I went to watch Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters without any expectations, I was not a fan of the first installment, 2010 Percy Jackson and The Lighting Thief. The second installment adapted from young adult series, Percy Jackson and The Olympians by Rick Riordan. Frankly I forgot most of the characters but the main trio, because the first installment was so underwhelming and was not tempting enough for me to read the book series (which is what usually happened if any book adaptation took my attention). So I went with N for the earliest showing and went to try the much gushed about 4DX cinema, the newest cinematic experience at Blitzmegaplex.
Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) is a demigod son of The Poseidon, living somewhat normal life (for half-bloods) along with his kinds at a place that looked like a glorified summer camp for demigods. With the excitement from his first experience wearing off he questions himself and his destiny. His comrades, the demigod daughter of Athena, Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) and the satyr, Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) still support him, but the demigod daughter of Ares, Clarisse (Leven Rambin) who always taunt and aggressively competitive, become a source of insecurities. When a new boy arrived at the camp claiming to be his brother, a half cyclops named Tyson (Douglas Smith), another poseidon’s heir, Percy’s insecurities escalated. Only to be temporarily replaced by horror as a greater terror about to befall them all, with the return of Luke (Jake Abel), demigod son of Hermes, ignites the chain of event that will follow an ancient prophecy about the heir of the three great gods (Zeus, Poseidon, Hades). Burdened by the prophecy, Percy embarks on another journey with his comrades and brother, to save Olympus once again, or to lead it to its destructions…
Percy Jackson is a very children oriented film, if i dare say so myself. Everything here is very PG and need to be taken in with a little childish excitement. While the first movie did not capture my interest, I feel this one is more successful on delivering the urgency and the burden of the mission that Percy must take upon himself and his friends. Though delivery of the explanations are implicitly embedded in conversations. The prophecy was delivered through animated sequences (a la 2010 Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows part 1 or 2012 Mirror Mirror), this time drawing inspirations from colorful stained-glass window. Layered with teenage rivalry and sudden appearance of an unwelcome siblings, Percy Jackson have some issues that i think children can relate to. The entire story delivered through a weak script and pacing, especially towards the end. The depiction of demigods’ or even deities’ way of coexist in human world is more amusing here. Through something as simple as taxi driven by eyes-less Graeae (awesome and hilarious quick paced bickering), even having a shot of ambrosia in your coffee to go, or knowing what kind of business Hermes is running amongst us mortals (beware for heavy product placement here).
Talking about Hermes portrayed by the witty and cheeky Nathan Fillion, delivers the funniest moments here with stereotyping against snakes, killer shorts, and pop cultural punch referring to Castle and Joss Whedon’s Firefly (his current and previous television gigs). Mr. D (Stanley Tucci) who were written out in the previous installment deliver a running joke throughout the film, as well as funny quip about Jesus. The mature actors sort of become the savior of the film because I enjoyed seeing them rather than the younger actors with weaker performances. Logan Lerman is just okay, while Daddario tends to overact sometimes, Jackson did not become the comic relief as much as he was in the first film. New comers Leven Rambin who previously worked in Hunger Games (sporting similar look to Katniss here with her braided brunette locks) is quite a refreshing addition to the mix. While the half cyclops, Tyson (Douglas Smith) possess the same humility and nice guy vibe as his half brother, but did not leave a lot of impression for me.
Fox have purchased the rights to adapt all 5 books of Riordan’s Percy Jackson and The Olympians series. Percy Jackson: The Titan’s Curse, the next installment of the series, is currently being developed. I really thought they need to tightened up the release schedule, i do hope they will finish the franchise, not letting it went cold like what happened with Lemony Snickett’s Series of Unfortunate Events and The Chronicles of Narnia .
Definitely more enjoyable than the first one, Percy Jackson: The Sea Monsters still have major flaws and considerably weak, reflected by its box office performance with lukewarm response from viewers. I personally still enjoy it, think the fun made me overlook the flaws. Watching it in 4DX cinema give it an escalated experience of being immersed in this movie though (I enjoyed my first time immensely). I think this is a good family film overall :D
PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS (2013)
GENRE Adventure, Fantasy
DIRECTOR Thor Freudenthal | PRODUCER Michael Barnathan, Karen Rosenfelt | WRITER Marc Guggenheim | MUSIC Andrew Lockington | CINEMATOGRAPHER Shelly Johnson | EDITOR Mark Goldblatt | STUDIO 1492 Pictures, Sunswept Entertainment | DISTRIBUTOR 20th Century Fox | COUNTRY United States | RELEASE DATE August 7, 2013, August 21, 2013 (Indonesia) | BUDGET US$ 90 Million | RUNNING TIME 107 Minutes| RATING PG for fantasy action violence, some scary images, and mild language
STARRING Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith, Jake Abel, Leven Rambin, Stanley Tucci, Nathan Fillion, Paloma Kwiatkowski, Anthony Head, Missi Pyle, Yvette Nicole Brown, Mary Birdsong, Derek Mears.