Tuesday, August 20, 2013

SEA OF MONSTERS: Sail or Sink?

Sea of Monsters Movie Poster

Release Date: August 7, 2013
Directed by: Thor Freudenthal
Written by: Marc Guggenheim  
Genre: Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Duration: 1 hour and 50 minutes
Rated PG

Many movie enthusiasts and fans of the hit series Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan were thrilled with the news of the production of the Percy Jackson sequel: Sea of Monsters. Though most were a bit uncertain to watch the film because of its preceding movie's outcome: The Lightning Thief, true blue fanatics of the franchise were ready to spend a few bucks to see the movie adaptation of Mr. Riordan's novel. 

Having watched the first installment of the movie series and being a fanatic of the books, I was excited to give it a shot, just to see whether there has been any improvement and if it stuck closer to the book this time. And looking from the point of view of an avid PJO reader, here are some things I'd like to comment on (I'd like to warn you guys though that this is going to be long and very detailed, I think):


1.BLONDE Annabeth. I know this is a minimal thing but for me, it makes a huge difference. Yes, it does not affect the plot in any way but still, it shows that the filmmakers have actually LISTENED to the rants of the viewers especially those who KNEW what Annabeth's hair color should really be.

Annabeth turned blonde

2. Grover in a WEDDING DRESS. This is something EVERYONE has been looking forward to (along with some other things). It's kinda self-explanatory.

3. MR.D. I think aside from #2, another thing that we have been waiting for is the appearance of the Wine God/Camp Director, Dionysus. And of course, the famous "Perry Johnson" line.

Stanley Tucci as Dionysus

4.Introducing RAINBOW. The Hippocampus was just simply beautiful despite being a CGI (what would you expect?).

A hippocampus

5. Martha and George. Hermes' snakes makes it to the jump from book-to-movie. All fans will find their appearance enjoyable. I definitely did.


1. Where did PAN go? One miss that was clearly noticeable in the movie adaptation is that Grover did NOT went out looking for Pan, God of the Wild. I think this is an important part of Grover's character so that he can be seen as a valuable part too, not just the Satyr sidekick of the demigods. It also meant that the empathy link between him and Percy was not mentioned just like the existence of Pan.

2. No LAISTRYGONIAN GIANTS. The bloodthirsty, dodgeball-playing cannibal giants were completely omitted in the movie too. I think it is mainly because of CHANGE#1.

3. The Centaur STAYS. Unlike in the novel, Chiron was NOT fired from Camp Halfblood. In the book, the old centaur was kicked off the place as the Activities Director because of the suspicions that he was helping his father Kronos rise again. This leads to the next 2 Misses.

4. Invisible TANTALUS. Kinda self-explanatory. Since in the movie, Chiron stays, it means that there is no need for a replacement thus, Tantalus (who was SUPPOSED to take Chiron's place in the book) was not even mentioned.

5. PARTY PONIES with Pan and Tantalus. Also, since Chiron was not fired, he did not went over to his cousins, the Party Ponies. Therefore, the wild breed of Centaurs did not make it to the film.

6. Sea of MONSTER. Honestly, I think this is the most disappointing one of all. The only monster  that was actually present in the Sea was Charybdis.The Hydra, Sirens, Scylla, and Circe were not seen. Okay, the Hydra already made an appearance in Lightning Thief and Circe was mentioned in the film though I was REALLY looking forward to see Percy as a guinea pig and how they would portray the beautiful sorceress. And above that, they missed the introduction of a very important character that will appear later on in the next series (Heroes of Olympus): Reyna.

Charybdis, the only monster seen at the Sea.

1. The UNCHANGED Flaw. Camp Half-blood's shirt SHOULD be orange not blue and Chiron's horse part was supposed to be white, not brown. These flaws were already present in the first film so I was hoping that they'd make a change in the second film but then again, I was wrong. I don't know why is it so hard to do and what the makers are trying to send out. Again, this is completely irrelevant to the story (Like HIT#1) but still, it means a lot to PJO fans.

An ORANGE Camp Half-Blood shirt.

2. Introduction jumble. Instead of Tyson being Percy's friend in the start (just like what it was supposed to be), Percy only meets his half-brother at Camp via Chiron when Tyson managed to cross the weakened barrier. Thus resulting to MISS #2. 

3. Chariot Race turned into something else. The deathly race in the first parts of the book was turned into a competition to reach a top of a massive jungle-like barricade. This results into yet another MISS: The absence of the Stymphalian Birds which was suppose to attack during the race. Oh well, still in both book and movie, Clarisse ended up as the winner and Percy was able to let us see how he was willing to give up an achievement/goal/prize/etc. to help those in need. (Fatal Flaw Alert!)

4. Lost Gray Sisters. In the movie, Annabeth fetched the cab by means of whistling. The Gray Sisters then drove them AWAY from Camp but dropped them off even if they're not in their destination yet for a reason I will not explain anymore. Meanwhile, in the good ol' book, Annabeth summoned the cab by offering a drachma and calling upon the Chariot of Damnation (it was mentioned in the movie though). The sisters took the group TO Camp in the beginning. Their single tooth was not mentioned too although it would be quite irrelevant since there are no drachma to bite anyway. 

5. Welcome to the Oracle. In both book and film, Clarisse won the game (whatever it is) and is then decided to lead a quest in finding the Golden Fleece. The difference is that Clarisse wasn't shown to visit the Oracle. Instead, Percy does.

