The Percy Jackson books had gone on to become a hugely popular franchise in the novel community, yet the first film adaptation to the franchise was extremely average. Now, being the sequel to a pretty subpar film; Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters had a huge mountain to climb. However, things seemed pretty interestingly bleak with Chris Columbus not being the one directing the film.
The director of the film was Thor Freudenthal who hadn’t really directed a film of this caliber ever before. Unsurprisingly, the damage that the original film had done followed down with this sequel, and eventually lead to the death of this particular franchise. So, why did Sea of Monsters essentially kill the Percy Jackson films? Let’s find out!
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The Movie Review
The story follows the same three protagonists of Percy Jackson, Annabeth, and Grover; who are now accompanied by Tyson; Percy’s half Cyclops brother, and Clarisse La Rue who is the demigod daughter of Ares. The contemporary versions of the Greek Gods are caught in a perilous situation as the Tree of Thalia is poisoned by Luke (The demigod son of Hermes).
Now, together the trio must band with Tyson and Clarisse La Rue and sail across the Sea of Monsters to retrieve the Golden Fleece, which is said to have healing capabilities that can heal quite literally anything organic. While the journey will be perilous, the demigods and their Satyr friend must most definitely aid Percy Jackson in any way necessary!
Honestly, there isn’t even much to say about this film’s overall plot. It’s a very convoluted script, despite having a super simple plot to understand. I summarized it to the maximum of my limits, but the film somehow focuses way more on the characters it tries to introduce and showcase.
This wouldn’t be an issue if the writing wasn’t horrid, but they genuinely never grow any motivations whatsoever. Any characters aside from Percy, Annabeth, and Grover have zero points to exist in this film, yet they’re added for either comedic relief or a pseudo-villain filling in for the job.
The fact that the director cared literally not at all about this film shows even in the direction of it. The film has awful pacing, going from flashback scenes to present-day scenes, to scenes that introduce new characters and focus on them to action scenes that feel completely out of place.
The action itself isn’t even fun to watch here because, for the most part, you’re just wondering why the particular fight is happening. The Sea of Monsters doesn’t feel like a sea of monsters, but more like a sea where the demigods can pick random fights with sea creatures and show off.
The visuals here are neat though, the film is really pretty in terms of its colors and visuals overall. The creatures shown here have great design, especially due to the fact that our heroes are contemporary characters from the present world. It does miss out on some key opportunities though, such as the previous film did with showing Medusa as a modern femme fatale. Whereas here, everything is ancient and set in the world of mythology. The action sequences have great visuals, and some awesome CGI work is consistently being done for the majority of the film.
The climax is one of the most underwhelming things I’ve seen in a film, let alone an action-adventure film which is usually supposed to end on high notes. The fact that Logan Lerman was seriously acting well even in this movie is kind of surprising, as he had been working with better directors by this point. However, it’s good that he made out of here and picked up films such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Fury, The Three Musketeers, and Noah because this franchise was buried to the ground after this film.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, the fact that this film ended a potential three more movies being created was very much justified. It probably cost 20th Century Fox a lot of money, and from the film is as bad as it is; it definitely didn’t get any money back to them.
It’s a pretty film, with great visuals and really good CGI, especially during action scenes which do make it an entertaining movie. Yet it lacks the style and nuance that the Percy Jackson books usually have, which is a bummer because this film could have definitely surpassed the original in terms of story nuance. And yet, it remains slightly below in terms of quality to even the first movie.