<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Thor Freudenthal. Starring Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson, Douglas Smith, Jake Abel, Anthony Head, Stanley Tucci, Leven Rambin, Nathan Fillion
I don’t remember the name of the first Percy Jackson movie but I do remember watching it almost three years ago. Tad late for a sequel but perhaps they thought it’d fare better now there’s no more Harry Potter. Their bad!
The moment they mention Camp Half-Blood you think of the Harry Potter series and Hogwarts and all of that. I’m not a huge fan of Potter or the films but I know that Percy Jackson’s promoters simply wanted to cash in on the kids and fantasy craze. It’s a decent enough rip off I guess but so dull and with such a lacklustre group of kids at the helm I’d have forgotten this film by next year or next month.
So it’s about the half-Greek God/half-Human offspring who must be protected from one-eyed ogres or Cyclops or ‘ocularly challenged’ and the evil ones who seek to let loose the Titans and Kronos upon earth to exact revenge on the Gods of Olympus: Zeus, Hades and Poseidon.
Of course our Percy Jackson is the half-blood son of Poseidon – God of the Sea. But his daddy doesn’t talk to him and now he finds out he has a Cyclops brother (Douglas Smith) who wears sunglasses or sprays ‘mist’ to sprout two eyes to look handsome and normal and also to save on CGI costs and prevent the wearers of 3-D glasses from going squint!
Percy and his friends must stop Luke (Jake Abel) from unleashing the might of Kronos – who falls all too easily in the finale – on the world. You pretty much lose sight of the plot through this do-it-by-the-numbers film.
Only at one point when the CGI Hippocampus (from the Greek hippos meaning ‘horse’ and kampos meaning ‘sea monster’) ferries the young half bloods to Luke’s Andromeda yacht did I feel a sense of wonder and magic. I wished more fantasy films could be made with this moment, so silent and surreal. Just like The Never Ending Story. Of course that was way back in 1984 and they don’t make them like they used to.
Anthony Stewart Head (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) and Stanley Tucci are completely wasted. Only a cameo by Nathan Fillion (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly, Castle) feels meaty and strong. One because of his presence as a respected sci-fi actor and advocate. Two because his lines of dialogue ring so true. Like the line about good TV shows being cancelled in the first season (something he knows all too well about!).
And since the audience for this film is young kids, we don’t get to see the sexy side of actress Alexandra Daddario who looks so much better with black hair. Check out her spread of fashion photos for Vogue here. And you can also watch her in a sexier avatar in Texas Chainsaw 3D.
I liked the animation they used to depict the Olympians versus the Titans but Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is an average film that lacks a strong lead (Logan Lerman is so forgettable I didn’t even mention him in the start of this review!) and characters that can lift it out of the humdrum commotion that it is. Perhaps Nathan Fillion as Hermes needs to be on screen more in his HERMES tie!