on June 26, 2012
This movie is entertaining, fun to watch, interesting and engaging. The special effects are outstanding. The numerous monsters and creatures really seem alive and present in the scenes. There are fabulous scenes of temples, moving mazes, and lots and lots of creatures. The black Pegasus is back, better than ever. (there is one marvelous scene, where an annoyed Pegasus smacks Perseus with his wing) There is action and excitement and heroics. The movie does not suffer from the darkness that "Clash of the Titans" had, which made many scenes hard to make out. What it does have in common with the first movie, is the choice of colors. Really, if you are going to film in color, how about you use, well, some COLORS! The entire movie is filmed in sepia tints, with only the blue sky and sea to break up the browns, rusts, sands, beiges, and blacks. Still for all of that, the movie is well worth watching and buying.
Spoiler Alert----Just so you know, I am going to mention specifics of the movie, what I liked and didn't, and what I thought, so if you don't like to read that kind of thing, stop here.
The movie begins in the twilight of the gods of Olympus. Apparently following several years after the first film, "Clash of the Titans", the human race has continued to lose faith in the gods and to turn from worshipping them. The gods have depended for so long on the strength given them by the faith of humans that they are all losing their powers. The most immediate threat caused by this is that the barriers between earth and Tartarus are breaking down. All the demons and monsters imprisoned there are escaping to rampage in the human world. And if Kronos, the monstrous father of the elder gods, (Zeus, Hades and Poseidon) should escape, all of creation will be destroyed.
Zeus, Poseidon and Aries go to Hades realm to confront Kronos, only to be met with treachery and death. Zeus is captured and Poseidon mortally wounded. The other, younger gods (Apollo, Aphrodite, etc.) are all conspicuous by their absence. This is one of the places were I wished the movie had been longer and with more detail. Hades delivers a one line explanation that, like him, the other gods will live if they support Kronos. This really doesn't hang together. All the younger gods, and numerous demi-gods, all decided to run and hide, and trust their fates to Kronos? Doesn't really track. And if they did, wouldn't Zeus and Poseidon have noticed something wrong? Are the younger gods already dead, or so weak that they cannot offer any support? Nothing about them is really mentioned. In fact, why did Zeus travel to Tartarus with so little backup? Sure, Poseidon and Zeus are the most powerful of the gods, and maybe this is a case of hubris on their part. And a fatal error, as they do not suspect treachery of Hades and Aries, and underestimate how much their powers have been weakened.
The gods seem terribly human here. I found the scenes between Zeus and Hades very touching. There is guilt and forgiveness on both sides. Hades' greatest fear is very telling: humans have immortal souls, that pass on after the death of their mortal bodies---but what about the gods? Do they have souls as well, that will continue, or do they simply fade into oblivion if they should die? A truly human fear, and an interesting thought. Humans have their many religions and faiths to turn to in times of trial---but what of the gods? If you are a god, and your power fails you, where do you turn for succor, if you believe in nothing greater than yourself?
And the god Aries? His weaknesses are truly human. How sad it is that Aries, powerful, immortal god of war, is jealous of his half brother, Perseus. Perseus, who has no godly power, who is not immortal, who lives in a hut and works as a poor fisherman, lucky if he has enough to eat day to day? You would think that Perseus would be beneath Aries' notice, but Aries is jealous because he thinks that Zeus loves Perseus more than Aries himself. And he has allowed his bitterness to fester into unreasoning hatred. He is so fixated on hurting both Zeus and Perseus that he does not care about anything else. And so he makes a devil's bargain with Kronos. Supposedly Kronos has promised Hades and Aries their immortal lives, if they free him. Both ally themselves with Kronos out of their weaknesses: Hades out of his fear of perishing forever, Aries out of his hatred and jealousy. And neither one of them are using their heads----when Kronos is free, why should he keep his bargains with anyone? Zeus tries to warn the pair, to no avail.
Poseidon lives long enough to give warning to Perseus, setting off the action for the rest of the story. Interestingly enough, he sends Perseus to find his own half human son. The two demi-gods ally themselves and set off to rescue Zeus and stop Kronos.
There are some great scenes between them, although I would have liked to see more. The passing of the gods is very well done---they crumble to ash, leaving nothing behind.
Liam Neeson does a wonderful job as the god Zeus, making the character regal, godly, but loving and human as well. I am very pleased that Mr. Neeson has finally been getting the appreciation from the public that he deserves. He appears in more movies, in better roles and with far better acting than half the so called "super-stars" of today combined. Neeson makes the character of Zeus seem alive, both noble and human, with faults and strengths. In Greek and Roman mythology, none of the gods were particularly noble or admirable characters, much less people who's passing you would mourn. But Liam Neeson gives Zeus all those qualities. He has some short but truly fine scenes with Hades, where both of the brothers ask for, and grant, forgiveness to each other. Hades seems far less the monster than he was in the last movie. Hades realizes that he has been controlled by his fear, and has a "What have I done?!" moment. Faced with their final ends, both gods forgive their offences against each other, and remember their loving bonds as brothers. I loved the scenes where both godly brothers go to war against Kronos to save the world and the human race, even though they both know the probable consequence for that action. Between them, and Perseus, Kronos is destroyed and earth is saved.
Zeus is killed, living only long enough to give a loving farewell to Perseus. I really objected to this part of the story, although it is very dramatic. I really thought that Hades should have been killed, and Zeus should have survived to rebuild Olympus. Although perhaps this was really a better punishment for Hades, as his godly powers are now mostly gone, and he may have only a short time to live. He must face his worst fear, all alone.
I, for one, do not believe that the gods had no souls. No beings capable of such depths of feeling, of such great deeds, of such great hopes, could be bereft of immortal souls. So rest in peace Zeus. And Poseidon, and yes, Hades as well. You all did well.
And they left the race of man behind them. Just as flawed, but just as capable of greatness. And perhaps we are better for it, because our accomplishments take so much more effort.
In a way, the ending of this movie reminded me slightly of the end of the story "The Lord of the Rings". The end of both stories see the beginning of the reign of man, and the end of all things of magic. With the gods gone, we have to assume that all the wonders (like Pegasus) and terrors (monsters, demons) will slowly fade away, leaving man in sole possession of the world. The torch is passed, from Zeus to Perseus, to his son, Helios. The gods have gone, but left the half-gods, like Perseus, behind. And they are more human than not.
This movie was fun, a good watching experience. I would recommend it.