Pack your rucksack and call your friendly neighborhood satyr: We’re headed back to Camp Half-Blood.
“Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters,” the sequel to 2010’s “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief,” opens Wednesday and follows the titular demi-god (Logan Lerman) on his latest aquatic adventure.
Director Thor Freudenthal takes over the film franchise from previous helmer Christopher Columbus, and critics are mixed over this second outing with the son of Poseidon. Check out what they have to say about “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.”
“Following the almost $226.5 million box office of the first Percy Jackson movie, the hero (Logan Lerman) has returned to save Camp Half-Blood, the training ground for Greek demigods and employer of the teacher-centaur Chiron (Anthony Head of ’Buffy the Vampire Slayer,’ at his Watcher-ly best, replacing Pierce Brosnan). When the magical tree that protects the camp is poisoned, Percy must retrieve the Golden Fleece to heal it.” — Andy Webster, New York Times
How does ’Sea of Monsters’ compare to ’Lightning Thief’?
“Though part one used up many of the good monsters — like Medusa and the hydra — part two is a fleeter entertainment, free of origin-story requirements. It’s also marginally better made: While Chris Columbus brought his leaden ’Sorcerer’s Stone’ touch to ’The Lightning Thief,’ new director Thor Freudenthal (’Diary Of A Wimpy Kid’) demonstrates a greater flair for CGI spectacle. Squint hard enough and it’s possible to pretend you’re watching a kind of YA version of ’Raiders Of The Lost Ark,’ complete with a scene of the heroes tied up while the villains unwisely unleash an ancient evil.” — A.A. Dowd, A.V. Club
The New Supporting Players
“Speaking of Greek gods, this sequel doesn’t have the star-studded cast of gods seen in the original film. No Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Rosario Dawson, or Ray Winstone, but there are a pair of scene stealers in Stanley Tucci as the god of wine Dionysus (replacing Luke Camilleri) and Nathan Fillion as Hermes (replacing Dylan Neal). Poseidon is oft-mentioned, but there’s no appearance by Kevin McKidd here. Jake Abel reprises his role from the first film as Luke Castellan, the demigod son of Hermes. Anthony Stewart Head seems to know exactly what movie he’s in and makes the most of his role as Chiron, who was played by Brosnan in the first film.” — Jim Vejvoda, IGN
“But the true star of the show is once again the visually commanding, if loud, special effects sequences — this time including one set in the Sea of Monsters (a.k.a. the Bermuda Triangle) and a grand finale featuring the towering Kronos. Elsewhere, more old-school production values are similarly solid, with an abandoned East New Orleans Six Flags Amusement Park, written off after Hurricane Katrina, making for an effectively creepy Circeland.” — Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter
The Final Word
“Filmgoers and fans will be able to follow the character arcs and the fight scenes, with both done well and simply enough to suffice. ’Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’ is hardly the stuff of legend, but by keeping the plot straightforward and the storytelling clean, it’s an odyssey the intended young audience will be glad to take.” — James Rocchi, Screen Crush