After the original Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief took a healthy $200m+ at the box office, the sequel moved quietly into production.
When the tree protecting Camp Half-Blood is poisoned, Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) must venture forth and retrieve the magical golden fleece, which can be used to cure the poison. Along with friends Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) and Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) Percy ventures to the Sea of Monsters, which is within the Bermuda Triangle the last known location of the fleece in hopes of returning before the camp is attacked again.
The less complicatedly titled Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters replaces Christopher Columbus with Thor Freudenthal (Diary of a Wimpy Kid). Gone is the convoluted origin nonsense that Columbus drowned the audience with before and the new director manages to condense the narrative into a flighty timeframe that rarely lingers long enough to cause discomfort.
As well as directorial changes there is recasting afoot with the character of Chiron, now played by the excellent Anthony Stewart Head, who appears to be channelling his inner-Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Lerman, who proved himself so adept in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, is given little to do in terms of range, but gives a workmanlike performance. Other newcomers Stanley Tucci and Nathan Fillion are as wonderful as you’d imagine. These new round of acting stars seem to understand what kind of film they’re in and play to it in a fun and entertaining way.
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters goes heavy with CGI and the results are mixed, with some nice heavy-hitting action scenes and a suitably epic-looking finale. But as with most CGI it’s not realistic enough to make you believe in what you’re seeing, leaving you to constantly feel isolated from the film.