6. Age difference. One more conflict between the novel and the movie is the age of Percy and how it concerned the Great Prophecy. In the series, the Prophecy states that a demigod of the eldest gods shall reached sixteen against all odds but considering the age of the casts mainly Logan Lerman (Percy), the Prophecy was slightly moved up to the age of twenty so that it can suit the circumstances.

7. Hello Hermes! Percy's meet up with the God of Travel is quite different. In the book, they met by the lake at Camp and there, Hermes urged Percy to continue with the quest with or without the permission of the Camp.In the movie, however, Percy and the gang specifically sought him out to find Luke's whereabouts after Grover got kidnapped by Chris Rodriguez, a demigod who turned to Luke's side.

Nathan Fillion as Hermes having a talk with Percy (Logan Lerman)

8. Hello Clarisse! The meet-up of Clarisse and the gang was different too. In the novel, the daughter of Ares saved Percy and the others from a Hydra (MISS #6) but in the film, they all meet inside the stomach of Charybdis which is another CHANGE since in the book, they haven't been sucked in. 

9. BRIDESMAID. Another change which is not really that big was the role of Grover with Polyphemus, the cyclops. In the book, the satyr was kidnapped and pretended to be a female cyclops thus, resulting to Polyphemus wanting to marry him while in the film, Grover was caught too but this time, he only served as a maid to the cyclops.

10. FAKE deaths. In both forms, Annabeth and Tyson were thought to be dead (or almost, in case of book-Annabeth who was severely weak but not dead). The difference lie in the process. Let's talk about Tyson first: In the book, he "died" due to the explosion of Clarisse's ship, the CSS birminghan while in the movie, he fell to his death after he saved Percy from an arrow shot by Luke then falling off a cliff. Meanwhile, movie-Annabeth was thought to be dead after being pierced by a monster of Luke (which looked like a manticore to me) but in the book, she was not proclaimed dead. Instead, she was weak after the battle with Polyphemus.

11. Last Battle. Another noticeable change is the setting of Percy's battle with Luke. Unlike in the novel, the their duel ensued at Polyphemus' island after he was sealed in his cave instead of Miami. Also, one of the BIGGEST CHANGES for me that happened in the movie is the semi-Resurrection of Kronos. It NEVER happened in the book since Clarisse was already on her way back to Camp when Luke reached them but in the movie, since they were met by Hermes' child just outside the cyclop's cave, Luke managed to acquire the Golden Fleece and use it to revive the Titan Lord.

I have to elaborate the last part for this is a very critical one and should I dare say, the most "WHAT?!?!" addition. I believe everyone who has read the book would agree when I say that the film showed too much information (Chris Rodriguez and Silena Beauregard revealed as traitors and introduction of Ethan Nakamura). Also, another roadblock that left me thinking is that Kronos ate Luke showing that the Titan doesn't really care about his subjects. Therefore, why will Luke continue to help someone who devoured him whole and turn his back on someone (Percy) who saved his life? Unless Luke is pretty loose in the head (or any other reasons that anyone can come up), I think this scene prevents the franchise from proceeding with the story while keeping the main plot intact (considering that they haven't already swerved away from it in the first place.)


Freudenthal's adaptation of the Sea of Monsters may have a lot of flaws, conflicts and such but I still think that it was so much better and closer to the original story compared to Columbus' Lightning Thief. The casting was superb and the humor that was embedded in it was fantastic. Tyson was very far from what I have imagined but the change was great! Douglas Smith wasn't really Tyson-ic but still, he did a good job. In fact, Tyson was the best character for me in the film although I was never really a fan of him in the series. Levin Rambin wasn't like what I've imagined Clarisse La Rue to be physically but her portrayal as a big Anti-Percy made up for it (a bit since I felt that she grew softer near the end). The other casts did a fantastic job too like Logan Lerman (Percy), Alexandra Daddario (Annabeth), Jake Abel (Luke), Brandon T. Jackson (Grover), and Stanley Tucci (Dionysus). Anthony Head did a good job as Chiron but I personally think Pierce Brosnan was a closer representation of what I imagined Chiron would be. I was actually excited to see more of Catherine Keener as Sally Jackson but seeing as the film started and revolved around CAMP and the SEA, I was left waiting. I'd also like to commend the actresses for Thalia Grace: Paloma Kwiatkowski (Present Thalia) and Katelyn Mager (Young Thalia). They are exactly how I imagined them to be! 

Douglas Smith as Tyson :)

Some of the other commendable stars of the film

In the end, If I'd be rating them with 1 as the lowest and 5 the highest, it would be extremely difficult so I decided to give separate evaluations:
* If I'd view it as a PJO fan, I'd give it 3.5 because it was definitely blown out off the book containing only a few EXACT things. Most were changed (though some changes were actually good! *cough*Tyson*cough*) and some were completely omitted. Originally giving it a 3, I added a .5 bonus because of its casting which was exactly how I imagined them (though definitely younger)
* But if I look at it as a movieholic (If I disregard the book), I can safely give it a rate of 4.5 because of its great storyline, awesome casting, and the feelings that I've felt while watching it. Most scenes would definitely keep you on the edge of your seats. The morals of not judging by physical appearance, love for ones family, and trust in oneself is clearly shown. I would have given it a perfect 5 but then some of the visual effects seemed pretty staple to movies these days. But aside from that, it's two thumbs up.

= AVERAGE of FOUR out of five. :)

4/5 rating :)

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