Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion, that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! If only the ancient Greeks were around now to see how their gods are treated in our world of fiction.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters – 3 out of 5

I really enjoyed the first Percy Jackson film and was pretty excited that a sequel was finally produced. Is it as fun as the first movie? Does this outfit make me look fat? Does it look like it’s going to rain?

Another question:  Is Ron Perlman doing the voice of this Cyclops?
Actually, yes...yes, he did.

After stopping the lightning thief in the first film, Percy (Logan Lerman) is starting to feel like maybe he isn’t the strong half-blood demigod that he is destined to be. Things only get worse when it is revealed that his father; the God Poseidon, had another child…only instead of a mortal woman, he got his freak on with a Cyclops. However, before Percy can process that he has a half-brother with one eye, the camp where the children of the ancient gods live in comes under attack and the ancient tree that provides the barrier that protects them is destroyed. Now Percy must team with his friends; the satyr, Grover (Brandon T. Jackson), his Cyclops half-brother Tyson (Douglas Smith), and the daughter of Athena, Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), in order to go on a quest to find the Golden Fleece—an ancient object that can heal the tree and restore the barrier. However, along the way, Percy runs into the son of Hermes, Luke (Jake Abel), and learns that he is trying to claim the Fleece for himself in order to restore the father of the gods, Kronos, and have him extract his revenge on his children and destroy Mount Olympus.

Wait a minute...didn't I see this guy in another movie?  One where he
a little more anatomically correct?

**Warning: This review may contain some mild spoilers and contents are under pressure**

Going back to the questions I asked in the first paragraph: Yes, I thought vertical lines were slimming and it looks cloudy but maybe we should take an umbrell. Yes, I thought this one was fun like the first film. Did I enjoy it as much as the first one? Um, I’ll answer that later.

I'll answer that after you look at this steampunk bull.

One of the things I really enjoyed about the first movie was the concept of taking the old myths and incorporating them into modern society. I found it interesting and fun to see that the old gods were still around and still getting into wild shenanigans by having demigod children and those kids all gather at a summer camp to learn their powers. The film also had some great action sequences, a great cast and awesome special effects. For the most part, this sequel has all that but still feels like it’s missing something.

Missing something like a satyr who is clearly shitting his pants.
Wait, satyrs don't wear pants...gross.

Just as good as Brosnan...I guess.
The established universe is still here for Sea of Monsters but the cast doesn’t feel like it has the star power of the first film. The first time around, we had Sean Bean as Zeus, Kevin McKidd as Poseidon, Ray Winston as Ares, Steve Coogan as Hades and, not to mention, Uma Thurman, Catherine Keener and Joe Pantliano. The previous film also had Pierce Brosnan as a Centaur but he didn’t return and now we have Anthony Head taking over his role of Chiron and Nathan Fillion taking over for Dylan Neal as Hermes (actually, that last bit was a change for the better because Fillion’s role steals the movie). The only real star power this sequel has is Stanley Tucci as the god of wine making at Camp Half-Blood.

There isn't a script in the world Tucci will pass up.

Just stare at this picture and try not to laugh.
While it’s a downer that there’s no real big names, the kids involved are doing their jobs decently—albeit, ONLY decently. Brandon T. Jackson is still fantastic as Grover but the film desperately needed more of him because he was eliminated from a large part of the quest and it robbed the film of much needed talent. Logan Lerman looks like he no longer cares about the character of Percy Jackson and is giving only a minimum amount of effort in his scenes and that effort is mirrored and almost lessened to a degree by Alexandra Daddario. Additionally, Douglas Smith isn’t bringing that much to his role as Tyson. Finally, Jake Abel, while a decent antagonist in the previous film, didn’t really have much of a presence in this one; both in the script and in his acting.

Seriously, his part made the film.

Even the special effects feel watered down when compared to the previous film. While some shots look incredible and really help sell this fantasy world…
Yes, this looks awesome!

…other times the special effects look questionable. For example, Tyson’s one eye looks really bad and, thankfully, the production decided to try and save money by working around it by providing sunglasses to cover that shit up or pulling a plot device out of their bag of tricks with a ancient relic that makes Tyson look like an average, two-eyed human.

This effect...not so much.

However, despite all the downfalls this follow-up had, the movie still has some fun action and the story is quirky and enjoyable. Overall however, as fun as Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is, the film ultimately feels like a Direct-to-DVD sequel and isn't offering up the special effects bonanza that it should be and not nearly as entertaining as the first film.

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