It’s being compared to Harry Potter, but Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters isn’t replicating the critical success of the franchise it’s being likened to. Where the young wizard clan in the Potter films captivated audiences with magic and relationships, the gang in Percy Jackson seem to replace magic and character building with action — a formula critics are saying doesn’t really work.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters is currently rotten and it’s not going to trend to freshness anytime soon.
He may be a demigod, but Percy Jackson is suffering a crisis of confidence. If this dilemma sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Percy is a lot like a certain bespectacled young wizard — sans the lightning-shaped scar. It’s too bad his adventures don’t have the same enchanting quality.
Perhaps the most dispiriting aspect of the Percy Jackson enterprise (especially for those hunting for the next Harry Potter) is how little care the filmmakers take in trying to make this young-adult tale feel timeless. Instead of telling a story that will hold up even a few years down the road, each installment takes age-old mythology and awkwardly pegs it to the moment, all but guaranteeing that it will seem outdated by the time the next sequel rolls around.
From the uninitiated perspective, though, it seems more likely that “Sea of Monsters” (directed by Thor “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” Freudenthal) will disappoint because of general cheesiness and a pronounced deficit of thrills.
In an age where even “The Smurfs 2” has to arch an eyebrow and pretend that it’s hipper than itself, there’s something refreshing about the lack of irony in the “Percy Jackson” series. They’re the ideal matinee movies for an era that doesn’t know what matinees are anymore.