#277. Zombies!

If there’s been one trope that’s been done to death recently, it’s that of zombies. Perhaps this is due to the influx of post-apocalyptic stories that have been fueled by pessimism about the current aspects for our future. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that these films seem to make money. Perhaps these films are actually spreading via their own version of a zombie virus. Even films that I wouldn’t have thought could have zombies in them end up having zombies in them. Whatever the reason, it seems that almost every year passes with at least one new zombie film gracing the big screen. Of course, just like with any subgenre (this one being of the horror genre originally), eventually they become self-aware. This week’s two films examine a few different methods for dealing with the topic of zombies.

Night of the Living DeadNight of the Living Dead
Year: 1968
Rating: Unrated
Length: 96 minutes / 1.6 hours

Even though it feels like zombies have been in film for a long time, the accepted canon version of them has only been around for about 50 years. Before 1968, zombies weren’t depicted as the reanimated corpses that hunger for human flesh. This distinction was first explored in Night of the Living Dead (1968) and has stuck ever since. The reasons for zombies have varied from genetic experiments, to nuclear disasters, to chemical exposures; regardless of the method of introduction, the destruction of zombies has always remained the same: destroy the brain or set them on fire. There have been many films that have taken zombies seriously, including 28 Days Later (2002) and its sequel, 28 Weeks Later (2007). I’m not a fan of zombie films, but I did appreciate the logic applied in World War Z (2013). Still, Night of the Living Dead stands as the original by which all others are measured.

Scientists couldn’t explain it, but for some reason the dead were coming back to life and craving the flesh of the living. The leading theory was that radiation from a probe that returned from Venus was causing these zombies to attack people. In a small farmhouse in rural Pennsylvania, a collection of survivors have holed up and continue to rebuff the onslaught of the undead. With a few of the survivors being bit by the zombies, the opinion of the remaining survivors is split. Some think they should get medical attention, while others think they should stay put. Setbacks cause the group to remain in the house, waiting for the vigilantes roaming the countryside to come and save them. Unfortunately, now there are zombies inside the house as well, giving the one lone survivor only one option: hole up on the second floor and hope that help will come soon.

ZombielandZombieland
Year: 2009
Rating: R
Length: 88 minutes / 1.47 hours

As with any genre, eventually it’s taken too seriously. This is when the parodies start to appear. The parodies then evolve into comedies. Even well-known zombie films start to become aware of their ridiculous nature. For instance, Sam Raimi‘s The Evil Dead (1981) was a serious take on the zombie theme, which was made a little funnier in Evil Dead II (1987), finally becoming completely self-aware by Army of Darkness (1992). This essentially paved the way for such films like Shaun of the Dead (2004), which takes the classic survival theme and flips it on its head. Even classic plots have been subject to the zombie treatment, the best example of which is the version of Romeo and Juliet that is Warm Bodies (2013). What’s interesting to note is that, even though they’re self-aware, these comedic zombie films still need to follow the same rules as more serious ones.

With the entire United States almost completely wiped out by “mad zombie disease”, the few survivors that remain roam the country for their own purposes. “Columbus” (Jesse Eisenberg) has survived this long by adhering to a set of “rules” that he has discovered to be the key to surviving the apocalypse. On his way back home to Columbus, Ohio, to check on his parents, he runs across “Tallahassee” (Woody Harrelson) and the two team up to increase their safety. While on the way, they come across two girls, “Wichita” (Emma Stone) and “Little Rock” (Abigail Breslin), who trick them and steal their car. After the two guys catch up, the four of them decide to travel to Los Angeles to have some fun, mostly because Columbus now has no home to go back to. Along the way, they meet Bill Murray and accidentally kill him before finally arriving at their destination: Pacific Playland.

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 takes on the zombie theme

#276. Spread the Sickness

Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Winter is now weeks behind us and the colds that go with it have been replaced by seasonal allergies and the arrival of spring. Most of the time we tolerate being sick because we know that it will soon be over and we can go back to our regular lives. In fact, we might even continue to live our lives, despite our ailments. Because some people resort to this, and not to resting in bed, they spread their sickness to everyone around them. Sure, they might cover their mouth when they cough, and they might sneeze into their elbow, but those germs still get out and infect everyone else. This is what can make being sick a gamble: germs are so small that we can’t know where they’ll spread. This week’s two films look into the theme of spreading a sickness.

