Percy Jackson – Sea of Monsters Movie Review

ImageFinally, there is no longer a need for a countdown to what fans have been eagerly awaiting – Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters has battled its way into theaters! Despite its predecessor’s critical fail – The Lightning Thief had purists clutching author Rick Riordan’s book in tears – legions of fans, even the cynical one-time enthusiasts, will be drawn to the theaters. This time, with the right mindset, they won’t be disappointed.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, fans will know that The Lightning Thief screwed up big time by not including key characters, scrambling the plot until it’s unrecognizable, and casting older actors who don’t look like how the book described their 13-year old characters. The only magnet of the film is undoubtedly its star, Logan Lerman. Fanatics will be glad to hear in this new addition to the franchise that yes, key characters have been casted, the plot’s 50% truer to the book, and the characters are now about 19 years old, closer to the actors’ real ages.

The movie starts off with an introduction to Clarisse (Leven Rambin), a tough, competitive bully who seems to beat Percy at everything. So, when she’s selected to go on a quest to retrieve the Golden Fleece, the only thing that can restore the protective barrier around camp, Percy starts to doubt his abilities and wonders if saving the world was only beginner’s luck. When best friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson), a satyr, is kidnapped, Percy and Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) head out to the Sea of Monsters, otherwise known to humans as the Bermuda Triangle. They confront old nemesis Luke (Jake Abel) who has more up his sleeve than you think, including the resurrection of an evil, powerful Titan.

As an avid Percy fan myself, I enjoyed the new additions to this movie including Mr. D, camp director (deadpanning Stanley Tucci), the god Hermes (humorous Nathan Fillion), and Percy’s half Cyclops brother Tyson (Douglas Smith). The plot is truer to the book than in the first movie. The film still leaves out crucial parts, but in the end the plot reaches the same destination as the book – it just takes a different route. I was just a bit disappointed at its short runtime of 106 minutes. I felt that the producers could have included more scenes from the book if runtime was extended.

Performances are solid, especially from the threatening Jake Abel and competitive Leven Rambin. There isn’t much character development, only witty banters back and forth. I mourned the nonexistence of Percabeth, the Percy and Annabeth romance. The only side plot that I really appreciated was the poignant brother relationship between Percy and half-brother Tyson.

CGI is believable but not groundbreaking. Battle scenes are very intense, packed with scary monsters and a mechanical bull. However, there’s dullness between the action scenes, putting the viewer on a roller coaster of high excitement and brief boredom. As for the Greek mythology element, although the gods themselves don’t make an appearance, the history is recounted which will surely urge audiences to conduct a little research of their own.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters passes as a summer flick, rated 4 out of 5 stars, appropriate for ages 7 and above. 3D is only noticeable at the beginning and at the end, but I did manage to forget I was in a theater and immerse myself completely. My advice for the fans is to watch PJSOM apart from the book, meaning that although books will always triumph over movies, this flick stands well on its own. As for me, I just can’t wait until the unlikely event that a Percy Jackson movie is rated PG-13 – showing the darker, more intense side of Greek mythology.

First Published at kidspickflicks


About Cassandra Hsiao

Cassandra Hsiao is a senior at OCSA (Orange County School of the Arts). Her work has been nationally recognized by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and National Student Poets Program. She has been chosen as finalists of playwriting competitions held by California Young Playwrights, The Blank Theatre, Writopia Labs, and Princeton University. Her poetry, essays and reviews have appeared in TeenReads, Jet Fuel Review, Feminine Inquiry, Aerie International and more. She also conducts print and on-camera interviews as a Star Reporter and Film Critic for multiple online outlets. She won a National Gracie Award in Student Online Video Host Category by The Alliance for Women in Media Foundation .

Posted on August 12, 2013, in Movie Reviews, Star Rapture Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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