Director: Thor Freudenthal.
Cast: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith, Leven Rambin, Brandon T. Jackson, Jake Abel.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters – Review
In every summer movie season, there has to be at least one dud. Unfortunately, that dud is Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.
Before I completely rip this movie a new one, please know that I understand this movie is not made for my age demographic. I’m sure if I was a twelve-year-old girl, seeing Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson would set my heart on fire and I could easily ignore the lackluster dialogue, lack of tension, and overall idiocy of the characters. But alas, I am not a twelve-year-old.
Camp Half-Blood, the place where demi-god children are sent to train for… whatever it is they train for, is threatened after a mechanical bull breaks through the protective wall around the camp and a very important tree begins to die. As a result, Percy and his rag-tag team of friends, Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), the satyr Grover (Brandon T. Jackon), and Percy’s half-brother, Tyson (Douglas Smith), set-out on their journey to locate the Golden Fleece that has healing abilities to bring anything back to life, including the tree.
At this point, the movie moves from tolerable to just plain irritating. There isn’t any time devoted to character development. Outside of Percy clearly having daddy-issues as demonstrated by multiple predictable and boring monologues with an unresponsive body of water, no time is spent on really giving these characters back-stories or personalities worth remembering.
If anything, you find yourself getting annoyed by the teens’ delayed responses in moments meant to be stressful, Percy’s determination to be the “nice guy”, characters patching family relationships at the worst possible moments, and generally making poor decisions. By half-way through the movie, you’re really hoping they all die so you can go home.
In addition to this, the elements that stray from the book seem to serve no real purpose. For instance, they place Nathan Fillion as Hermes, in a UPS store that transforms into a mythical-delivery service where he’s upstaged by animated snakes. Fillion does make an inside joke about Firefly that I’m sure their audience-base noticed and appreciated. Not.
One bright spot (albeit a small one) was the action sequences themselves, for as much CGI as there was in the film, at least it looked fairly good. Watching Tyson stonewall a mechanical bull, get blasted by fire, and emerge unscathed was pretty impressive to watch, as was any scene involving Percy summoning his sea powers to wreck havoc on his enemies. However, these moments end up being few and far between, with most of the film dedicated to goofy dialogue and forced exposition.
Let’s also just let this one fact sink in… the movie is called Sea of Monsters… Monsters. With an S. Well, unless I blinked and missed it, there is only one sea monster and it was basically a stomach. Underwhelming to say the least.
They also poorly executed what could have been the saving grace for the movie. When Kronos, the ultimate bad-guy is released, they rush the action sequence and he’s gone as quickly as he appeared.
Overall, the only characters that add glimmers of hope are Stanley Tucci, as Dionysus and Tyson, Percy’s Cyclops half-brother. Unfortunately, Tucci isn’t in the movie long enough to distract from the overall blandness and Tyson spends most of his time tolerating the incessant hostility of Annabeth throughout the movie. However, his constant cheerfulness when faced with open rudeness begins to make him less likable. I kept hoping he would ditch the pleasantries and go Cyclops on her and eat her!
It’s sad to say after the enjoyment I had for the first movie, but Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters gave up on itself. It knows that to attract the younger crowd, they can get away with average acting and lots of CGI effects.
If you’re looking for a movie about kids battling evil and saving the world, save yourself ten bucks and re-watch Harry Potter.