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DVD Review

DVD cover

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters


Starring: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith, Leven Rambin, Jake Abel, Stanley Tucci and Nathan Fillion
Distributor: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
RRP: £19.99
Certificate: PG
Release Date: 09 December 2013

Percy Jackson has had a good level of success as a series of novels for young adults and must have seemed like a shoe-in to be the next big thing for young adults who are averse to limp-wristed vampire fare. The first film, Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief (2010) was a little above average, enjoyable while being watched and then almost instantly forgotten. Unperturbed by its lacklustre performance at the box office the studio ploughed ahead with adapting the second book.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013 - 1 hr, 41 min, 47 sec) is a fantasy film, directed by Thor Freudenthal from a Marc Guggenheim screenplay.

The film picks up straight after the first feature with Percy and the other mystical creatures safely hidden behind their mystical barrier. Percy is the product of Poseidon and a human female and so is a demi god, with certain water related abilities. In the first film he discovers the truth of his lineage and changes from the outsider kid to one accepted by his contemporaries, even though he has a prophecy hanging over his head which means he will either turn out to be the salvation or destroyer of Olympus.

Because of the set up and the fact that this film features Percy with two friends, one of each sex, comparisons with the Harry Potter films come thick and fast. It’s not unreasonable and fans of Potter will find much here which is familiarly comforting. Unfortunately, the film is not in the same league as the Potter films, either in the visuals or the depth of the story.

In the latest chapter the barrier protecting the half-blood camp is breached after the tree has been poisoned. Even though he is not chosen for the rescue mission, Percy, Tyson and Annabeth take it on themselves to quest for the Golden Fleece, the one thing which can restore the tree. The film is basically broken into three acts: the attack on the camp, the quest and the final battle.

What the film lacks in budget it makes up for with a light-hearted script, which is designed to be pure entertainment. Percy, like the movie, spends much of his time trying to prove that he is not just a one hit wonder. The truth is unless the series starts putting some meat on the bones of the story it may find itself prematurely terminated.

The script is not very demanding, but the main cast are personable in their roles. Logan Lerman (Percy) carries much of the film, although Douglas Smith stands out as his half-brother and Cyclops, Tysone.

For a modern film, the extras are, frankly, pants. You get Back to Camp Half-Blood (2 min, 33 sec) which has the principle cast basically saying how pleased they were to be making the film and how fun it was - short with no depth.

It’s all in the Eye (4 min, 49 sec) concentrates on Douglas Smith's Character, Tyson the Cyclops. You also get two theatrical trailers (2 min, 20 sec) (2 min, 07 sec) and that’s all.

If the series can carve out its own identity it has a chance of continuing, but as its stands there isn’t much here that hasn’t been seen before.


Charles Packer

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