Thursday, 15 August 2013

Review: Percy Jackson - Sea of Monsters

World of Blackout Film Review

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters Poster

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2D)
Cert: PG / 106 mins / Dir. Thor Freudenthal

I took a gamble on this, as I really couldn't get on with the first movie, but it seemed to pay off because I quite enjoyed Sea of Monsters. I'll admit that there were several points where I had to remind myself I was watching a kids film*1, but once I got into the mindset I found surprisingly engaging.

The key ingredient is a cast who are fully committed to the roles they're playing*2, taking them seriously enough to sell the show, but not forgetting to have fun at the same time. Sure, there are a host of apparent homages and references to other movies, but they're knitted together so deftly that you can't help but be impressed that they're actually working. What also helps is that the story is grounded in Greek mythology; often used creatively enough that I can envision it capturing the imagination of the younger audience members and firing their interest in history. Weaving facts (however fanciful) into an adventure story is incredibly easy to get patronisingly wrong, and these movies should do for many kids what Clash of the Titans did for me when I was a nipper.

Elsewhere, the score is nicely implemented and the visual effects look mostly great, but some of the scenes are so dark that I was struggling to make out what was going on. And these are daytime shots, with me watching in a darkened auditorium, and without the darkening effect of 3D. It's not a constant thing, but just enough to be disconcerting when it happens.

Sea of Monsters is undoubtedly a one for the youngsters, but there movies currently on release with far less conviction than this. You could do a lot worse.

If nothing else, you have to admire the nerve of a film that replicates the opening of the Ark of the Covenant in an abandoned fairground, and all with a straight face. Hell, yeah.

Is the trailer representative of the film?

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Not so much of the laughing, but I dug the rest.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
It's an entertaining enough afternoon out, and some of the scenes are so dark you'll benefit from being in a cinema.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?
At some point.

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?
No. Seriously, the film is crying out for one.

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

And my question for YOU is…
Question here

*1 That's not to do any disservice to cinema for youngsters, but quite often there are concessions which have to be made. A lot of the humour in PJ:SoM falls under that category.
*2 With the exception of Jake Abel who's just sleepwalking through this, not even revelling in his own typecasting.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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