percyjacksonDemi-Gods and Zombies
Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters
Stars: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Leven Rambin, Jake Abel, Stanley Tucci, Nathan Fillion, Douglas Smith, Anthony Head, Missi Pyle, Yvette Nicole Brown and Mary Birdsong
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Scriptwriter: Marc Guggenheim from the Rick Riordan novel, “The Sea of Monsters”
Composer: Andrew Lockington
20th Century Fox
Rating: PG 13
Running Length: 108 Minutes
This film is the next adaptation from a Percy Jackson novel for young adults. The first, three years ago, “Percy Jackson and The Lighting Thief,” did fairly well at the box-office, so the lead star, Logan Lerman is back as Percy in new adventures. Percy has certain tasks to perform before his 20th birthday. In this movie, he goes after the Golden Fleece and its curative powers, to help save the home of his demi-god friends. A demi-god is a person with a god as one parent and a human as another parent. Percy has Poseidon, God of the Sea, as his father. Rick Riordan, the author of these books, takes a combination of Greek mythology and mixes it with contemporary teen behavior and dress, though some of the demi-gods are satyr’s, Cyclops and even a centaur. I always wondered what Apollo’s chariot would look like, but we haven't gotten there yet. What we do have in this film, is the current scary thing (and played for laughs here)---zombies.
Percy is living at Half-Blood Camp, where young people like him are safe from harm because of a force field surrounding the place. When the field is breached, we learn that some half-bloods have turned bad and are trying to destroy the good ones. Sound familiar? In order to preserve the Camp, Percy and his friends, Grover, a satyr (Brandon T. Jackson), and Percy’s girlfriend, Annabeth (Alexandria Daddario), plus Percy’s new-found brother, a Cyclops named Tyson (Douglas Smith who looks just like Rupert Grint from the “Harry Potter” series. In fact, I thought it was he at first.) Percy’s rival in just about anything is Clarisse, the daughter of Ares (Leven Rambin), and she is on the quest, too.  This group runs into trouble at sea and escapes with the help of a giant sea horse, falls into the mouth of Charybdis (think Jonah and the Whale here), meets Clarisse and her Civil War zombie crew also trapped there. They are tossed out by using fire, and then meet up with the villain, Luke (Jake Abel) who wants to use the Fleece to resurrect Kronos (voice of Robert Knepper from “Prison Break”). Kronos has his own plans to rule the world, though, and the battle begins between a giant, the demi-gods, the Golden Fleece, a magic sword and plenty of quips.
There is humor in “Sea of Monsters,” and my favorite scenes are the ones with three blind cab drivers who have the best dialogue, Missi Pyle, Yvette Nicole Brown and Mary Birdsong, known as The Graeae. They have one eye between the three and are constantly losing it. Their taxi cab, that flies and bounces around the countryside, is very much like the flying car from the “Harry Potter” series. Another person who steals his scenes is Brandon T. Jackson, as Grover, who has a comment for every situation, particularly when meeting a Cyclops.
All in all, the “Percy Jackson” series has a life of its own with much Greek mythology to delve into combined with contemporary phrases. People are routinely shaken up and still come back with a punch. Girls fight as hard as boys and romance is in the background as the main ingredient here is action and plenty of it as long as there are swords, knives, staves and giants around. You can readily recognize Nathan Fillion (“Castle”), but it takes time to figure out just who is Anthony Head or Stanley Tucci. Special effects are fairly good and you can believe that there are centaurs or Civil War zombies in the stomach of a sea monster.
Copyright 2013 Marie Asner
For more Young Adult film adaptations from books see:
The Harry Potter Series