ContagionContagion
Year: 2011
Rating: PG-13
Length: 106 minutes / 1.76 hours

We live in a global environment. Consequently, certain diseases that might have caused endemics before inter-continental travel became common can now reach pandemic levels. The Ebola scare from a few years ago showed that some of these severe sicknesses can travel across the oceans to potentially infect whole new populations. In film, this topic is rarely covered, but when it is, the result is usually catastrophic. Take Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) for example. A deadly virus that affects humans, but not apes, accidentally infects a traveler on his way to an airport. From there, the virus spreads to each continent and the death toll becomes enormous. By the time Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014) rolls around, humanity is just trying to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. If only the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) could have stopped the spread of the virus, the issue could have been contained.

Never before has a film impelled an audience to wash their hands. From bat to pig to human, the unknown virus, MEV-1 spreads from Hong Kong to the United States. Once it reaches America, some sudden deaths prompt the CDC to investigate. While they try to extract the origins of the virus so that they can develop an effective immunization, panic grips the population. With the mortality rate of the virus being above 25%, most are afraid that they will catch it and die. Not helping the situation, some people are immune, but others lie about their gained immunity to help boost sales of medications that cannot cure the disease. Since tensions are high around the country and in the CDC, certain corners are cut to progress the research of the virus, and some employees of the CDC use their insider information to attempt to save their families. Fortunately, an inoculation is found and the world is now saved from MEV-1.

Night of the Living DeadNight of the Living Dead
Year: 1968
Rating: Unrated
Length: 96 minutes / 1.6 hours

In terms of a global war on sickness, the World Health Organization (WHO) is leading the fight to help keep the entire planet from experiencing a debilitating pandemic. One of their most recent representations on film has been through World War Z (2013). While there may be simple ways to keep microscopic germs from infecting humans through vigorous washing, widespread sterilization, and outright quarantine, what if the sickness is a little more mobile? What if the sickness can find you and attack you, even despite your best efforts? The most common form of this type of sickness is that of zombies. Perhaps the reason so many zombie-related storylines devolve into a full-on global apocalypse is because their mobility and mob mentality help to spread the sickness of the living dead.

After a bizarre incident in a graveyard, Barbra Blair (Judith O’Dea) finds herself on the run after a stranger attacked her and her brother. With her brother now dead, she makes her way to a farmhouse where more individuals like the stranger in the graveyard appear and start to scare her away. Fortunately, Ben (Duane Jones) pulls her inside the house and repels the monsters. What they don’t yet know is that a married couple is locked away in the basement with their daughter. From the radio, Ben learns that the reason the recently deceased are coming back to life and devouring the flesh of the living is due to some radioactivity from an exploded satellite that came back to Earth. He also learns that groups of vigilantes are killing the zombies all over the countryside. Unfortunately, he has enough zombies to deal with inside and outside the house and just barely survives long enough to enjoy the sunrise of a new day.

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 spreading sicknesses

#275. Government Agencies

Ronald Reagan has said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.” One of the reasons of the truth behind this statement is the sheer bureaucracy that is tied to anything with the Government. There have been a few films that have made light of this, including Brazil (1985) and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005), both of which play off of the ridiculous and circuitous nature of the Government and its propensity for filling out forms. Depending on your political opinion, you may think the Government should control everything . . . or you may think they should control nothing but the national defense. Needless to say, there are many agencies that are Government-run that all perform some form of function to help their constituents. This week’s two films examine real and fictional Government agencies.

Men in Black 3Men in Black 3
Year: 2012
Rating: PG-13
Length: 106 minutes / 1.76 hours

While many people want transparency in their Government agencies, the simple fact of the matter is that much of what they do is classified. Somehow, that secrecy is part of what makes these agencies so appealing for use in film. Eventually, these secrets become unclassified, so the real-life stories can be told. No agency is immune from this. From the FBI and J. Edgar (2011), to the CIA and Argo (2012), to the NSA and Snowden (2016), these real situations are sometimes all too unbelievable. On the other side of this coin, one could argue that there are fictional agencies so secret that nobody knows about them. For instance, the Impossible Missions Force (or IMF) from the Mission: Impossible franchise or the Men in Black (or MIB) from its own, titular franchise have given us glimpses into the possible services that Government agencies could provide.

