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Wrath of the Titans

With heaving torsos and maidens just as gladiatorial as their male counterparts ‘Wrath of the Titans’ revels in its battles.  Hardly a high water-mark in film-making its onslaught of CGI beasties and well-muscled heroes has its fans.   As a sequel to 2010’s remake of ‘Clash of the Titans’ it doesn’t deviate from its successful formula with its action recipe intact.  Whether this is a good thing depends on one’s tolerance for such movies with the spectacular visuals its main point of interest.

 

Angered at their defeat at the hands of the Gods, the once powerful Titans plot their revenge.  In their sights is noble God Zeus (Liam Neeson).  Led by his treacherous brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes), the plot to eradicate Zeus and destroy earth gathers apace.  Sensing trouble, Zeus calls upon brave warrior Perseus (Sam Worthington).  Enlisting the help of Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) and others, Perseus walks a perilous path to victory against the vengeful and mighty Titans.

 

‘Wrath of the Titans’ can either be viewed as camp nonsense or a stirring action flick.  Those angles would be correct as this second ‘Wrath’ outing deftly provides both.  The actors ham it up for all its worth with more than a hint of the Monty Python ‘Life of Brian’ style performances looming large.  Surprisingly this doesn’t detract from a reasonably interesting story which betters the original in terms of intrigue.  Characters are forced to use their wits than brawn making for a refreshing change of pace.

 

Whilst the heroes are somewhat on the bland side, the villains are pleasingly conflicted.  This gives them an unpredictable quality with their actions always in question.  Director Jonathan Liebesman maintains a steady pace and mixes the action and spectacular CGI with skill.  Whilst the special effects occasionally over-whelm events, it looks more controlled than similar productions with it aiding the tension.

 

‘Wrath of the Titan’s is pure popcorn escapism.  Thankfully it gives a little more than what you’d expect in terms of story and is an entertaining way in seeing mighty warriors doing anything to achieve victory.

 

Rating out of 10:  6

A Dangerous Method

Continuing a recent trend in moving away from the science fiction/horror hybrid he perfected, director David Cronenberg’s latest is no less engaging.  In his third teaming with actor Viggo Mortensen, his examination of the peculiarities of the human condition in ‘A Dangerous Method’ is just as engrossing as his previous works.  With a trio of characters using their intellect in a game of brinkmanship, their destructive natures seem a perfect fit for his unique story-telling style.

 

At the turn of the 20th century a major emotional battle brews.  Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) and Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen), both keen proponents of psychoanalysis, become infatuated with Sabina (Keira Knightley).  Later to become a famed psychoanalyst in her own right, her presence causes harsh words to be fought between the two esteemed gentlemen.  Whilst clever in science but clueless in the art of seduction, their emotions lead them to examine their increasingly fraught actions.

 

‘A Dangerous Method’ is an interesting study in ego and the power of one’s profession.  Both Jung and Freud had an intellect enabling them to re-define their field.  As this story theorises it finds them using Sabina as a conduit in a psychological war between them.  Cronenberg has fun with twisting fact with fiction as the characters use each other for their own case studies with their disregard for other’s feelings apparent.

 

Whilst these elements make for a generally fine movie, with the cinematography suitably lush, it’s difficult emotionally investing in events.  This is a problem with several of Cronenberg’s works as his character’s cold detachment makes it difficult caring for them.  The actors attempt to bring some genuine passion to their roles however, with Fassbender and Mortensen giving good performances.

 

A dialogue heavy drama ‘A Dangerous Method’ also has enough spicy touches to keep viewers intrigued.  It’s always great seeing history being re-shaped to tell a tantalising tale of which this one most certainly is.

 

Rating out of 10:  7