Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (movie review)
*This review probably contains spoilers. But be real – you don’t care. You’re not going to see this movie unless you already read the book and are a fan, in which case you already know what happens and are thus unaffected by spoilers. Anyway, you’ve been warned.
In an effort to make the title sound less like a Harry Potter story, this latest installment of the series is entitled Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters – as you can see, they have cleverly removed the ‘and the’ from the center of the title. Other things that don’t appear in this movie include surprises, wit and a sea of monsters – see how I italicized the S? That was intentional.
What can I say about this flick? Sometimes, I just have to go to the movies and sometimes, there’s only one movie playing that fits our schedule. (This has happened before – that’s how I got to see National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets – we knew we were in trouble as soon as the Fool’s Gold trailer started.) But really, this is just schlock. It’s cheap, it’s lazy and at times, it made the audience audibly groan. Still, it held my attention despite the fact that the movie takes zero chances and it does have three basic acts, even if they’re lame. Lame but functional – it’s like if you lost partial use of your hand and could only grab things but not do more specific tasks like type – your arm would be lame, but functional. That’s the perfect description for this movie.
It’s nice that Stanley Tucci makes a brief appearance – he’s an awesome actor, trapped in an uninteresting role that he does his best to make tangible, but they just keep giving him the same two bits of shtick: 1. he can’t remember anyone’s name; 2. every time he tries to drink wine, it turns to water for some reason I can’t remember from the first one/seventh grade. Logan Lerman does a fine job as Percy – he makes the movie go from unwatchable to watchable. His character has little charm, but Lerman does a good job of making you care with his unassuming performance. That’s about all there is to say about the performances – the rest are just stock stereotype characters. Oh and the Castle guy from TV is in it for one scene. Didn’t see that coming.
Ultimately, this movie has a lame story, a cheesy script and special effects that are barely up to TV standards, never mind a major motion picture. But, as I mentioned, it’s not boring and it has the basic structure of a movie and it’s waaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than the first one (which is like saying the dog shiz I stepped in yesterday was worse than the dog shiz I stepped in today), so I can’t completely kill it. I’m giving Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters a 6 out of 10 despite the fact that it only had one sea monster and they’re barely in the sea of monsters for five or so minutes.
I should be clear that this movie not especially good – it just exceeds expectations and is better than its peers, by which I mean:
the Transformers series
National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets
and the first Percy Jackson movie
But overall, this movie is weak. It has a brisk pace (the first one did NOT) and the story makes sense and has decent morals, even if it beats you over the head with them for the entire film – it is what it is. Percy Jackson is a second-rate franchise, and this is a second-rate film, but it’s not terrible. As those who read these reviews here on the site often know I’m fond of saying, this movie has WATCHABILITY!
JK Rowling’s response to me comparing Percy Jackson to Harry Potter: “Are you nuts?!? This movie is about people trying to find a small quilt to put on the roots of a tree!”
TECHNICAL NOTES:This was filmed with a Samsung Galaxy S4 and edited in Adobe Premiere – the images were created in Adobe Photoshop. Music by Teknoaxe.com