Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters (2013)
Years ago a group of half-bloods were making their way to camp, the home for demi gods like themselves. As they reached the camp they were attacked and one of the company, Thalia (Paloma Kwiatkowski) – half blood daughter of Zeus, gave their life so that the other three might live. To make sure her sacrifice was not in vain Zeus gave her a new life as a tree that provided a barrier around the camp that would be impenetrable by those who wish to harm the children of the gods. Thalia’s tree has protected the camp without fail till now. Someone has poisoned the tree making it vulnerable and easy to penetrate. The demi gods must save their tree or they could be fighting for their lives. The only thing that can restore the tree is the Golden Fleece which is found in the Sea of Monsters. Percy (Logan Lerman), son of Poseidon and his friends, Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) and Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) plus his newly discovered cyclops half brother Tyson (Douglas Smith) set out for the Sea of Monsters to retrieve the fleece against all odds. Also starring Leven Rambin, Jake Abel, Anthony Head, Stanley Tucci, Connor Dunn, Nathan Fillion, Alisha Newton, Bjorn Yearwood, Samuel Braun, Katelyn Mager, Mary Birdsong, Yvette Nicole Brown, Missi Pyle, Christopher Redman, Robert Knepper.
Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters is an action packed adventure that is fun to watch and certainly better than its predecessor but it still doesn’t really live up to its potential in my humble opinion. Based on the novel by Rick Riordan, I can’t speak to the movie’s faithfulness to its inspiration so I will leave that to those who are more knowledgable like my little sister! Instead I will focus on the movie itself and the mythology. Sea of Monsters thankfully steps everything up a notch from the first movie. The action is more prevalent and better done. The attack of a metal fire breathing bull at the beginning sets a great tone for the rest of the film. Although I have to admit that this battle scene was a bit cooler than the final battle, which is just too bad. The special effects are definitely up to snuff, even I was scared of the giant boat eating sea monster and Kronos was pretty damn scary too. The biggest downside of the film for me was two-fold. The acting was mediocre and with a more heartfelt story line in this one you really wanted it draw some emotion out of you and it didn’t. Note that this comment is coming from a woman who cries at everything so for me to not cry at the crucial moments to me says they didn’t give it all their heart. Also the presentation of the story was a hangup for me. If you don’t know your great mythology then you are just screwed. I remember some from my school days and a quick lesson from my sister before the movie started, and without that I just would have been completely lost. Not good! I think the writer assumed that everyone had seen the first film and that they read the book or new greek mythology by heart. Don’t assume it just makes a….well you know the saying. I think this could have been an 8 film with a bit more heart and if they had taken a little more time to present the mythology to the audience in a more straight forward manner. I wasn’t bored watching Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters and I don’t think you will be either. At the same time however I wasn’t in awe and can only hope that since this movie showed marked improvement from the first, the third movie will finally find its sweet spot!
7/10 Stars – Makes me want to re-read some Greek Mythology so I am ready for the third movie!
Now that we are at the 2nd film in the series, you have to think to yourself “If I didn’t read the book, than why should I watch this movie?” Well to be honest, there really isn’t any reason to watch this series if you never read the books (and I haven’t.) The story tries to incorporate ancient mythology and get kids interested in that culture, but I’ve played a video game series named God of War that did that job better (plus The Odyssey is one of my favorite books). Unlike the 3 Harry Potter kids, these kids seem to be awkward not very good actors but maybe that’s me feeling disconnected from the characters because I never read the books. The action is the only impressive thing here. The special effects are pretty good and they keep you watching. I think there are some pretty good scenes that perked my interest like the Bull Fight or the big monster in the ocean, but then some of the scenes were just to show off special effects and that was over-the-top like riding the multi-colored sea horse out to the yacht. If this movie had a more original impressive ending, I would have been sucked in more, but it is timid, bland and disappointing. Bottom line is Percy Jackson is trying desperately to be the next Harry Potter, but it never will be because it just isn’t as good in every comparison and lackluster story telling.
6/10 Stars – Would be a 5 normally, but a couple of action sequences were flashy enough to keep me watching.
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