For many decades, the Men in Black have helped to cover up the existence of aliens on Earth. Part of the reason for this is due to the ArcNet, a defense system in orbit around the planet that keeps hostile alien races from attacking Earth. One of these hostile races, the Boglodites, is able to finally penetrate the system when one of their own, Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement), travels back in time to prevent the implementation of the ArcNet. This altered timeline isn’t noticed by anyone, with the exception of MIB Agent J (Will Smith). He has noticed that his partner, Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) has gone missing and takes it upon himself to travel back to 1969 to thwart Boris and save K (Josh Brolin). Along the way, he learns some important history regarding the MIB, as well as some key information regarding his father.

ContagionContagion
Year: 2011
Rating: PG-13
Length: 106 minutes / 1.76 hours

One motif that tends to run through these aforementioned Government agencies is the theme of “protecting the people.” What the populace doesn’t know can’t hurt them, so the goal of the FBI’s and CIA’s is to take care of the threats against the people they are sworn to protect in such a way as to not induce a country-wide panic. Now, these threats are often in the form of terrorists, which are people set on harming the citizens of a particular country or ideology. But what about the threats that come from nature itself? While NOAA can see weather trends (as in The Day After Tomorrow (2004)), there’s little they can do to stop it. Sometimes, nature can even cross the boundaries of countries, making it a global problem. This is why the WHO exists, and partly why it is featured in World War Z (2013). At home in the United States, we have the CDC to help keep us healthy and safe from the nature of sickness.

Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns home to her family with a cold she believes she obtained while on her trip to Hong Kong. Unfortunately, this is no cold and soon she has infected her son, both of whom die soon afterward. Upon the loss of two of his family, Mitch Emhoff (Matt Damon) is distraught, but also quarantined because the authorities think he may be infected as well. Meanwhile, research is being done at the Centers for Disease Control to determine the origin of the virus and to develop an antidote for it. Popular blogger, Alan Krumwiede (Jude Law) suggests there is a natural cure for the disease, which proves to be nothing more than a false statement to help his financial interests. Pressed for time to save the world, Dr. Ally Hextall (Jennifer Ehle) tests an inoculation serum on herself that then proves her vaccine works. Now it’s up to the CDC to inoculate the remaining survivors.

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 awesome agencies

#274. The Time Travel Sequel

As a writer, I have been told that flashbacks should be used sparingly in order to advance the plot. But what if the entire plot of your story is a flashback? What if your story is a prequel to your original material? The jury is still out on whether or not the “prequel” is the right way to go about establishing the foundational concepts for the first part of a story, but what if the next part of the franchise isn’t as much a “prequel” as it is a “time travel sequel?” Obviously, these time travel sequels will most often be part of a science fiction franchise that could allow for time travel in the first place. Still, in these cases there is character development that builds upon the previous films but also explores the origins of the stories themselves. This week’s two films highlight the effectiveness of a “time travel sequel.”

                                                   Star Trek IV: The Voyage HomeStar Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Year: 1986
Rating: PG
Length: 119 minutes / 1.98 hours

Obviously, the franchises that revolve around time travel will have time travel sequels. The clearest example of this would be Back to the Future Part III (1990). A lot can change in one-hundred years and this film merely hammers home the point (which it does in the previous two parts as well) that the timeline of history can be changed. But what if your story is based in the distant future? For the characters who live in the 23rd century, going back in time by three-hundred years would essentially place them in the timeframe where we currently live. While we couldn’t know the impacts on the future that these 23rd century characters might make to their timeline, the more interesting element to this scenario (as it is in any time travel sequel) is to see the differences between two drastically different eras.

What do you do when a mysterious probe is causing electrical disturbances throughout the universe? If you’re the crew of the USS Enterprise, you identify that the signal the probe is sending out is identical to the call of an extinct animal. Of course, with the animal needed to stop the probe being completely eradicated, the only option is to travel back in time to retrieve one of them while they were still alive. For the crew of the Enterprise, this animal was the humpback whale, thus prompting them to travel back to 1986 and retrieve a few of them from San Francisco. Of course, going back three-hundred years had its challenges, but now modifying the spaceship to take the humpback whales into the future is its own challenge. Finally successful, the crew returns to the future to answer the call of the probe, causing it to cease its destructive march across the universe.

