Share This Page

Review: 'Titans' tickles the funny bone on its way to Hades

What's the old saying -- "3-D fool me once, shame on you, 3-D fool me twice, shame on me?"

"Clash of the Titans" was a nearly humorless, overly digitized remake of a piece of sword-and-sorcery cheese from the 1980s, an inoffensive big-budget trifle whose biggest sin was a post-production conversion to 3-D.

The "Titans" sequel wasn't converted, so the 3-D is a lot better. And the director of "Battle Los Angeles" and the screenwriters give it a lighter touch, a bit of mythic whimsy amongst all the muddle about gods, demigods, the father of gods and the end of the age of gods.

In a boulder-strewn Greek past of volcanoes, but no trees, Perseus (Sam Worthington, stoic as ever) is living the life of a village fisherman and single dad to Helius (John Bell). The kid is growing up without religion, without his grandpa. That's because Perseus knows "There's no such as 'good gods,'" and his dad, Zeus (Liam Neeson, giving his more than it deserves), is entirely too busy for grandparenting.

He's too busy narrating.

"The time of the gods is ending," Zeus narrates.

Hades (Ralph Fiennes, always interesting) aims to hasten that. "You're sweating like a human, brother," Hades purrs. "Next, it'll be tears."

With another son of Zeus, Ares (Edgar Ramirez), the god of war, Hades traps Zeus in the underworld. Perseus must round up a team and go get 'em, before god of gods Kronos cracks free and gods and men are drowned in a sea of lava.

First among them is Andromeda, a vision in blond hair and armor played by Rosamund Pike. Bill Nighy steals the movie as Hephaestus, blacksmith and armorer to the gods. He makes the old tinkerer a crackpot who carries on conversations with himself, Gollum-style.

Then, there's the disreputable son of Poseidon, "The Navigator" Agenor, given a bemused spin by Toby Kebbell. He's a reluctant recruit.

"Would you do me a favor?" he asks Perseus. "Go to Hell."

So we know where this is going, and we know who'll be in the final brawl. But director Jonathan Liebesman and company keep this stripped down (few gods, not too much dialogue) and manage a few surprises and a little fun on the trip. They even trot out Danny Huston as Poseidon, in a beard and get-up that remind us that his dad, John Huston, once played Noah on the big screen.

Yes, this "Titans" is going to you-know-where. At least this one manages to make the 3-D ride worth the destination.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.