wrath” similarly gets bogged down in a mess of overblown bloodshed and characters yelling each other’s names.
Director Jonathan Liebesman (“Battle: Los Angeles,” which no one liked but me) taps into some basic notions of fatherly responsibility but still fights a lose-lose battle--alternating between dull, repetitive chatter about old family squabbles and action sequences that mostly look like an expensive mess. “Wrath of the Titans” delivers giant hands made of fire and two-headed demons and 3-D CGI up the wazoo. Big freakin’ deal. Large does not automatically equal awesome.
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