Darke Reviews – Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters


There are days I don’t get Hollywood. These are days that end in Y.

Why would you make a sequel to a critically and financially maligned movie? Why would you cast a 23 year old as a *young teen*? Why would you wait three years between films. These are the questions I had when I saw the first trailer to Percy Jackson SoM awhile back. Now that I have seen the film I can say with all honesty I still don’t know the answers to any of those questions.

Perhaps it’s because I am not the right age. This movie is clearly targeted at a significantly younger demographic than sat in the theatre last night. Appropriate considering the directors (Thor Freudenthal) other known work is also based on a childrens book series (Diary of a Wimpy Kid). Lets not get into the fact that a man named Thor is directing a movie about greek gods.

The writing never quite delivers on any of the promises it wants to make, again showing its target. When I was a lovely ten year old girl I would have been quite ok with the superficial story telling, plots so thin they are transparent and intrapersonal conflicts that seem to be resolved at the drop of the hat. This my friends is the work of Marc Guggenheim, one of the 4 men in the writing credits of that gem “Green Lantern”.  Same writer and it shows.

But Jess! It’s based on a book. That is true. I happened to be in a showing with half a dozen fan girls of the book. When asked what they thought in comparison to the source material it was a universal “well they fixed this from the first and still got alll this wrong.”

Acting and Casting! That can save even a badly written movie. Alas, we have a 27 year old playing a character in her teens that is nearly as wooden as the acting in Avatar the Last Airbender. Alexandra Daddario’s performance as Annabeth the daughter of Athena fails nearly as much as it did the first time. I really want the writer to go back to basic college mythology and look up Athena. Do it. Really. She emulates nothing. Logan Lerman who actually can act does well enough as the titular character. They all needed to look at the imminent Stanley Tucci who phones in a performance as Mr D; even as uninspired and seemingly bored he still has more talent and charisma than nearly the entire cast combined. Nearly. Nathan Fillion. He plays Hermes also known as Nathan Fillion. Love him. He even was able to get a Castle AND Firefly joke into the movie.

The rest of the film seems to exist. The effects are Made for TV movie level; still better than a SyFy original, but only just. The camera work is there, nothing special other than no shaky cam – so thank you there.

TL;DR?

The movie is a resounding meh. It had entertaining moments, eye rolling moments, thankfully no true groaner or why is this in the film moments. It *is* in fact slightly better than the original, which I have to confess own and enjoy. Unless you are somewhere between 8 and 12, then you might really like it. Unless you’ve read the book.

Overall I enjoyed it but I wouldn’t have missed much waiting til DVD and neither will you. Once again I think Percy will be second best around.

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