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?

Whimsically Yours,

PnC

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.

Written by Patrice

19 Comments

Jayme

On one hand, I hate to hear it strayed so far from the book. On the other, I kind of already had my suspicions given the trailer. I’m guessing ***POSSIBLE SPOILER*** Kronos rises as a giant monster thing at a theme park?

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Patrice

Oh wow, yep, you guessed it. Haha, looking back at the trailer, I guess it did give it away. They changed a lot of things. I mean that was a MAJOR one but there were tons of little details that make me worried for the future of the movies. This happened with Eragon & Chronicles of Narnia and, now, those franchises are gone. I love Percy so much, and they just introduced Thalia, I really want to see the rest of the books become movies.

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Jayme

I was thinking the same thing! Seems like Sea of Monsters suffers from a prior movie that took liberties that had a ripple effect on it. I can only imagine what kind of ripple effects liberties like this would have on future movies… but I still want to see them. Really, really badly!! 😉

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Patrice

Yes, you’re right, it definitely does. You should go see it though, that’s why I finally caved… I knew it had to be flawed, based on everyone’s comments, but I couldn’t resist. And I don’t regret the money spent, it was still a treat 🙂

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Patrice

Oh, I see, seeing movies with family is always nice…let me know what you think after you do 🙂

Kelly Hashway (@kellyhashway)

I resisted seeing the first movie because I loved the books and when I saw they aged Percy so much, I was upset. But I gave in, and I really loved the movie too. I was able to view them as two separate things, which we really have to do since the movies never live up to the books. They just don’t. (My opinion. Feel free to disagree. 🙂 ) I really want to see this movie, but again, I’m expecting a lot of differences.

Thanks for the review. I’m glad I know what I’m in for.

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Patrice

You’re completely right, Kelly. That’s what I learned to do with the Harry Potter movies which is why I love them so much. That’s also what I did with the first Percy Jackson movie. I think I was just so excited for this one that I forgot to remind myself that things would be different. I did like a lot of it though so I hope you enjoy it, it’s a great adventure!

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Laura W.

Your reactions seemed similar to my reaction to the Eragon movie. Basically, all the characters had the same names and there was a kid who had a blue dragon, and that was it. No wonder it didn’t do well. It was a fun movie, but it crossed that line between “artistic license” and “betraying the source material.” However, the author did not care at all about the movie and did absolutely nothing with it, so I wasn’t really surprised.

You’re definitely right about how people try to find the “next Harry Potter.” What they forget is that HP started with younger kids — only 11, even younger than Percy — and that *no one was looking for it.* It exploded because it was good and the readers loved it. They keep trying to cram stories into what they think is this formula for success.

And yeah, Hollywood is just bad at writing sidekicks in general. Guys are around to give funny one-liners and girls are there to be love interests. But — don’t kill me, haha — I never liked the PJ books in the first place; never read past the first one. So while I see what you mean, the adaptation of this series doesn’t bother me much.

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Patrice

Oh gosh…I knew I was asking for it when I wrote this post but I was hoping no one would bring up Eragon. EVERY TIME I think about it I get so pissed. LOVED the series, had so much potential as a movie and they completely ruined it. Even though I was younger, I remember being furious, my friends and I were so disappointed. Like, I’m with you, there was no chance for a sequel, not that that mattered because after the first adaptation none of us fans wanted to see the butcher the rest.

Haha but this is why success formulas don’t work or at least, aren’t as strong. Writers, filmmakers and call creative sorts should just do good work that attracts dedicated fans, that’s what’s important first in foremost.

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Laura W.

Heh, like you I loved the first Eragon book. With Eldest I was like…meh, but now I want to see what happens to Murtagh! By the time I finished Brisingr, I was like, I don’t care about any of these characters anymore except Nasuada and Saphira, and why did she pick a derp like Eragon when she is so awesome? The author’s writing just got progressively more self-indulgent and expansive as the series went on. Eragon became a total hypocrite. And Murtagh got like NO screen time in that book. Haha. I skimmed the fourth book before skipping to the end. And the ending made me more pissed off than ever. Lol, I probably wouldn’t mind seeing sequels because in my opinion they couldn’t butcher the series any more than the author already did. :/

On the other hand, my cousin who had never read the books loved the Eragon movie. But considering that its major audience was book readers, it was really unwise of them to betray the source material like that.

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Patrice

LOL I’m glad you made it that far. I just got so tired of the series. It was like one day I woke up, and like you said, I stopped caring. Eh, it’s unfortunate the series turned out that way.

It’s funny you said that about your cousin, I feel like everyone who didn’t read the books LOVED the movie.

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C.L.

I only saw the trailers for the movie, so I’m in no position to judge. I think, based on what you’ve said and how it appears in the trailers, I had a feeling that this move wasn’t going to be very good. To me, the first movie wasn’t even that great of a children’s movie. (I felt the same way about Oz: the Great and Powerful.) It only seemed all right, but there wasn’t anything spectacular about it–though I could feel them trying to be funny or to pull canon that didn’t seem to work all that well.

My sister, who’s a huge Percy fan, didn’t even seem impressed. Guess it’s another one to cross off the list!

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Patrice

Haha, yes, you know it’s a problem when the trailers reveal how much a movie sucks, or as someone else said, in regard to this movie, how much the creative team behind it changed things from the book/give away the ending. I’m really hoping Ender’s Game & City of Bones are going to be good. They have some amazing casts so I’m less worried, but still, the worry of seeing favorite books turned into a movie & ruined is always there.

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C.L.

Oh my goodness, yes. I’m excited and scared for those movies to come out, but I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for the better!

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Patrice

Same here! I don’t think there’s any amount of bad reviews (that they hopefully won’t get) that could stop me from going to see them!

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