The Atlantic: “Wrath of Titans a Worse but more likely successful John Carter

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Not endorsing this entire article but there are some interesting points in here — and the main takeaway — that Wrath is soulless and John Carter is lovingly crafted, is well taken.  It picks up on the theme that John Carter has been “done wrong” on multiple levels, and have to say I agree with that.

Wrath of the Titans and John Carter (from The Atlantic) 

If ‘Wrath of the Titans’ flops, it will do so in the form today’s Hollywood prefers: safely, quietly, without much of a fuss.

You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who really liked 2010’s Clash of the Titans remake, despite it earning more than $493 million at the worldwide box office. The movie received a pathetic 28 percent rating at Rotten Tomatoes, and Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers, who is known to love popcorn flicks, derided it as a “sham” starring “good actors going for the paycheck and using beards and heavy makeup to hide their shame.” Audiences-polling firm Cinemascore graded enthusiasm for it at “B,” and IMDb users rated it a mediocre 5.8/10.

So there was not much of a clamor for the 3-D sequel Wrath of the Titans, opening today. Nonetheless, the big-budget machinery kicked into full gear, and the second installment of the warring Greek gods-franchise arrives, complete with grimy, mundane wall-to-wall action and terrible dialogue spouted by Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes in long beards and silky robes.

Though it’s likely to be slammed by the second weekend ofHunger Games mania, the film appears headed toward a decent opening performance at the domestic box office. While there are no guarantees, the movie should prove successful enough on a global scale to concretely green-light the obligatory third Titans flick that’s reportedly being planned. This is big studio business as usual: low-risk and low-reward, favoring a familiar franchise that offers familiar goods. If it works financially, it works, and if it doesn’t, oh well.

But there’s a deeper tragedy here. Think about how Titanscompares with the furor that’s greeted another big-budget event movie that opened in March: Disney’s John Carter. In many respects, they’re similar enterprises. Sword-and-sandals epics set in otherworldly pasts, both films feature heroes on quests to save civilization. They have complex labyrinths, allusions to mortality, sprawling battles captured in wide shots and kinetic close-ups, and universes populated by supernatural creatures and dashing, fiercely independent women. They’re fundamentally old-fashioned event movies, structured to offer grand, big-screen escapism.


  • I enjoyed Clash, and I know I’ll enjoy Wrath (which I won’t go see until JC is out of theaters. Devotion, you know). But I can understand the points made about soul. Rarely do we get a real passion project as John Carter is. That is not what brought Titans to the screen. It’s a totally different animal in its origins. You feel the love and devotion in John Carter, and that love moves my heart, while Titans is just spectacle, and fun. 🙂

  • Again, ignore the damn haters. I liked Clash of the Titans, and I will like Wrath of the Titans as well.

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