I went to see Wrath of the Titans with a buddy of mine last night. Hoo boy.
When I slapped down my coveted 2-for-1 coupon in front of the teller I held no illusions about what I’d gotten us into: a “visual spectacle,” to borrow a weary old phrase. Saddled by the same love of special effects wizardry that led me to see 2012 in theatres, I positioned myself far enough back that I could see the whole screen, close enough to the front that I didn’t have to turn my head to see anything. No popcorn, no drink—just 3D powered eyes, all ahead forward and ready to rock.
So, it rocked. And rolled. And thrashed. And clashed. And crashed. And screamed. And burned. And burned. And burned. And burned. And the hero had really bad hair.
I mean, come on—the posters told us what to expect: Feel the wrath. And they delivered on that promise. You really do feel the wrath—over and over again, until your skull is buzz-numb with spinning, smacking, bone-shattering creature violence. It’s so over the top that by the end, once I’d pried my fingers from the cup holders flanking my seat, I had a primal urge to watch a chick flick about poets and flowers and songs and lots of sighing. With a barely audible Enya sound track lulling me into the sweetest of dreams.
Don’t get me wrong, the special effects are ridiculous. It’s just that I’ve been beaten over the head with them and now my brain is bleeding.
What I found most interesting, though, was the flick’s take on the gods. Near the beginning Zeus says, “Without prayer, the gods lose their power.” IMDb summarizes their plight this way: “Dangerously weakened by humanity’s lack of devotion, the gods are losing control of the imprisoned Titans.” Not good.
Here’s the thing, though: If gods are powered by prayer, then the real power lies with humanity. This, in fact, is exactly the point the film is trying to bludgeon into its viewers, one felled titan at a time. Perseus’ entire universe quite literally goes to pot when people stop believing in the gods holding it together. Once they survive the fallout, humanity is free from the tyranny of petty deities and rises to the dawn of a new era.
The Bible offers a different view of the universe: An all-powerful God loves us so much that he wants to partner with us throughout his creation. Not because he needs us, but because we need him. Because he wants to infuse our lives with purpose and divine power.
Prayer, in the biblical view, is partnership with God. Jesus said that when we pray (and love and serve and give), we become the crossover technology God can use to make the spiritual become physical in the real world. We plant pockets of heaven in the fragile soil of earthy dreams and make a real difference in people’s lives.
The truth is, God isn’t weakened by my lack of devotion.
A little aside: There is a striking biblical parallel to the concept of titans bound beneath the earth, waiting to be released. You can read it for yourself in Revelation chapter 9. It’s pretty cool.
Did you see this movie? What did you think?
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