By James Sabata
Camp Half-Blood, a safe zone for the children of Gods and Humans, and home to Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), is attacked by an unknown force. The mythical tree that projects a protective barrier around the camp is fatally damaged. Dionysus sends Ares’ daughter, Clarisse (Leven Rambin) to find the Golden Fleece, which they believe can save the tree. Percy decides he will also go find the fleece, but before he can leave, he is made aware of an ancient prophecy that states he will either save or destroy Olympus in the process. As if that wasn’t enough, Percy finds out he has a half-brother who is also coming along on the trip.
While the plot and characterizations is often lacking, the actors in this film try really hard to make up for it. All of the actors in this film really put a lot into their roles, even Nathan Fillion, who has a small cameo.
Percy questions if he is a “one-quest wonder,” tries to get his father’s attention, and deals with the fact that he is no longer the only living child of Poseidon. Each of these wears on him, and the build up is good.
Also, after the movie, I heard a father and his daughter discussing the mythology they’d been reading and how it played into the movie. Between that, and encouraging people to read the actual Percy Jackson And The Olympians books, I’m excited about the fact that the movie is opening other doors for people who watch it.
THE BAD: The CGI feels really outdated, as if the studio either didn’t put enough time into it or perhaps it was designed years ago and no one remembered to update it. The transitions between little to no CGI and massive amounts of CGI do not work well, and it’s almost jarring to watch in some places.
The plot is underdeveloped in many parts and almost too complicated in others. There are subtle (and not at all subtle) mentions of Greek mythology characters that come off feeling more like name-dropping exercises than interesting ways to use the characters.
The actors appear way older physically than they act. The questions they post to one another do not feel age appropriate.
Percy Jackson is a fine movie for what it is – A children’s book brought to life on the big screen. I just wish they’d actually used the plot of the book, as it’s much more interesting than what is presented in this movie.
2 out of 5
Second Review by Chris Daniels
The latest in the Percy Jackson series of films will excite and entertain, especially if you’re a teen.
2010 brought the first in the series, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief. It’s a mouthful of a title, but the movie was well made. The production value was high, cinematography was in good order, and the acting wasn’t bad considering the age of the actors and the target audience.
Its 2013 sequel, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, shows us older versions of Percy, Annabeth, and Grover, who are back with a few new friends. Anthony Head returns, which certainly brightened my movie-going experience, and he’s accompanied by the ever-popular Stanley Tucci as Dionysus.
As the film opens, it recounts the tale of a young camper lost to Cyclopian viciousness. A little girl dies, but her lifeforce lives on in the form of a tree, created by Zeus to protect the camp from evil beings like the Cyclops.
We then jump in time to the present, where the older versions of Percy, Annabeth, and Grover look on as the daughter of Ares, Clarisse, wins a camp championship trial of strength and agility. Clarisse is a very smug victor, and she’s quick to dog on our hero, Percy, as a one-hit wonder in the realm of questing.
When a mechanical bull breaks through the barrier, they realize that the only way to save the camp is to restore the barrier, and the golden fleece is just the object to do the job!
The quest begins!
As I mentioned before, production value is high and the humor is well placed. Overall, this is a very entertaining film. The best part, of course, is Nathan Fillion as Hermes. He fits the role perfectly, and his one liner caused my theater to erupt with laughter.
If you are a fan of Rick Riordan’s books, greek mythos, or teen films, this one is for you.
4 out 5 stars (for a teen film).
Edited by Jeff Boehm