Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Film Title: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Director: Thor Freudenthal

Starring: Logan Lerman, Brandon T Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Leven Rambin, Jake Abel

Genre: Family

Running Time: 106 min

Fri, Aug 9, 2013, 01:00

   

For all the supposed magic on screen, the greatest miracle associated with Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is the fact that it exists at all. Over the past decade, the studios have been forced to euthanise a dozen adaptations of teen fantasy sequences after launching just one episode. How on earth has Fox’s take on Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson survived to breathe again?

The simplest answer is that, of all the recent efforts to ape Harry Potter, the Jackson stories stick closest to J K Rowling’s lucrative template. Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief, first film in the sequence, details the adventures of a young fellow who discovers that he is the son of Poseidon and a mortal woman. He is transported to Camp Half-Blood to learn that the beings from Greek mythology still walk the earth and patrol the deeps. Chiron the centaur stands in for Dumbledore. The nicely appointed camp is Hogwarts. The ambience is a great deal more American than that of Rowling’s books, but it’s quite clear what game is being played.

To be fair, the first film wasn’t at all bad. Pierce Brosnan sported a horse’s ass quite effectively as Chiron. Playing Percy, young Logan Lerman did a good job of believing the unbelievable. The notion of ancient myths intruding on everyday life offered pleasing absurdities.

Unfortunately, the enterprise is already flagging. Brosnan has left the kingdom, to be replaced by coffee-flogging second-stringer Tony Head. Three years having passed since Lightning Thief, the young cast are all now significantly too old to convince as fickle teens. The key conceit has lost its novelty.

After a ho-hum digital struggle for the Golden Fleece that only causes us to mourn Ray Harryhausen more fiercely, somebody flings a huge cliffhanger at weary viewers. Then the titles roll. The makers of this film should be aware of what the ancient Greeks said about hubris.

Still, if part three is never made, you can always read the book.