“Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” is Greek mythology as written by Harry Potter. Borrowing heavily from the boy wizard’s adventures, it mixes and matches ancient stories with some more recent story elements to create a film that moves along at such a clip you won’t even realize you’re experiencing story déjà vu.
The sequel to 2010’s “The Lightening Thief” sees Percy (Logan Lerman), the half-human son of Poseidon, wracked with self-doubt about his status as a hero. Seems he is the Rodney Dangerfield of his home, Camp Half Blood, labeled a “one quest wonder” by his rival Clarisse (Leven Rambin).
When the camp is attacked, however, he learns it is his prophesy to be the salvation or the cause of the destruction of his people. He takes it upon himself with help from his teen Cyclops half-brother Tyson (Douglas Smith), satyr buddy Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) and Athena’s daughter, Annabeth Chase (Alexandra Daddario) to travel to the Sea of Monsters (we know it as the Bermuda Triangle) and find the Golden Fleece before lightning thief Luke (Jake Abel) uses it to resurrect Cronos, a dastardly titan so evil he devoured his own children, not Kronos, the world’s largest manufacturer of gyros.
“Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” will entertain your eyes with wild creatures—a mechanical “transformer” bull, a cool looking horsefish—but don’t expect anything original. It’s a competent, if forgettable movie, that borrows so heavily from the “Harry Potter” movies I kept expecting a Daniel Radcliffe cameo.
Logan Lerman, back for his second kick at the Percy can, is good in a rather thankless part but he’s overshadowed by the creatures and scene-chewing character actors like Nathan Fillion and Stanley Tucci who both look like they’re having more fun than anyone else in the movie. For Lerman’s best work check out the underrated and under seen “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” (in which he co-stars with actual “Harry Potter” star Emma Watson.)
One character, a six-armed demi-god barista, sums up the whole of “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.” I like a latte as much as anyone, and respect those who work their magic on the espresso machine, but a well coordinated demi-god with six arms could probably find a better way to express his art than selling coffee. Same with the movie. With such rich source material to draw from the filmmakers should be offering up something more than a tepid rehash of things we’ve seen before.