Men in Black 3Men in Black 3
Year: 2012
Rating: PG-13
Length: 106 minutes / 1.76 hours

Sometimes, the time travel sequels can be done in a flashback context. For instance, The Godfather: Part II (1974) is both a prequel and a sequel to The Godfather (1972), splitting half it’s time developing the story of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) in the late 1950’s while also paralleling it with the rise of his father, Vito Corleone (Robert DeNiro), during the turn of the 20th century. In a similar vein, X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) switches between an apocalyptic and dystopian future and the events in the 1970’s that eventually led up to this bleak timeline. Perhaps this is what makes a time travel sequel different from a flashback sequel (like The Godfather: Part II): a time travel sequel attempts to change something or collect something in the past to help save the future. This is certainly the case in the third installment of the Men in Black franchise: Men in Black 3 (2012).

Escaping from his prison on the moon, Boris the Animal (Jemaine Clement) sets out to take revenge on the agent who sent him there: Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) of the Men in Black. Because the events that led to his capture also prevented his species from invading earth, Boris travels back in time to eliminate the younger K. K’s partner, Agent J (Will Smith), is now the only one who recognizes that something is amiss. He doesn’t understand why everyone has forgotten about K, which leads Agent O (Emma Thompson) to deduce that the timeline has changed. Travelling back to 1969, J teams up with the younger K to stop both past and future Boris from enacting his plan. Not only does J have to prevent K from being killed, but he now has to attach a defense system to Apollo 11 that will protect Earth for decades to come.

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 retro sequels

#273. Star Trek

One of the most defining television series of all time, Star Trek revolutionized science fiction on the small screen. While the original series has spawned a number of follow-on series, very few of them have been able to capitalize on the popularity of the crew like the group that appeared in the late 1960’s. In fact, aside from a handful of films based on Star Trek: The Next Generation, practically all of Star Trek’s 13 films are based on the original crew. After a film reboot (and two sequels) that angered many “Trekkies” due to its blasé attitude toward the source material canon, time will tell if the newfound popularity of Star Trek amongst non-Trekkies will carry on through the new television series that began this year. Still, Star Trek’s presence on the big screen is notable. This week’s two films highlight some of the gems of the Star Trek films.

                                                  Star Trek II: The Wrath of KhanStar Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Year: 1982
Rating: PG
Length: 113 minutes / 1.88 hours

While today’s Hollywood will jump at an opportunity to adapt a television show into a major motion picture, this wasn’t always the case. One of the unique elements of the Star Trek films is the fact that the original cast from the television show reprised their roles on the big screen. This was despite the fact that the television show ended ten years prior to the first film in the series. Appearing three years after its original, The Wrath of Khan proves to be a much better film due to a much needed antagonist, which was missing from the first movie. In Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), most of the movie is spent watching the USS Enterprise panning across far-out space scenes and the reactions of the crew as they sit there and wait to find an abandoned satellite that was sending out menacing signals. A similar plot to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982) was used for the reboot sequel, Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013).

What started as a T.V. episode entitled “Space Seed” fifteen years prior, The Wrath of Khan sees the exiled villain, Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán), enacting his revenge on now-Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner). Khan infiltrates Starfleet via some mind-control creatures and is able to commandeer the USS Reliant, which he uses to attack the space station, Regula I. In doing so, he hopes to gain control of the “Genesis Device”, which he plans to use for his own, nefarious purposes. Receiving a distress signal from Regula I, the Enterprise comes to the rescue but falls into the Reliant’s ambush. While Kirk excels in space battles and is able to cripple the Reliant, the Enterprise has been seriously damaged and cannot escape. With Captain Spock’s (Leonard Nimoy) sacrifice, the Enterprise is restored and able to get away.

Star Trek IV: The Voyage HomeStar Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Year: 1986
Rating: PG
Length: 119 minutes / 1.98 hours

It has been noted that, of the many Star Trek films, the “even” ones are the best. Perhaps the reason for this is because the second and fourth films are the bookends of the first “trilogy” in the Star Trek film franchise. After The Wrath of Khan, its direct sequel, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), carried on the storyline that reunited the crew after the tragic loss of one of its key members. What is also notable about the third and fourth films is that they were directed by none other than Leonard Nimoy (who portrays Spock in the television series and films). Perhaps it is this close tie to the source material that helped make Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) an entertaining film. In fact, of all the Star Trek films, The Voyage Home is perhaps the most comedic, as it shows the contrast between our world and the world of the future.

