I just got back from seeing Sea of Monsters, the film adaptation of the second book in the Percy Jackson series, and I have to say, it wasn’t that spectacular. On one hand, I loved it, because I loved the books. Also I like seeing film adaptations, i usually don’t mind creative liberty, as long as it’s still good. That being said, this time, they might’ve gone too far.
Now, I’m not saying I didn’t love it. Like I said, I did. What I’m saying is the creative liberties taken, were too much for me to ignore. Normally, I’m fine. The movies of a series shouldn’t be exactly like the books. I get it, filmmakers are trying to reach a wider audience, there’s more of a production cost, therefore more profits have to be made for a movie to be called a success. To be honest, I liked the first movie. However, now that I’ve seen this one, I’m not so sure if that was because I was super excited to see one of my favorite books on the big screen or if it was because it was actually a good movie.
I will say this, the acting…so much better. Since The Lightning Thief, we’ve seen Logan Lerman in Perks of Being a Wallflower, which I thought he was amazing in. Maybe, action movies just aren’t his thing. Also, Grover just needs to stop with the side comments. It was cute in the first movie, but now, it’s just getting weird & annoying. As for Annabeth, I feel like she’s almost becoming a weaker, more minor, character. I’m a huge Joss Whedon fan, Hermionie, Katniss, Tris Prior, all the way. I prefer my women strong. I’m not saying she needs to be superwoman, but all of the sighing and hugging, and such…come on, girl. I don’t know what happened, or why Hollywood thinks “girl sidekicks” need to be so dependent, but Annabeth was NOT like this in the books. She’s the daughter of Athena, goddess of wisdom and strategy (among other things)… do better Hollywood.
Back to the plot.
No, just no. I didn’t like the fact that they aged the characters in the first movie. You know, like I said, I get wanting to appeal to a wider audience, but people of all ages read Percy Jackson. And technically it’s Middle Grade. The aging threw everything off, they changed the prophecy to the child turning 20 not 16, and all these things happen that weren’t supposed to happen until the last book. No, I’m not kidding at all. It makes everything less believable. It didn’t sit right in my head. It was almost as if instead of a flowing full-fledged movie, there were choppy scenes that individually were great but together, not so much.
It’s sad, because I’m afraid this franchise might not have much of future. The movie just hit theaters, and the theater I went to is a pretty popular one…it was almost empty. I think the first thing that needs to happen is directors, producers, etc…need to stop trying to find the next Harry Potter. Yeah, I said it. I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. It. Was. My. Childhood. You cannot replace it, you will never beat it, not for me, or most of us who grew up with the books/movies. As a writer, that’s something you learn quick. Not necessarily just in relation to Harry Potter but with anything. Stop trying to become another author, another book series. To each his own. Percy Jackson needs to be Percy Jackson. You know what Harry Potter was so damn successful? It stayed true to its audience. JK Rowling made sure there were British actors, also it didn’t veer that far from the books. It was a widely popular series which is why the movies had such a large, even larger, appeal. It makes sense. Percy Jackson, for those of us who loved it as a child or love it now, has its own intrinsic appeal. The people on the team should remember that and give us Percy Jackson, not Harry Potter (I have all of those, I can watch them anytime). We love the mythology, Rick Riordan’s stories are so rich, the movie was bland. The other thing about Percy is he wants to be in both worlds, not just Camp Half Blood, I didn’t like how he was already at camp. There’s worth in trying to expand your audience, but if the audience it originally attracted doens’t love it then you’ve got a problem. I know kids love CGI, 3D, and all that stuff. They might not be as bored with it as I’m getting, but just you wait. Kids aren’t stupid, it won’t take long.
The Percy Jackson movie adaptations need a revamp, maybe not with a new cast, etc… but with a fresh set of creative ideas. I know these movies can be so much better, if they’re allowed to be. Also, give these actors some acting lessons, and some better lines. That being said, it’s still a great story, a cute, funny, daring one, that says a lot about friendship, family, proving yourself, and ultimately creating for yourself the person you want to be. So maybe, critiques aside, that’s what’s really important 🙂
Have you seen the movie yet? What did you think? Also, what book to movie adaptations are you looking forward to, what are your favorites?
P.S. Tyson was great, (hands down, my favorite) though…I wish they would’ve given that subplot more umph, it, everything was too rushed.