I saw the Clash
remake in theatres, which was a waste of money considering I'd already bought a copy when it was a video game called God Of War
. It gave me a greater appreciation for Mads Mikkelsen, and not a lot else. When I discovered Wrath
was going to exist, I didn't even bother that far, since I knew what to expect.
The first problem with these silly remakes is that they try to cram in a video game's worth of plot and content into a two-hour movie. The result is very, very rushed. Monsters and characters drop in like contractually-obligated cameos, and to save time on exposition the movies assume you are familiar with Classical Mythology
—even though their take on the characters is Not As You Know Them
, starting with Everyone Hates Hades
and going from there. (An Achaean princess not knowing who Hephaestus is? Come on.) The Not Even Bothering With The Accent
is jarring, though given that Greece was nowhere near united at the time, perhaps it oughtn't be. And the gods only know about the costuming—evidently those leather jerkins are straight out of The Middle Ages
The second problem is that, as per usual with action films, there is nothing pulling on your heartstrings. In God of War
we an interesting Anti Hero
to distract us from some of the best gameplay in the history of the medium (win-win). In this franchise we just have... well, sidekicks fair better; Mikkelsen is a breath of fresh air in the first movie, and Toby Kebbell keeps the jokes going in the second. But it just isn't enough, especially when there's no development or
exploration. Ralph Fiennes hams it up because that's what he does; in the second film, Edgar Ramirez (Ares) joins him. Perseus, stoic-faced as always, battles on because the writer threw a Doomed Hometown
at him; there's no heart, no psychology, no motivation. Emotional investment is created by characterization, and a film that lacks the latter will, by definition, lack the former. These films prove it.
And Bill Nighy as Hephaestus? Look, I love the man, but if you can't find a character that suits him, maybe you shouldn't put him in the film. Especially after Rip Torn's performance.
So, my verdict? Play God of War
. Yeah, the play controls are harder than "put ass in seat," but it's a better movie than these. And it's not even a movie.