[Movie Review] 'Percy Jackson' Returns In Monster Adventure
Percy Jackson is back on the back screen in the second adventure based on the popular young adult book series about a team of half-human half-god teens who have to save the world from the wrath of angry gods, a fun family escape packed with exciting newly imagined creatures and a signature upgrade to classic Greek mythology.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters again stars Logan Lerman (Stuck In Love) as the titular hero, the son of the god of the sea Poseidon, and Alexandra Daddario (Texas Chainsaw 3D) as the daughter of the goddess of wisdom Athena.
This sequel to 2010′s Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief maintains the special effects-heavy epic scope of the first film, while presenting a much faster momentum out of the gate, from the scary opening sequence on through to the fiery climax.
Lerman is a full blown action hero in the making, as he owns the role of Percy Jackson with a new confidence that was buried in The Lightning Thief, taking on his latest dangerous quest as much to save his friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson returning from the first film) as to prevent the granddaddy of all gods, the evil Cronos, from rising out of the ashes of the underworld to destroy everything and everyone in his path.
On their journey, the group must travel to the dreaded Sea of Monsters, known to us humans more commonly as the Bermuda Triangle, in hopes of retrieving the Golden Fleece that can save their home.
Daddario’s tough and steel-eyed Annabeth, simmering with rage over a fallen friend, is along for the ride again, as is Percy’s newly discovered half-brother, a lovable, fireproof cyclops named Tyson, played with great comedic timing by Douglas Smith.
Returning as the demented demigod Luke, Jake Abel all but steals the movie in the few scenes he’s in as the dark heart of the story, a welcome and unexpected treat of twisted evil looking for love in all the wrong places and making war with the very ones who could have been his salvation.
Much like Uma Thurman’s scary cool turn as Medusa in the first film, Sea of Monsters sees Nathan Fillion pop up as Luke’s estranged father, the god of travelers Hermes, in what is both the movie’s most hilarious yet ultimately heart rending scene.
Much of Sea of Monsters is a visual feast, featuring everything from undead zombies, eyeless witches, and rainbow-colored sea creatures to surfing demigods and a raging fire breathing mechanical bull of destruction, all of which gives the action an infectious vigor with its unabashed anything-goes-as-long-as-its-cool attitude.
Thematically, when stripped away of all the awesome spectacle, the world of Percy Jackson is that of any teenager trying to become an adult, experiencing life’s unexpected trials, searching for self purpose, and learning how (and who) to truly love.
This is family adventure that hits on every level without weighing down the kid friendly tale with too much sentimentality, but never ignoring the powerful and often familiar emotional undertones that range from loving our family members for what they are despite what they are not, to challenging one’s perceived destiny and altering our own fate.
Official Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Reviewed by: Matt Artz
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Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (rated PG) is now playing at The Pioneer Theatre in Manteo, this week through Sept. 26 with an 8pm showtime nightly, and at R/C KDH Movies 10 in Kill Devil Hills.
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