Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013)


Director:  Thor Freudenthal
Cast:  Logan LermanAlexandra DaddarioBrandon T. Jackson, Stanley Tucci
Plot:  In order to restore their dying safe haven, the son of Poseidon and his friends embark on a quest to the Sea of Monsters to find the mythical Golden Fleece while trying to stop an ancient evil from rising.

Genre:  Adventure / Family / Fantasy
Awards:  -
Runtime:  106min
Rating:  PG for fantasy action violence, some scary images and mild language.

IN RETROSPECT (Guest review by Yue Jie)
This film was reviewed in the 3D format.

If sequels were made to generate box office gross, this movie is likely to be one of them.  A continuation to Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief in 2010, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters follows the lives of Percy (Logan Lerman) and his friends Grover Underwood (Brandon T. Jackson) and Annabeth Chase (Alexandra Daddario) at Camp Half-Blood where Percy learns what might just be his fate as the only surviving half-blood child.

Thought to be the only descendant of Poseidon, one of the three prime gods, Percy meets his half-brother Tyson (Douglas Smith), a cyclops, for the first time.  Demigod son of Hermes, Luke Castellan (Jake Abel) attacks the camp, poisoning the magic tree that serves as a barrier protecting Camp Half-Blood that only the Golden Fleece can restore, an item that only the bravest of Half-Bloods are able to obtain.

Helmed by German-born director Thor Freudenthal, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters follows a thinly scripted plot that entertains but does not impress.  In a bid to stay safe and not complicate the story, Freudenthal lays out the plot in linear fashion that falls flat on comedy and action, two crucial elements that are needed to drive the film.

Where Percy is greatly emphasized but uncertain as to what he needs to do, his friends Grover and Annabeth are severely unused.  Their characterization merely supports Percy and gives him more reason to save Camp Half-Blood.  With that, viewers may even be inclined to root for Percy’s rival Clarisse, played by Leven Rambin.  

On the other hand, Tyson’s usefulness is displayed just once early on and never seen again.  His presence may put down rumours that cyclops are an evil bunch, but it does not venture any further than that.  At most, Tyson appears only to give Percy more trouble and potentially sabotage his mission.

Despite a combination of visuals, stunts and short-lived humour, Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters feels rather flat throughout and even the climax ends just as quickly as it begins, making the suspense not as worthwhile as it can be.  As Percy goes through the tides, literally, in his journey into the sea, the adventure does not promise particularly exciting moments.

The 3D aspect is almost unforgettable and doesn’t lend the extra perspective the movie needs, making it pretty much redundant.  Fans of the novel and the Greek world will be interested in this simply to see their beloved characters while others will go for the hype surrounding it.  Nonetheless, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters will still have its audience to entertain regardless of naysayers’ opinion.

Rating: 2.5 stars

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