Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

 
(i)

 

Action-packed sequel still doesn't live up to book series.
  • Review Date: August 6, 2013
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 106 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Percy's quest teaches that, in order to overcome obstacles, you need help, support, and guidance from friends, mentors, and people who know more than you. Percy must persevere despite his self doubt in order to protect his friends and his home. Tyson is a cyclops but not bloodthirsty like other cyclops; he makes it clear that you shouldn't judge someone before you get to know them.

Positive role models

Percy, Annabeth, and Grover are fiercely protective of one another. Percy conquers his self doubt to act like a leader and make tough decisions to save Camp Half Blood. Tyson immediately cares for Percy and loves having a brother. Tyson is self sacrificing and kind.

Violence

Lots of fantasy action. A flashback shows a young girl being killed by a cyclops and then turned into the roots of a magical tree. A giant Colchis Bull wreaks havoc on Camp Half Blood, where it injures several kids before fighting directly with both Percy and Tyson. There are three big fight scenes between Percy and his friends and the bad guys. Polyphemus, a huge cyclops, keeps threatening to eat either satyrs or half bloods and fights with Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and Tyson. When brought back to life, Kronos is a frightening sight. Two characters are presumed dead -- and one does temporarily die before the golden fleece revives her.

Sex

Some discussion of how the gods have children with humans and other creatures. Percy and Annabeth share some lingering looks and are protective of each other but aren't outright romantic.

Language

A couple of "damn"s. A character almost says "bitch," but it comes out with a long "bbbbb" sound.

Consumerism

Some of the characters wear Converse All-Stars. A UPS Store is shown during a pivotal scene, but it's actually an "OPS" (Olympian Parcel Service).

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is the sequel to Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief -- both of which are based on Rick Riordan's best-selling fantasy book series. Riordan's action- and humor-packed tales are enormously popular with elementary-school readers, but, like its predecessor, this big-screen adaptation does include violence and peril-filled scenes (and a few presumed deaths) that could scare younger kids -- even if they're familiar with the story. Unlike the first movie, there aren't any inappropriate references to sexy women or relationships. Ultimately, this is a hero's journey in which a main character and his friends save each other and defeat evil.

What's the story?

PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS picks up a year after the events of the first movie, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, with Percy (Logan Lerman) -- Poseidon's half-human, demigod son -- living in Camp Half Blood with his best friends, fellow demigod Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) and satyr Grover (Brandon T. Jackson). When a Colchis Bull breaches the protective barrier provided by Thalia's Pine Tree (a gods-created tree that grew from the body of a dead young demigod), the tree starts to decay. Without the tree, anyone could enter Camp Half Blood and kill the demigods, so Percy, Annabeth, and Grover decide they must embark on a dangerous mission to the Sea of Monsters (the Bermuda Triangle) to find the legendary Golden Fleece, which has magical healing properties. But they're not the only ones trying to find the fleece -- the first movie's villain, half-blood Luke (Jake Abel), wants it, too ... to revive the biggest, baddest god of all -- Kronos.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series is beloved by both tentative readers and die-hard book addicts, so it's a shame that the movies based on his richly depicted demigod universe aren't nearly as good as his fantasy novels. It's not the cast, because Lerman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) is a terrific young actor -- though at 21 he's too old to play the teenage Percy ever again. That's fine, because it's unlikely the franchise will continue after such a lackluster follow-up to the already less-than-amazing first adaptation.

There's something remarkably telling about checking your watch several times during a movie that's 107 minutes long. There are a couple of bright spots -- like when Nathan Fillion pops up playing Hermes and makes an obvious Firefly joke about brilliant shows that are cancelled too soon, and the inimitable Ron Perlman playing the voice of blind and starving cyclops Polyphemus -- but otherwise this entire quest is a rather epic disappointment unworthy of the Percy Jackson name. Skip the adaptations and just read the excellent books.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about film adaptations. How does Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters compare to the book it was based on? How about with the first movie? What changes did you like, and which parts of the book do you wish had made it to the big screen?

  • The Percy Jackson books are based on myths. What did you learn about mythological characters and stories? Does the movie make you want to read the books (either for the first time or again) or more about Greek myths?

  • Talk about the scare factor. Did anything make you want to hide under your chair? Which mythological monsters would you least like to see in the real world? Does fantasy violence have the same impact as more realistic violence?

  • Do you think there should be more Percy Jackson movies? What other children's books or series do you wish were turned into movies?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:August 7, 2013
DVD release date:December 17, 2013
Cast:Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson, Logan Lerman
Director:Thor Freudenthal
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Magic and fantasy, Adventures, Book characters, Friendship, Monsters, ghosts, and vampires
Run time:106 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:fantasy action violence, some scary images and mild language

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Kid, 11 years old August 7, 2013
 

PJO Rocks!

Nice movie, better than 1st. Deserved 3 stars at least. Monsters might be a bit scary, blah,blah,blah. Just inaccurate quality rating.
Parent Written bykckacy August 8, 2013
 

Safe, action packed, family movie!

I loved this movie. It is fun, thrilling and a fantastic family, action packed movie. I love Greek Mythology and the director did a great job. Percy Jackson, Sea of Monsters helps bring Greek Mythology alive and interesting for young people. I loved the soundtrack and especially the song "To Feel Alive" during the credits. I give this 5 stars for a wonderful, family movie.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written byKenzi333 August 7, 2013
 

So much better than the first!

I really don't understand the low rating, I thought this movie was great! Definitely a huge improvement on The Lightning Thief. The film makers must have gotten the hint that nobody likes it when a book adaptation isn't true to the actual book because this time around they included tons of scenes/aspects from the book (ex. Hermes's snakes George and Martha). And with the improvement of the movie came the improvement of the acting. I have to admit I wasn't very impressed with their performance in the first one. But they seemed to step up their game here, and they really are fantastic, especially Logan Lerman and Alexandra Daddario. And the special effects! WAY better! I was terrified that this movie would be just as bad (or worse) as the first one. But trust me, it's not! I thought this movie was completely worthy of the Percy Jackson name. I left the movie feeling satisfied and stoked for The Titan's Curse! So happy this franchise has been saved!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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