Do you remember back at the beginning of summer, when I wrote one of those rambles you're hopefully not missing so much (or should I hope you do?) on the Percy Jackson series? If you've read it - and you should, if you're going to stick around to read about Sea of Monsters - you've probably figured out the following: Percy Jackson is not my favorite fandom, the books are not one of my favorite series of all time and neither is the first movie. But I enjoyed the material for what it was. Simple yet very intriguing entertainment. Yes, there's a lot of Harry Potter in this, yes the first movie is very different from the first book - and yes, it's trashy. But it knows what it is and hence works perfectly well.
This month, new material was finally released in the shape of a sequel movie to The Lightning Thief. I'm writing movie because - like every fan should know and/ or finally realize - the movies and books are two very damn separate things. Sea of Monsters starts where the first movie ended, and like the book it centers around a new quest for Percy and his friends; the tree that guards Half-Blood Camp is slowly dying and can only be saved by the Golden Fleece, which is currently owned by a blood-thirsty Cyclops living in the middle of the dangerous Sea of Monsters. There are a lot of details that are similar to the story in the novel, actually more than in The Lightning Thief and the tone is typical Percy Jackson. Everything's very light-hearted, propped with one-liners and the cast seems to be having fun. Now that's all I expect from the Percy Jackson series by now. Fun, just plain fun. I don't need accurateness or plausibility or award-winning performances. This is not the place for stuff like that. As long as I get Logan Lerman being absolutely lovable (and talented), Alexandra Daddario sporting her incredible eyes and everyone else being either funny or hot, I'm fine. And the acting isn't even terrible. Douglas Smith owned the role as Percy's Cyclops brother Tyson and Anthony Head was a far better Chiron than Pierce Brosnan. Even the CGI was fine this time (keyword: adorable rainbow ponies aka Hippocampi).
I understand why some people didn't like Sea of Monsters. 6.5 on IMDB is an understandable average, because clearly this isn't a critic's movie - nor a universally appealing entertainer. 38/64 on Rottentomatoes? Fine with me. What I don't get though is the shit that this movie gets from the people that were supposed to back it up. The ones that knew what they were getting into, knew the source material and enjoyed it. The worst thing is, they don't even tear Olympus apart by pointing out all the things that went "wrong" technically - directing, soundtrack, editing, whatever critics could probably argue wasn't all that great from an objective point-of-view. No, the Percy Jackson fandom, or a big part of it, is pissed off by the fact that Riptide isn't the cursed blade from the prophecy (it's still a cursed blade and you don't know how they're going to continue that plot). Because Kronos was defeated (as if). Because of stupid details. Just chill, people, and accept the fact that a book and its cinematic adaptation can be very different from each other, okay? Just saying. Because if nobody goes to watch Sea of Monsters, or at least buy it, we're not getting The Titan's Curse. We wouldn't want that, would we?
PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS
2013 • USA • English
dir. Thor Freudenthal
authors Marc Guggenheim, Rick Riordan
★ Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson
Final Frame: STRAWBERRY