in Movies

Is “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” Worth Seeing?


Well, is it? I suppose the answer hinges on a few pertinent questions, such as “Do you have kids?” or “Do you have a significant other who shouldn’t be able to make their own legal decisions, let alone their own movie watching decisions?”

If you were dragged by someone you love, or want to love, then I can understand why you would see this movie or its predecessor Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Otherwise, I really wish this movie had not been made – at least, not the way it was done.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters follows young demigod Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon (Logan Lerman, who has proven to be a very good young actor who can bring the feels) and his band of fellow super-kin Annabeth, daughter of Athena (Alexandra Daddario… damn, and just… damn) and Grover, a satyr (Brandon T. Jackson, who, when given better material, like in Tropic Thunder, can be very funny). The gang travels to the Bermuda Triangle to find the Golden Fleece of lore and use it to heal the dying tree that protects their home, Camp Half-Blood.

Before I start sounding like I hate everything this movie stands for, I have to admit one thing… I really enjoyed the first movie. The Lightning Thief ended up being a movie I barely gave a second thought when I first saw it, having been dragged to see it by my girlfriend. However, it wasn’t until almost 2 years later where I was forced to watch it again, thinking I would just fall asleep. Next thing I knew, however, I was wide awake and enjoying myself very much.

Subsequent viewings have wielded similar results, leading me to believe that what I had first viewed as faults to consequently be glimpsed in a whole new light.

So what, exactly, is my problem with the second movie, Sea of Monsters? Pacing. I had a huge issue with the fact that they were unable to make a cohesive story with the material given. Having to fit a multiple-hundreds page novel into a 2-hour long movie isn’t really an excuse, as the first movie can attest. There, they at least knew what to cut, what to skim, and what to flesh out.

Here, however, is a much different story. No importance and heft is lent to the relevant parts of the narrative, while it seems as if every throwaway scene (or what should have been) is given equal time and care. This serves to give the audience no adventure, giving us no transportation into the story to make us really feel like we should care. Instead of giving us something to enjoy, they give us one scene after another of identical pieces, all fitting in, but none of them making us happy they do.

Roller coasters, and movies, are supposed to have ups and downs, ascensions and dissensions that make us feel like we actually went somewhere, not just go in a straight line emotionally. Otherwise what’s the point.

I was, in short, not happy that this movie was made like this. I wish they had brought in someone who knew how to write and cogently put a story together, because this film’s screenwriters failed to put the pieces together correctly, or at least interestingly. Then again, if you feel like waiting two years in between viewings to see if it grows on you, then be my guest and don’t listen to me until then.

one star

  • Starring: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario
  • Directed by: Thor Freudenthal
  • Running Time: 106 minutes
  • Genre: Adventure, Fantasy

Written by: Gordon Cook