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Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
DIRECTOR: Chris Columbus
CAST: Logan Lerman, Brandon T Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel (Luke), Douglas Smith (Tyson), Stanley Tucci (Mr D), Leven Rambin (Clarisse), Nathan Fillion, Anthony Stewart Head (Chrion)
CLASSIFICATION: 7-9 PG
RUNNING TIME: 106 minutes
THIS FANTASY-LITE sequel to The Lightning Thief is less fussy than its predecessor but still fun for tweens.
By no means an accurate rendition of the world of Greek myth, it’s basically the American version of Harry Potter, but not as intricate, and it pretty much continues in the vein of the first film.
Loosely based on the books of the same name, the films are about a teenager who learns he is magical and goes on quests with a know-it-all friend who happens to be a girl – and daughter of the goddess of Wisdom – and a plucky friend who isn’t the bravest soul, but gives it a go anyway.
Logal Lerman reprises his role as Percy, son of Poseidon. Now he’s at school at Camp Half Blood, which is under attack by bad guys. He and friends Annabeth (Daddario) and satyr Grover (Jackson) set off to find a way to save the camp’s protective shielding.
Sea of Monsters is one of those wholesome American offerings filled with one-eyed ogres and scaly monsters for the teenage heroes to deal with, and some family angst and drama thrown in for those who believe films should have messages.
This time around we don’t see much of the Greek gods and there aren’t as many neat tricks and gimmicks as in The Lightning Thief, but the special effects are still fun.
These range from a magic cab (as opposed to a bus) and a beautifully rendered sea horse (as opposed to a flying one), and since Percy controls the water – some nifty water effects. There are also plenty of doh moments – like, really, who locks up Poseidon’s son on a boat in the middle of the ocean and thinks he is not going to escape?
Adults will find the storyline derivative, but children can be very forgiving of clichés because there is comfort in knowing that despite the bad, things all will work out in the end. The way the myth “fuses into the story” is rather clunky, but then again the film is aimed at Pair of Kings fans, so again, very forgiving.
• If you liked The Lightning Thief you’ll like this.