Sea of Monsters

So, I ended up down the cinema with a couple of friends, and we went in to see Sea of Monsters.

Now, I don’t know much about the Percy Jackson series, so I have no idea how accurate this is compared to the books, so yet again I went in to the film with no real preconceptions about it.

Percy Jackson is a Young Adult urban fantasy series, basically based around Greek mythology. In this series most of the Greek gods and godesses have half-blood children and they have a refuge known as Camp Half Blood and the series follows the titular Percy Jackson who is the son of Poisiden.

My favourite aspect of the film was the world building. Watching it you could really get the sense that this was in fact a world that was filled with mythical beings. And also with little prior knowlege of the series and not seeing the first film I was quite easily able to understand the setting and the characters so I was able to follow the film.

Plot wise, it is based around the Golden Fleece and the attempts made to retrieve it in order to heal a magic tree that creates a barrier for the camp to protect them from outside invaders. The tree was formed when a girl, Talia who is the daughter of Zues died so it is her tree.  And in the film they need to retrive the fleece as someone poisoned the magic tree that protects the camp. However, someone else is after the fleece Luke, son of Hermes who is leading other half bloods to steal the fleece in order to raise Chronos, father of the Titans.

Percy our hero, is sort of what you’d expect from a young teenage hero. He’s not really sure about if he’s really cut out for the hero stuff, and has a lot of self doubt. (I think I would if I found out I was the halfblooded child of a god) He didn’t really stand out to me, but he also didn’t fall into the obnoxious trap that is quite easy for this type of character to fall into and he’s generally pretty relatable.

And we have Grover, a saytr. Interestingly he’s a white character in the books but the film adaptation has made him black. But he mostly in the film falls into the comic relief type role but he’s also got his moments to show he’s pretty competent. He’s also apparently been changed from his book temperment into a much more confident character.

In the film we have a character, Tyson who turns out to be Percy’s half brother as he’s the child of Posiden and a cyclops. As you can guess this makes it rather hard for him to fit in. Tyson is a bit of a goofball and clumsy but has a good heart and I found him very endearing.

One thing though I felt could have been done better was the two main female characters, Annabeth and Clarisse. Now as I mentioned I don’t have much knowlege of the books but I just found the two female leads were rather one dimensional.

The two main female  characters fall into two very common ‘strong female character’ types. We have Clarisse daughter of Ares, so as you can guess she’s the physical tough girl type, then we have Annabeth, daughter of Athena who is the intelligent type. Now I’m not sure if it’s the actresses or the writers but these two unforutantly came over as really shallow characters they had little depth. Clarisse just seemed to be the ‘I am the tough girl who shouts at people’ and Annabeth came over as ‘I am the smart one who is actually rather obnoxious’ so that area of the film needed  alot of improvement as from what I read those two characters have a lot more depth. And Annabeth kept falling into a damsel role which was rather fustrating to see.

An interesting theme within the film is that Percy may not actually be the main hero. There’s talk of a propercy involving ‘the child of one of the original three’ (Being Zues, Hermes or Hades) and of course Percy thinks that might be him but that may not be a case. It’s an interesting change to see a sort of ‘you may not be the hero’ spin. Also the propercy states that the child will either save or doom Olypmus so that’s another interesting spin.

The film ends as you expect, the heros get the fleece and Talia’s tree is saved which also brings Talia back to life and leaves the film open for the sequal.

Coming in as a ‘wanting something to watch with some friends’ angle I found the film enjoyable enough. It’s not a perfect film, it’s a bit goofy and in a few cases the effects don’t quite line up an there’s the character issues with Annabeth and Clarisse  but it’s enjoyable enough, it doesn’t drag much and there’s plenty of humour in it.

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