Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters
by Michael Walters
The Cantankerous Critic
“Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters” isn’t a great movie, but it’s a wholesomely entertaining one. It’s a blockbuster that seems to know what’s fun about the ancient Greek and Roman mythology it draws its inspiration from.
We pick up with teenage demigod Percy back at Camp Half-Blood, feeling like a one quest wonder. While he retrieved Zeus’ lightning bolt and saved the camp, nothing has gone right for him since. He’s feeling lost and alone, and getting the silent treatment from dear old dad, Poseidon.
The film tosses his newly discovered half-brother Tyson into the mix as well. Tyson is half ogre- a clumsy oddball who gets the cold shoulder from Percy’s crew, and grudging acceptance from Jackson himself.
But they’re soon pressed back into action to complete a magical quest into the Bermuda Triangle, and its Sea of Monsters. The most surprising thing is how few of them there actually are. The best of them is essentially a sarlacc of the sea. It’s a giant swirling mouth with razor sharp teeth and a belly full of unlucky sailors, but unlike so many CGI heavy blockbusters, this sequence is actually fun.
The Percy Jackson series balances straightforward adventure and decent special effects with a juvenile punny sense of humor suitable for all ages. This leads to some truly cringe-inducing bad puns and equally awkward product placement. One sequence literally takes place in a UPS store, where Percy is issued a magical tape gun.
Logan Lerman is as bland as can be, and Percy Jackson comes off a bit like a poor man’s Harry Potter, but he never loses his sense of adventure. It really does feel like we’re watching a hero going on a quest, instead of an actor being shuttled from one expensive special effects set piece to another, and that manages to still be a pretty good time.