On their way back to Earth to face punishment for destroying the USS Enterprise, the crew of the former starship receive a distress signal from Starfleet warning them to not come to Earth because an unknown probe has been wreaking havoc nearby. The now-resurrected Spock (Leonard Nimoy) recognizes the sound of the probe as the call of the now-extinct humpback whale. Using their commandeered Klingon ship, the crew slingshots around the sun to travel back in time to 1984. Landing in San Francisco, the members of the crew break into smaller groups to repair the ship, obtain some humpback whales, and outfit the ship to carry them to the future. Eventually, each group succeeds but not without a few comedic, cultural shocks along the way. Repeating the slingshot around the sun, the crew returns to the future and saves the Earth from the probe, now that its call has been answered.

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 travels through the stars

#272. Wrath!

What differentiates anger from full-out wrath? I’ve discussed groups of angry people before in this blog, so you may be asking yourself, “What makes wrath any different?” Wrath, simply put, is merely the extreme edge of anger. Characters in film can be angry, like in Network (1976) with Howard Beale’s (Peter Finch) cry of, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!” But without the character acting upon this extreme anger, it will remain as simply anger. Usually, the actions that result from our anger are categorized as “wrath”. If we want people to “feel our wrath”, we need to do something that affects them significantly; otherwise our sentiment of ire will not come across clearly. This week’s two films highlight some characters who have become angry enough that they turn to wrath.

Wrath of the TitansWrath of the Titans
Year: 2012
Rating: PG-13
Length: 96 minutes / 1.6 hours

Oftentimes, the concept of wrath is one closely tied to deities. Mythological gods are fickle and moody, so it was up to the ancient civilizations to keep them appeased. After all, the gods had enough power to destroy these ancient people if they wanted to. While we now know the meteorological reasons behind lightning, tornadoes, hurricanes, volcano eruptions, earthquakes, and other natural disasters, it is easy to see why these uneducated individuals would think that the gods were mad at them. Even the Biblical deity has been known to mete out wrath upon His disobedient and sinful people. Time and again the Israelites would screw up and He would have to punish them. Where this God is different is the love and forgiveness He has that allows everyone to make the same mistakes again. That being said, just straight up wrath is the only exciting part of this process, cinematically that is.

After squelching the wrath of Poseidon (Danny Huston) in Clash of the Titans (2010), Perseus (Sam Worthington) is trying to live a quiet life away from the mercurial drama of the gods. Unfortunately, the power of the gods has begun to wane and his father, Zeus (Liam Neeson), comes to ask for his help. With treachery in the ranks of the gods, Hades (Ralph Fiennes) manages to kill Zeus and Poseidon as he prepares to make a plea to the Titan Kronos to spare him. After Perseus’ village is attached by a Chimera, he teams up with Poseidon’s son, Agenor (Toby Kebbell), and Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike) to reach Tartarus, the place where Kronos is imprisoned. Having gathered up the weapons of the three gods, Perseus now wields the Spear of Trium, the sole weapon that can stop the rampaging Kronos.

Star Trek II: The Wrath of KhanStar Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Year: 1982
Rating: PG
Length: 113 minutes / 1.88 hours

While one might expect me to mention The Grapes of Wrath (1940) in this post, it doesn’t necessarily align with the idea of wrath being an actionable extension of anger. Sure, the people who were affected by the Dust Bowl were angry at their helpless situation, and they may have felt that some god was being wrathful toward them, but they themselves were not wrathful. Turn now to the distant future: the year 2285. New civilizations and worlds are being discovered by the Earth-based Starfleet, so there is always a chance of coming across a planet filled with wrathful inhabitants. Of course, the individuals who are the most wrathful are the ones who have been wronged by Starfleet. They are the ones who hold a vendetta against the organization and the individuals therein. They are the ones wrathfully doling out their own justice.

The crew of the USS Reliant beam down to the surface of Ceti Alpha VI in their search for an inhospitable planet that can be used to test the Genesis device. Upon their arrival, they are captured by Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán), a genetically engineered individual who was banished to the planet along with his genetically engineered crew fifteen years ago. Seizing this opportunity, he implants two of the crew with eels that he can use to control them to enact his revenge on Admiral James Kirk (William Shatner), the individual who banished him long ago and whom he blames for the death of his wife and child. Khan first goes after Kirk’s former lover and their child, which prompts Kirk to come to their rescue. Khan and Kirk eventually face off in a space battle, of which Kirk is the eventual winner, due in part to Captain Spock’s (Leonard Nimoy) heroic sacrifice.

