Leave it to Father Steve Grunow to extract a deep, contemporary theological message from a "sword-and-sandal" flick. But that's why he does this. He's that good. And he didn't fall asleep during the movie, as Father Barron did.Take a mid-Holy Week break to brush up on the recently released "Wrath of the Titans" and read on.
Director Jonathon Liebesman presents the Gotterdammerung of the Olympian deities in “Wrath of the Titans,” the sequel to the remake of the cheesy ‘80s classic, “Clash of the Titans.” Both the classic and its remake took us on a hero’s quest to save a princess in distress, overcome the mayhem caused by gods and mortals, and defeat a monster of gargantuan proportions.
The story is that of Perseus, the offspring of one of Zeus’ dalliances with a mortal maiden. In the original ‘80s version of “Clash of the Titans,” Perseus was a charming fellow with a pleasant disposition who was willing to accept the challenges of his heroic quest with a shrug of his shoulders and an attitude that killing gorgons and slaying krakens is all in a day’s work.
In the remake, Perseus (Sam Worthington) was presented as an angry young man whose petulance and insecurity was matched only by those same qualities in his father, Zeus. His anger seems to have calmed a bit in the new film. Fatherhood has softened his rough edges, enabling him to be a little more sympathetic to his own father, the god Zeus, than he was in the prequel.
The conceit of both “Clash” and “Wrath” is that the gods are being starved of their powers by mortals who refuse to feed them with their prayers. In this respect, the plot is following a motif of projecting modern culture’s skepticism about religion into the ancient past.
Previous sword-and-sandal efforts have followed this trajectory (“300” and “Immortals”), and “Wrath of the Titans” seems to want to remind us that whatever humanity was willing to believe in the past, we are now safely beyond such things (pre-modern people can just be so childish!). I’m glad to have the lesson because prior to such cinematic instruction I was thinking on a lark of reviving the Eleusian Mysteries. Thank you Hollywood!...
"Whom Gods Destroy..."
The film Clash of the Titans
is a heroic adventure story derived from the legendary accomplishments of the demi-god, Perseus (Sam Worthington). It is a remake of master special-effects artist Ray Harryhausen’s last film of the same name. I remember Harryhausen’s films with great fondness, as they made quite an impression on my childhood imagination. The image of the hero, Jason, battling an army of skeletons from the film Jason and the Argonauts
is one cinematic experience that I have never forgotten. The new edition of Clash of the Titans
presents the advances in special effects that have been developed since the release of the old version....