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Wrath of the Titans: Bland Action Sequel
Hades (Fiennes) and Ares (Ramirez) have conspired to kidnap Zeus (Neeson) and use his power to break Kronos, king of the titans and father of Hades, Zeus and Poseidon (Huston), out of Tartarus, where his three sons had imprisoned him after they overthrew him. Only Perseus (Worthington), Zeus’ demigod son, can avert this calamity and save the world. Accompanied by Queen Andromeda (Pike) and Poseidon’s demigod son Agenor (Kebbell), the trio try to find a way to free Zeus from the underworld so he can help them in the fight against Kronos.
The film’s plot fulfils only one purpose: to connect the various fights and battle scenes together. Seriously, don’t question anything or you’ll uncover a ton of gaping plot holes. And while these fights are initially pretty cool, after Perseus has fought a chimera, Cyclops and a Minotaur, you start to get kind of bored and then there are still battles with Hades and Ares and Kronos to sit through. And while the fights /mythical creatures look good, there’s nothing particularly exceptional about them that’ll hold your attention for the entire film.
The film looks blandly pretty in a sand-strewn kind of way. Everything looks good but nothing stands out or grabs your attention. These swords and sandals flicks are a dime a dozen and after last year’s Immortals, the bar has been raised tremendously on eye popping visuals. Unoriginality seems to be a common thread here because the 3D is absolutely wasted. It’s mainly used only to chuck a bunch of rocks at the audience. There are some scenes that are pretty eye popping though. Perseus, Andromeda and Agenor trying to navigate their way through a labyrinth to get to Kronos comes to mind. The labyrinth’s walls shift, tilt and rearrange themselves while the trio try to get through it before they’re squeezed to a bloody pulp or tossed off the edge.
The most surprising thing about the film is how it’s filled with heavyweight actors who are barely recognisable. Both Fiennes and Nighy were unrecognisable under their costumes and wigs. But the problem wasn’t just in their appearance. These two actors who are usually pretty electric just weren’t even trying. And it wasn’t just them either. Worthington continues his quest to blend into the background of every film he’s in and Neeson sleepwalks through his dignified, wise man shtick.
Wrath of the Titans can be summed up in three words: beige, bland, and forgettable.
Bearing strong resemblances to Stephen King’s undeniably terrifying 1990’s thriller, Misery- minus Kathy Bates and its unnerving energy, of course - Michael Polish’s Amnesiac - written by Amy Kolquist and Mike Lee - fails to deliver the goods, falling short of the thrills needed to keep audiences on its toes.
Amnesiac introduces Man (Bentley) - who remains unnamed throughout the proceedings along with the rest of the cast - who has just woken up from a coma, finding himself bed-bound in an unfamiliar home with no memory of how he got there. He is soon greeted by Woman (Bosworth), who informs him that she is his wife and that she is there to nurse him back to health.
Uncertain about her intentions, Man soon begins to be haunted by a series of flashbacks which take him back to a time just before the car accident occurred where he sees the face of a mysterious little girl (Keegan) sitting in the back seat. While he works hard to put the pieces of his fragmented memory back into place, his ‘wife’ starts acting strangely and even tries to rekindle their ‘marriage’ via strange acts of seduction.
While it might be fun to watch Bosworth play the role of a bizarre-looking, creepily serene and a psychotic woman who spends most of her time looking dazed whilst blurting out random trivia, there just isn’t enough personality or character to the rest of the story to keep viewers engaged. Sombre and with a handful of moments of violence and gore, the biggest problem with Amnesiac is that it lacks depth. The film doesn’t really explore its character’s motivations or impulses, which is particularly puzzling when it comes to Bosworth’s character; her inexplicable behaviour is never explained, leaving the film and its overall impact with an underwhelming sense of incompletion.
As hard as he might have tried, Bentley is no James Caan - that’s not to say the Bosworth came anywhere near the greatness of one Kathy Bates, wither - and his bedridden moments of pure despair fail to really pull you into his predicament, leaving us with very little reason to care for his wellbeing.
Much like the film itself, he’s indistinctive as a character and a little too forgettable as the protagonist of the piece. The set-up is there – man wakes up to a life he knows nothing about and subsequently falls into a rabbit hole of lies and truths – but the execution and overall innovation just isn’t there.
Previously titled, All Creatures Big and Small and Two by Two before that, Oops! Noah is Gone is the latest European animated-take on the familiar Bible tale which has decided to spin the story of Noah’s Ark and tell it through the eyes of the animals. Cute but, awfully unengaging, the film manages to offer a few laughs but, unfortunately, not enough to override its flimsy script and generally unexciting plot.
The story follows the escapades of Dave (Malloney) and his son, Finny (Magennis); a pair of brightly-coloured troll-like creatures called Nestrians, who are shocked to learn that they won’t be allowed on board the specially-designed ark that is to take all of the animals of the world to safety until the enormous flood passes.
In order to sneak past the security, the two decide to dress up and disguise themselves as members of Hazel (Flynn) and her daughter, Leah’s(Connolly) family; cat-like beings called the grymps. However, when the floodwaters begin to rise, Finny and his newly-found ‘sister’ soon find themselves separated from the big boat and join forces with a blob-like creature called, Obesey (Tylak) who will help the two youngsters find their way back to the arc while their parents, are doing everything in their power to convince the lion captain (voiced by Stanford) to go back and find their kids.
Written and directed by Toby Genkel and Sean McCormack, Oops! Noah is Gone isn’t the worst animated feature you’ll see; the bright colours and the zany pacing will keep the youngsters happy and there’s a certain level of cuteness behind its main characters that even adults can’t deny. However, it’s certainly not the best one out there, either. Standing as a cross-between Ice Age, Madagascar and Finding Nemo - minus the heart – Oops! Noah is Gone – a film with almost no mention of Noah - feels underdeveloped and annoyingly unfocused and while kids may have fun watching it unfold frantically on screen, there’s nothing to appeal to adults.
The jokes – of the poo-poo and pee-pee nature mostly – are aplenty and the quality of the CGI, although decent enough, don’t have that wow factor that is expected from an animated feature of 2015 which unfortunately, has to share its world with the ‘big boys of animation’ such as DreamWorks and Pixar.