In order to restore their dying safe haven, the son of Poseidon and his friends embark on a quest to the Sea of Monsters to find the mythical Golden Fleece while trying to stop an ancient evil from rising.
Lucy and Edmund Pevensie return to Narnia with their cousin Eustace where they meet up with Prince Caspian for a trip across the sea aboard the royal ship The Dawn Treader. Along the way they encounter dragons, dwarves, merfolk, and a band of lost warriors before reaching the edge of the world.
In his homeland of Alagaesia, a farm boy happens upon a dragon's egg -- a discovery that leads him on a predestined journey where he realized he's the one person who can defend his home against an evil king.
In this retelling of Rick Riordans book, "The Sea of Monsters", Percy Jackson, accompanied by his friends Annabeth Chase, Clarisse La Rue and Tyson, his half brother, goes on a journey to the Sea of Monsters to retrieve the Golden Fleece and save Camp Half-Blood. Written by
This film shows what potential its franchise could have should it continue. It clearly demonstrates how a book adaptation should be: making it its own thing, while staying loyal to the essential elements of the series and maintaining continuity with the original film. Compared to the first film, this installment feels both more satisfying as an adaptation and also feels better as a solid movie overall. The first film was rather enjoyable, and had great ideas, but fell somewhat flat with a weak execution, and less passion in making it.
HOW this movie "fixes" and improves upon the first film is in the following ways:
A much more grounded and better polished script. The first film was
perhaps hopeful to be thought of as more than its script. The structure and plot was thin and weak, and didn't feel as immersed as this film does. Here it feels like the film makers revised and mapped out what they wanted from the script instead of just seemingly writing the script over night without revisions. You get the sense that the filmmakers are passionate to get the writing right and make it make sense and enjoyable for those that haven't even seen the first film. To speak of that passion of presenting the series' world on film, there are many references made to various elements of Greek Mythology and to the series itself. Several story elements related to other stories in the series, those of which are quite similar to quests depicted in actual Greek Myths, are given a great discussion at the beginning of the film. The first film focused more on just trying to tell the basic needs without really expanding the world to its potential. As the film is titled Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, there is defiantly a "sea" full of monsters to be discovered in the movie, introducing monsters abounded from Greek myths, from a terrifying Charybdis, to a monstrous Polyphemus, among other cyclopeses, to less brutal creatures, such as a Hippocampus. Must amusing, "Hercules Busts Heads" is mentioned as a popular TV show, and appears as a brand name for a particular item needed for Percy & company to succeed in their quest.
Percy's friend Grover (played by Brandon T. Jackson) is not annoying
in this film like he was in the first film. This time he is more mature, yet still retains his comedic characteristics, not trying to be the center of attention, and acting more like he does in the novels with being a good cheer up when needed for when his best friend Percy is down. This, among other things, shows the writer's passion to tell what works, rather than just letting things go and not caring about what happens, assuming that the audience will just like it, or the theory that its other elements will help make the film great.
The characters feel more like they do in the books, and despite the
alterations made to scenes and the story, those changes all feel like something that could have happened in the books. They could have gone to a café with Demi God service. They could have gone to a place called Circe land (which actually fits the tone and concept of the universe better than the Polythemus land in the books, in that the concept of Mythology in a modern day setting is a combination of mythology and modern elements such as a theme park).
If there are any faults within this film, it lies within the climax. While a genius idea to resurrect the Lord of the Titans, Kronos, to bring a more visual sense to the antagonist's goal, and the film's consequential stakes, the scene feels a little fast paced. One gets the resolve that Percy struggles throughout the movie about controlling one's destiny, though the scene feels a bit abrupt, seemingly wanting to get the event over and done with; having read the book, this is perhaps the most deviated scene from it, as Kronos does not physically appear like this until the final book. In an analysis, film is show, not tell, as this was Luke's (the film's antagonist), goal, and gives the film a more satisfying climax, bringing Percy to face his biggest worry and confrontate the inner battle he faces throughout the film, doubting whether he is good enough, or will just ruin things, rather than making a difference. Besides this climax's shortcomings, the film has clichés; nevertheless, they go along with the theme of the movie about changing destiny, no matter how certain things may seem. On the other hand, it is also a refresher to have these sorts of clichés as they remind one of the obvious morals in life that we often overlook, as we get older. As it is, the main characters in this film are teenagers, and these are the sorts of things that teenagers often go through, and it has to be portrayed in a simple way to not only differentiate itself from the recent serious teen drama on shows like Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill. Too, it is also to appeal to the fans of the books, where there the characters are even younger, and a lot of these "clichés" are either appealing, or are new to them.
In short, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is a film that shows hope and potential for the series. While there are things to improve upon, the film shows what the franchise can become should it continue. It is by far one of the most satisfying adaptations I have ever seen, better than some of the Harry Potters. If the climax had been better paced, and if there had only been less clichéd dialogue (though that depends on one's knowledge of such), then the film would be a perfect redemption for the film series, though those things are sure to become bettered.
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