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 angry antagonists

#271. Mythological Gods

Centuries before science was able to explain any observable phenomenon, most people resorted to mythological gods as an explanation. Everything from sickness, to natural disasters, to the movement of the sun across the sky was given a “logical” explanation via the all-powerful hands of gods. Of course, now we all know how our universe works and the idea of gods controlling each of these explainable phenomena seems ridiculous to us. Regardless of this, we still find the idea of mythological gods to be an entertaining one. They represent our dreams of unlimited power, but also highlight that even the most accomplished and powerful of individuals have flaws that can lead to their undoing. This week’s two films examine mythological gods as they appear in today’s modern movies.

ThorThor
Year: 2011
Rating: PG-13
Length: 115 minutes / 1.92 hours

If modern humanity has any mythological gods, they are most certainly confined to the pages of comic books. These are the characters that inspire us with their super-human strengths and skills. While some superheroes have more humble lives behind their masks (like Peter Parker in Spider-man (2002)), others have origin stories that herald from distant planets (like Kal-El in Superman (1978)). However, there is one superhero who has been pulled directly from his mythological source and placed into comic books. Thor, the Norse god of thunder, is merely one of many gods from this diverse and rich mythological background created by the Scandinavian natives who lived in northern Europe centuries ago. Recognizing the intriguing lore that resides in Norse legends, Marvel has capitalized on this with a trilogy of films centered around this god of thunder.

In Thor (2011), the eponymous god of thunder (portrayed by Chris Hemsworth) finds himself banished to Earth and stripped of his power because he decided to act out and attack the Frost Giants of Jotunheim. This is good news for Loki (Tom Hiddleston), the trickster god, because he has been vying for his father’s throne, despite not being a biological son to Odin (Anthony Hopkins). After regaining his powers and learning of his brother’s deception, Thor returns to Asgard to stop Loki’s plan by destroying the Bifröst Bridge that connects the nine realms. After Thor defeats his brother again in The Avengers (2012), the two of them team up to defeat the Dark Elves in Thor: The Dark World (2013). Later this year, the trilogy will be complete with Thor: Ragnarök (2017), wherein Hela (Cate Blanchett), the Norse goddess of death, could lead to the destruction of Asgard as we know it.

Wrath of the TitansWrath of the Titans
Year: 2012
Rating: PG-13
Length: 96 minutes / 1.6 hours

Despite almost every ancient culture having their own set of mythological gods, there are only a handful that are well-known throughout popular culture. Aside from the aforementioned Norse mythology, there are gods from Greco-Roman mythology, Egyptian mythology, and Hindu mythology, just to name a few. Surprisingly enough, there have not been many films that focus on these myths and legends. Recently, Gods of Egypt (2016) has brought Egyptian gods to the big screen, much like its Stargate (1994) and The Mummy (1999) predecessors have done. In terms of the Greek myths, the Percy Jackson series has brought these familiar gods into the modern realm. However, holding true to the original timeframe of the myths, Clash of the Titans (2010) and its sequel, Wrath of the Titans (2012), have been the most recent CGI-fueled action films to portray these gods in their original context.

Years after the events of Clash of the Titans, Perseus (Sam Worthington) tries to live a simple life as a fisherman with his son, Helius (John Bell). Unfortunately, Zeus (Liam Neeson) appears and asks Perseus to help the gods prevent the reawakening of the Titan Kronos. After refusing his father’s plea, Perseus soon finds himself fighting the monsters that have erupted from Tartarus, now that the gods’ power has weakened. Meanwhile, Zeus and Poseidon (Danny Huston) have been betrayed by their brother, Hades (Ralph Fiennes), who wants to make a deal with Kronos to maintain his immortality. Perseus has now teamed up with Queen Andromeda (Rosamund Pike), the Princess he saved in Clash of the Titans, to collect the three gods’ weapons to form the Spear of Trium, the only weapon powerful enough to defeat Kronos.

2 sum it up: 2 films, 2 mythological movies