Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters review: clash-of-the-titan babies

Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters yellow light Nathan Fillion Logan Lerman

Spectacularly mediocre fantasy junk food, perfectly inoffensive for youngsters but too featherweight for adult genre fans.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): was very meh on the first film

I have not read the source material

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

Sea of monsters” sounds cool! Can we go there? Cuz it ain’t here. Here I count one oceangoing monster that’s not all that scary and surprisingly easily defeated, and one other mythical creature of the waves that’s actually rather nice. So we have, erm, an “environment of creatures,” then? The spectacularly mediocre Percy Jackson universe returns — yes, it’s now officially a franchise — with a tale of halfblood son-of-Poseidon Percy (Logan Lerman [The Three Musketeers], who is better than this) and his pals, not-Ron Weasley (Brandon T. Jackson: Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son) and not-Hermoine Granger (Alexandra Daddario), also the halfblood offspring of ancient deities, who must hunt down the Golden Fleece of yore because yadda yadda yadda. *yawn* This is fantasy junk food at its most blah and non-nutritious, too goofy and too bloodless, literally and figuratively, to take seriously: the magical-mechanical bull attack at Percy’s secret halfblood school early in the film is a riot of supposedly intense and dangerous violence that appears to inflict not so much as scrapes and bruises among the students. While this may make the flick perfectly suited for gradeschoolers in its mild inoffensiveness, the adults accompanying them may find themselves less than engaged by a movie that is too insecure in its own storytelling to leave us to figure out what The Message is. “If there’s one thing I’ve learned in three thousand years,” one god helpfully informs us, “it’s that you can’t give up on family.” Thanks for the tip. As with the first movie, it’s the grownups portraying the gods on Earth who get the juiciest bits and have the most fun with them; alas that Stanley Tucci (Jack the Giant Slayer) and Nathan Fillion (Monsters University) are onscreen for so short a time. Accidentally saddest moment: we meet a halfblood who uses his magical powers to work as… a barista. Such are the limits of Sea’s imagination and ambition.

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