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MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of fantasy violence and action

Released in Theaters: March 30, 2012 (2D, 3D)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Sequel

Runtime: 99 minutes

Directed by: Jonathan Liebesman

Cast: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Edgar Ramirez, Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy, Danny Huston, Lily James

Official Site:  http://wrathofthetitans.warnerbros.com/

SYNOPSIS: This sequel to 2010's Clash of the Titans finds Perseus (Sam Worthington) braving the treacherous underworld to rescue his father, Zeus (Liam Neeson), captured by his son Ares (Edgar Ramirez) and brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes), who unleash the ancient Titans upon the world. Yeah, there's a world of family hurt among these dysfunctional gods.

Sex/Nudity: Minor innuendos and one kiss between a male and female character.

Violence/Gore: Fights include characters being stabbed, chased and tossed about. Perseus battles several computer-generated creatures, some of them big and scary. Innocent people are burned and killed by fiery monsters. Several gods die onscreen, turning gray and dissolving into ashes.

Profanity: "Hell" and minor insults are as bad as it gets.

Drugs/Alcohol: None.

Which Kids Will Like It? Kids 13 and older who liked Clash of the Titans or action-packed sci-fi movies with CGI characters and special effects.

Will Parents Like It? Probably not. Maybe go shopping at Target while the teenagers are at the cineplex.

REVIEW: I can count on one hand the number of action movies with a compelling plot and outstanding characters. Perhaps the filmmakers decide that because there are lots of sci-fi creatures, big explosions, and choreographed fight scenes, there's no need to invest any time into the plot and characters.

The first Terminator movie is one that succeeded. You had a tense end-of-the-world story, a damsel in distress (who'd go on to become an iconic female warrior), a time-twisting story that made your head spin, and a cyborg-tastic Arnold Schwarzenegger in cool shades declaring, "I'll be back." Classic in every sense of the word.

Unfortunately, we have none of that in Wrath of the Titans. What we have is a convoluted plot, characters we couldn't care less about, and cheesy dialogue that appears to have been written in the writers' sleep. It's like some bizarre cross between a Hallmark Channel movie and a Roger Corman cult classic.

Here's the story, such as it is: It's been ten years since Perseus (Sam Worthington) defeated the monstrous Kraken in Clash of the Titans. Now the half-god half-human is living a simple fisherman's life with his son Helius (John Bell).

But Perseus' dad Zeus (Liam Neeson) arrives with the warning that trouble is brewing. The gods must be crazy – no, wait, that's a different movie. In this one, the gods are dangerously weakened by humanity's lack of devotion, and they're losing control of the imprisoned Titans and their ferocious leader, Kronos. If you're keeping track, he's the father of long-ruling brothers Zeus, Hades and Poseidon. Those three had overthrown their father long ago, leaving him to rot in the gloomy abyss of Tartarus, a dungeon deep within the cavernous underworld.

In the present, Hades (Ralph Fiennes), with help from Ares (Edgar Ramirez), cooks up a sinister plot to capture Zeus, drain his power, and resurrect Kronos, a giant, fiery creature who unleashes his wrath on innocent people.

Here's where Perseus comes in. He decides to fulfill his destiny and be the (half) god he's meant to be. Aided by the warrior Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), Poseidon's demigod son Agenor (Toby Kebbell), and fallen god Hephaestus (Bill Nighy), Perseus embarks on a dangerous quest into the underworld to rescue Zeus, overthrow the Titans, and [drum roll, please] save mankind. All of this involves finding and combining three pieces of a mystical weapon.

If the characters had any personality at all, there might have been something here to glom onto. But aside from Agenor – who has some funny lines – the characters are bland, the conflicts between the gods and men are dumb, and by the time we get to the big climax, we just don't care.

Ironically, the computer-generated creatures – of which there are many -- have a lot more personality than the gods or humans (though I admit that as soon as I left the theater, I kept getting them confused with the creatures in John Carter from a couple weeks ago).

However, there's a takeaway message: If you're smart, you'll draw energy and strength from your kids, which is what happens with both Perseus and Zeus. Still, you have to think that film veterans like Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Bill Nighy were second-guessing their decision to get involved with this movie. On the plus side, Sam Worthington is nice to look at.

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Categories:  Movie Reviews

About the Author

Jane Boursaw

Jane Boursaw

Jane Boursaw is the founder and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Her credits include hundreds of print and online publications, including The New York Times, People Magazine, Variety, Moviefone, TV Squad and more.

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