Movie reviews: Percy Jackson: Sea of monsters

It's a bit of a bummer that this flick bombed in the US. But then, a lot of good movies underperformed this summer.

I think you can chalk it up to spectacle fatigue. Peeps are a tad jaded these days.

Thing is, it's hard to imagine that the kids these Percy Jackson adventures are made for are ALREADY jaded. When I was a 12-year-old back in the days, I would have LOVED this! Basically what you get here is stuff happening nonstop.

The film opens with a girl turning into a magic tree that protects Camp Half-Blood. Then the campers participate in a dangerous tournament.

Then a ferocious mechanical bull attacks them. Then the tree is hurt. Then they go on a mission to save the tree.

Then they travel on a magnificent hippogriff; then they get swallowed by a sea monster; then they fight a giant cyclops; then they fight an enormous god.

Along the way there are some nice moments of camaraderie between Percy and his friends, and his relationship with his insecure cyclops half-brother is particularly rich.

There's really nothing not to like here. Perhaps the problem lies in the fact that their parents weren't so keen to take them. Unlike the Harry Potter franchise, which had a way of drawing in fans of all ages, Percy Jackson has this air of innocence.

Make the effort to check it out with your brats. I'm pretty certain they'll dig it.

jjohnson@sph.com.sg

I love Greek mythology - thanks to being weaned on a steady diet of old-school flicks such as Jason And The Argonauts and Clash Of The Titans (the original tacky stop-motion version).

I've also grown to like Lerman, who really impressed in The Perks Of Being A Wallflower. So this sequel, based on Rick Riordan's popular Olympian series of children books, is definitely a movie I wouldn't have missed.

That said, the movie's blending of Greek mythology and modern situations is not my cup of tea. Probably because I'm way over the median age of the target audience.

Everything about the movie - story, jokes, action - is on the tame side. Even the budding romance between Percy and Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) is chaste.

The bad guy here, Luke, is also mild, never once dangerous besides spouting some cheesy threats. You're dealing with gods, demi- gods and mythical creatures here!

Leven Rambin, as mean girl Clarisse, tries to give the movie some edge. She's good at that, but sadly, her screen time is limited.

The adults, ironically, are the stars of the show. Stanley Tucci is hilarious as god of wine Dionysus or, as he prefers to be called, Mr D. Nathan Fillion is a scene-stealer as Hermes, the speedy messenger of the gods, now a businessman who runs a postal service.

joannes@sph.com.sg


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