“Have you ever felt that everything you’ve done was just luck?” says Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), as he narrates his story. He’s a demigod, son of Poseidon and a human mother. In 2010’s “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” (which I did not see), he saved the world but, this time, can he save fellow demigods and their home, Camp Half Blood? That’s the setup for this mildly entertaining sequel.
Do Percy, Grover (Brandon T. Jackson), Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), and Tyson (Douglas Smith) find the Golden Fleece and save their camp? Or do Clarisse (Leven Rambin) and Luke (Jake Abel) beat them to it? Will you care?
Young actors Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson and Alexandra Daddario play serious-minded Percy, brainy Annabeth and mischievous Grover (think Harry Potter, Hermione and Ron) in this second part of the Percy Jackson franchise. New character, Tyson — well played by Douglas Smith — is Percy’s half-brother, Cyclops son of Poseidon. Off they go to the Bermuda Triangle, aka Sea of Monsters, questing for the only artifact — the Golden Fleece — with power to heal Camp Half Blood’s great tree that shields them from their enemies.
Others in the cast include Levin Rambin and Jake Abel as Clarisse and Luke, daughter of Ares and son of Hermes, respectively, who also seek the Golden Fleece — Clarisse, because she is ambitious, Luke, for revenge. Anthony Head and Stanley Tucci play adult characters, Chiron and Mr. D. In a cameo, Nathan Fillion is Hermes, messenger of the gods, employed here by UPS.
“Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” is a so-so sequel in this demigod fantasy adventure franchise. Fans will enjoy it but there’s not much for the rest of us. Directed by Thor Freudenthal from an uninspired script by Marc Guggenheim and Rick Riordan (the latter wrote the novels), it’s diverting, but just barely. Jokes are lame — “Zeus is immortal,” says Chiron, “he can hold a grudge for as long as he wants” — and special effects are sometimes cheesy. The entire cast, for example, in an unconvincing belly of a sea monster, exiting through its gut, or a bland animated flashback revealing an equivocal prophecy. On the other hand, the NYC cab and its three blind cabbies were fun. (I did not see the 3-D version.)
Rated PG for fantasy action violence, some scary images and mild language, “Sea of Monsters” runs 106 minutes. It’s a quest story, so characters learn life lessons along the way. Brotherly love, for instance. “Everything’s better with a brother,” says Tyson. And finding your destiny is “not as bad as you might think,” says Percy.
Sequel — “Sea of Monsters” —
Puts Percy to the test,