Directed by Thor Freudenthal, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is the second installment in the Percy Jackson film series. Overall it is an adequate adaptation of Rick Riodan’s book series of the same title. While the film has many favorable aspects that will leave younger audiences pleased, their parents will find that the deficiencies are enough to only give them a mediocre experience.

Directed by Thor Freudenthal, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is the second installment in the Percy Jackson film series. Overall it is an adequate adaptation of Rick Riodan’s book series of the same title. While the film has many favorable aspects that will leave younger audiences pleased, their parents will find that the deficiencies are enough to only give them a mediocre experience.

Sea of Monsters begins with Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), the son of Poseidon, and many others living peacefully at Camp Half-blood. This refuge for demigods is protected by a magical tree, but this plant is poisoned by Luke (Jake Abel), the vindictive son of Hermes, which leaves the camp vulnerable. In order to save the tree and their home, Percy and his friends must go and find the golden fleece of legend.

Sea of Monsters contains a menagerie of mythological animals and demigod power plays, all shown in an impressive manner. Viewers will find the computer-generated imagery and 3D effects as stunning as ever.

While Lerman and most of the supporting cast do well in their roles, the major exception is Abel. One would think that the actor playing the main antagonist would be able to convey the emotions of a character that feels abandoned by his father and out looking for revenge. Sadly his performance just falls flat and it feels more like posturing than threatening.

With a dull villain, most of the film finds interest in other subplots, particularly with the inclusion of Tyson, a half cyclops son of Poseidon. Percy’s unenthusiastic with his newfound, awkward but well meaning brother, and it’s endearing to see the two become closer even if the message of family is heavy-handed.

The major problem that Sea of Monsters suffers from is that it is too formulaic to surprise older audiences. The story follows many of the basic conventions present in a hero’s journey. Even some of the major twists came at no surprise.

Fans of the series will find what they are looking for in Sea of Monsters, but there’s little else for those not acquainted with the books.

Running time: 1hr 46 min; Rated: PG-13

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