Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is less than Olympian. At least Percy Jackson managed to make it to two films, rather than become a one and done failed franchise. I enjoyed The Lightning Thief well enough, but it felt like it was in the shadow of a certain boy wizard. Unlike Harry Potter, I don’t think Fox had a plan in place. Rick Riordan’s first book was already altered, so they couldn’t ignore the changes that were made. There does seem to be some effort to capture the book, but the title is shortened by 4 letters and the runtime is only 1 hour & 47 minutes. Despite focusing on Greek Mythology, they hired Thor Freudenthal to direct. The cast returns with the exception of a majority of the gods. It feels sort of rushed and less than epic. The centaur Chiron is replaced by Giles himself Anthony Stewart Head and the bigger named Stanley Tucci plays Dionysus.
Percy Jackson’s only real problem is not being the center of attention. It doesn’t help that Poseidon doesn’t even talk to him anymore. Logan Lerman has matured a bit otherwise. His Camp Half-Blood rival is Clarisse, daughter of Ares played by Hunger Games alumi Leven Rambin. Alexandra Daddario is softened a bit and now has blonde hair to match Annabeth from the book better. Hard to believe she played the character the same year she did Texas Chainsaw 3D. Brandon T. Jackson is the same satyr he was before, but Grover disappears when the quest gets going. He’s replaced by Percy’s out of nowhere Cyclops half-brother Tyson played by Douglas Smith. Their quest is to save the Camp when a tree, that was once the daughter of Zeus, is poisoned. If The Lightning Thief was similar to Clash of the Titans, then Sea of Monsters is more like Jason and the Argonauts meets Homer’s Odyssey.
They search for the all-healing Golden Fleece at the Bermuda Triangle. Along the way encountering an Oracle with a less than important prophecy, screwball grey witches driving a magic taxi, and a mail delivering Hermes now played by Nathan Fillion. His demigod son Luke is still the villain who now plans to unleash Kronos on the world. When they get to the Sea of Monsters on a Hippocampus, they get swallowed by Charybdis. Tyson helps when they discover the Golden Fleece in the hands of the original Cyclops Polyphemus. They find him in an amusement park meant to represent Circe’s Island. In the end, the Kronos climax feels like an afterthought for a Titan of his magnitude. As does a last minute cliffhanger that’ll never be followed up on. Since The Titan’s Curse, The Battle of the Labyrinth, and The Last Olympian were all cancelled. Unlike The Chronicles of Narnia, I wasn’t invested enough to feel devastated. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters failed to support its ambition.
Preceded by: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief