In the mythical world of Greece, a war is brewing between men and the gods of Mount Olympus. Zeus, the king of the gods, has overthrown the ruling Titans with his brother Poseidon and Hades. The killing blow is struck by Hades’ creation, The Kraken, which is now locked away in the deep sea. Zeus had conspired with Poseidon, who was given control of the oceans, and relegated the underworld to Hades. Hades harbors resentment for being given this realm and awaits the day when he will sit on the throne of Olympus.
Zeus (Liam Neeson) had fathered a child with the mortal wife of the king of Argos in retaliation for the king claiming independence of the gods. Zeus and his twelve Olympians cannot survive without the love and devotion of the humans. The wife bears Zeus’s child and in anger, the Argos king puts his wife and child into a coffin and throws it into the sea. The child survives, being a demi-god and all, and is found by a kind-hearted fisherman who raises the boy - Perseus (Sam Worthington) - as his own.
When the family goes to honor at the statue of Zeus, they find the soldiers of Argos destroying it. Then, suddenly Hades (Ralph Fiennes) rises in a cloud of black smoke in the form of things that look like the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz (only deadlier and without the cute clothes) and goes about killing the men. When he spots Perseus on the family fishing vessel, he destroys the boat and his family. Perseus is rescued from the sea and brought to the court of the new king of Argos. The city and the court are filled with people who are openly defying the gods. The queen declares that her daughter, Andromeda (Alexa Davalos), is more beautiful and perfect than the gods. Hades again appears in the black smoke and turns the queen into an old hag. He gives the king an ultimatum of having Argos completely wiped out or sacrificing his beautiful daughter to The Kraken. Before he leaves he outs Perseus as the son of Zeus, thus setting up Perseus to find a way of destroying The Kraken from the three blind witches.
Perseus sets off across the barren wilderness accompanied by soldiers, adventurers, and Io (Gemma Arterton), a demi-god who is being punished by having to endure immortality and never having to grow old, remaining young and beautiful forever. Sucks, huh? The last half of the movie involves fighting scorpion-like creatures, Medusa, and the man that used to be Argos’s king now deformed and possessed by Hades. Then comes the final battle with The Kraken. There’s lots of fighting and CGI that should have been rendered amazing by 3D. But instead, it only enhances the futility of trying to transfer a 2D movie into a 3D movie after the fact and begs the question of why bother with the technology?
Director Louis Leterrier, who also did The Incredible Hulk and Transporter 2, knows his way around heavy CGI action movies. It would have been more palatable if the story, by Travis Beachman, Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi, was more epic rather than an excuse to fight more monsters. Worthington does a good job playing the good guy who doesn’t want to be a demi-god while running around in a skirt. Liam Neeson didn’t have to project anything until the “release The Kraken” Line. Ralph Fiennes steals the movie with his hunched over smarmy back-stabbing and underhanded underworlder, trying to double-cross his brothers. The movie is not a complete loss; it’s entertaining with its non-stop action, when the action is happening. It was just disconcerting at times when I had the original movie still rolling around in my head and I was drawing comparisons. At least they gave a visual nod to the mechanical owl from the first film. (Review by Reesa Cruz Hawkins of Dallas Movie Screenings)