Thursday, September 26, 2013

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Review

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Review
I am a lover of mythology. Particularly Greek and Roman mythology. The Olympian Gods, the demi-gods, their adventures, their fables, these were the first superheroes. The first recorded tales of thought-provoking life lessons. Anytime there is a movie that revolves around mythology, I am immediately interested. I look at it with an open mind and an open heart. I saw "Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief" back in 2010. I never read the series of books, but I felt the concept was unique and clever. I wish the movie was, its not that it was bad, but it didn't blow me away. It was okay, it had solid performances and good special effects, but it lacked in the story development.

The sequel kind of feels that way too.

I think Logan Lerman and Alexandra Daddario have become very comfortable with their roles. Brandon T. Jackson even shines in his moments in the film. Douglas Smith as Tyson the cyclops was truly good and the special effects on him were quite remarkable. In fact, all the films effects were fairly effective once again. Much like the first film, this sequel lacks a compelling story-line. I also felt the pacing was tough this time out. I remember "Lightning Thief" keeping things moving at a decent pace. There are several moments in the sequel that unbearably dragged. When I felt the film was halfway over, I wasn't even thirty minutes in. That was definitely a factor I couldn't dig. The movie reaches for a certain intensity, but since this is a family film, that level is never reached.

The film begins with an old tale of a demi-god dying to protect Camp Half-Blood from monsters. Zeus was so touched by this demi-gods sacrifice that he turned her body into a tree of protection, no longer allowing outside threats to attack the camp. Then in present day we re-connect with Percy Jackson (Lerman) and his friends back at the camp. When a giant bull attacks, it is evident that the tree has somehow weakened. It is up to Percy and his friends to find out why as well as finding out where the Golden Fleece is. The Golden Fleece is a powerful artifact that can heal the tree.

Perhaps that synopsis sounds interesting to you, but there were many moments that made me snicker. Not because the film was funny but because of its genuine silliness. When creating fantasy for literature or film, you have to tell your story in an intelligent, confident, and clever way. Otherwise, your story will just end up looking silly. This type of creativity is what separates "Lord of the Rings" and "Harry Potter" from "Eragon" and "Twilight." You have to make your characters, settings, backdrop and theme make since, and tell it in a great way. Despite the performances and effects, I am not sure if "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters" fulfills that request.


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