In theatres: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Sarah Steele reviews the latest film in the Percy Jackson franchise — a movie you and your family are sure to love.

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Photo courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox.

In this franchise’s first installment, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (which hit theatres in 2010), we left Percy — along with his friends Annabeth and Grover — at Camp Half Blood after they’d defeated the conniving half-blood son of Hermes and the god Hades, and successfully returned Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt to him. This year, our demigod protagonists are back for another thrilling adventure, and moviegoers are sure to be pleased with what this sequel has in store for them.

Camp Half Blood has proven to be a safe haven for its demigod inhabitants up to this point, until a dangerous force threatens to jeopardize its security and the fate of the world itself. With some help from his friends and some faith in his own worthiness, Percy must obtain the only thing that can save Camp Half Blood and ensure the world’s survival.

The premise:

Percy Jackson has retained the celebrity he earned for saving the world (in the first movie) at Camp Half Blood, and life for the demigods seems to be carrying on in its usual, predictable way. However, everything is about to change when the barrier surrounding the camp, which cannot exist without Zeus’ daughter’s tree, is first bypassed by a relative Percy did not even know he had (his half-brother, Tyson), and then assaulted by an evil, yet not completely unfamiliar, force.

After the barrier protecting Camp Half Blood is compromised, and Percy hears the oracle’s ambivalent prediction regarding his fate, he decides to take matters into his own hands and, with the help of Annabeth (daughter of Athena, Goddess of Wisdom), the satyr Grover, as well as a couple exciting new characters, he attempts to retrieve the only thing that can restore the barrier and ensure the demigods’ protection.

Percy and his friends’ journey to obtain the object of their salvation is perilous at best (they must travel through the Sea of Monsters to get to it, and the item is guarded by an odious mythical creature), but becomes its worst, arguably, when they realize that that which they seek may be used for evil to the same degree that it may be used for good.

What we loved:

This movie offers even more laughs than its prequel does, as there seems to be a more constant stream of hilarious one-liners and jokes throughout sure to entertain both you and your family. The increase in humour in the sequel is likely attributable to the fact that Percy’s friend Grover no longer serves as (basically) the sole source of comedic relief; a new character, Dionysus (played by Stanley Tucci) is introduced, whose signature devil-may-care attitude and penchant for messing up others’ names will inspire laughter in both you and your kids. Tyson, Percy’s half-brother who surfaces out of the blue, is also introduced and is another character to whom a lot of the movie’s humour is attributable.

Another noteworthy feature of this movie is that, although it does have some violent moments in it, its violent scenes are not as intense or prolonged as those in the first film; the sequel has toned it down in that regard thereby making it more suitable for a broader audience.

Other great features of this movie include “Mist,” which “makes the mystical less mystical”; a beautiful iridescent seahorse Poseidon sends to help Percy, Tyson, and Annabeth; and a neat getaway-tidal wave Percy summons at one point.

Parental advisory (potential spoilers):

Although the tone of this movie is notably lighter than that of its predecessor, there are a number of scary scenes in the movie that parents might want to take into account before deciding to watch it with their kids. There are some entities in the movie which probably most accurately fall into the category of the “undead,” such as the oracle, or “Spirit of Death,” who is essentially a talking skeleton; the Three Fates, who resemble corpses and have no eyes; and red-eyed zombies, whom Clarisse, the daughter of Ares, has as crew on her father’s ship.

Other noteworthy “scary” features of the movie include a large metal bull, which shoots fire through its mouth; the large Cyclops named Polyphemus who inhabits Circeland; vicious scorpion-dog hybrids; and an enormous devil-resembling figure.

Canadian rating:

PG — Parental guidance is suggested

Final verdict:

I highly recommend seeing Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters because it is a great action-adventure movie that you and your kids will love, and you will have a ton of laughs together along the way. The movie might be a bit too scary at points for the younger children in your family, but the older kids are sure to enjoy its endless supply of adventure and thrill. It is a charming, exciting movie you won’t want to miss!

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