Movie Review: “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters”

While Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief wasn’t able to reach the pinnacle of success for young-adult book movie-adaptations in the same breath as Harry Potter or the Hunger Games, it wasn’t a complete and utter failure. It is certainly an improvement over movies such as Beautiful Creatures, The Mortal Instruments, and Eragon, which also yearned to achieve the same successes.

At the very least, it had enough going for it that they had enough faith for a sequel, bringing the cast back together, and trying for an adaptation of the positive received novel of the same name. I watched this movie for the first time immediately after watching the Lightning Thief, suggesting that I was at least somewhat entertained and amused by the characters. I went into it expecting gradual improvements from the previous movie, and I can’t completely decide whether that is what I got or not.

There were one or two tweaks that were made in-preparation for the sequel, for starters, Chris Columbus left his position as director, still serving as a producer, while Thor Freudenthal took the reigns. He is evidently responsible for Hotel for Dogs and Diary of a Wimpy Kid, but I have never seen any of his work. They also added Leven Rambin and Douglas Smith to the cast. The gal known for a small role in The Hunger Games and the guy for his work on a show called Big Love. Sea of Monsters basically picks up where the first movie left off, Percy has more time under his belt with sharpening his claws, and they give us back-story on some of the camp history. I can tell you that there feels to be a gentler and less rushed feeling about the movie. The previous film felt as if it lacked a lot of the confidence that is necessary to be a success, and so, like a lot of others, it wanted to get the colorful eye-candy and visualizations on the screen and give the audience instant gratification.

Conversely, a movie franchise such as Harry Potter didn’t really feel as if it made modifications to the story in an effort to have more time for the embroidery of the atmosphere, if that makes sense. Basically, Percy Jackson 2 feels more laid-back and gentle with the approach, and I appreciated that. You immediately meet the Clarisse La Rue character played by Leven Rambin, and honestly, there isn’t a lot of depth to her. Honestly, it seems like the character is merely designed to annoy the audience, however, it isn’t like Draco Malfoy, where she feels like an antagonist, but more like a character that you want to see killed off. As the minutes progress in the story, you’ll be introduced to the new male character named Tyson, Percy Jackson’s long-lost brother, who is a cyclops. I found him to be annoying, however, by the end of his movie, I don’t completely hate him, which is something that I am thankful for.

After introducing these characters, I was terrified that they were going to regress to the campiest humor conceivable possibly and put the nail in the franchises’ coffin before it has a chance to take off. However, barely, I do believe that this movie is an improvement over its predecessor. The movie doesn’t feel nearly as allover the place and rushed as Lightning Thief, and while the two new characters are annoying, I believe that the movie is put together with more care than the last one. Sea of Monsters is mediocrity, but acceptable mediocrity because it has entertainment value. And so, as a conclusion, I will say that like the last movie, this is borderline average, however, I will say that they made gradual improvements as far as the structure goes.

With this being said, I’ll be waiting for The Titan’s Curse.

Rating: – 2.5 out of 5.0