Movie Review: The Lightning Thief + Sea of Monsters

Posted September 20, 2014 by Sophia
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percy jackson lightning thief sea of monsters review

Contrary to everyone thinking the Percy Jackson movies were disastrous, they weren’t all that terrible in my opinion. On their own, at least, but if we’re comparing the books to the movies, well, that’s another story. The adaptations are an absolute disaster and don’t do the books justice. Of course, the movies do have some parts that I pretty much disliked, especially the first one.

The Lightning Thief

Percy (Logan Lerman) possesses newbie really well when he first finds out he’s a demigod. Thing is, what’s with everyone calling him “Perce?” It’s like a girl lost her purse and she’s screaming, “PURSE!” As if that’s going to pop up magically. Yeah… not going to happen. I wasn’t too bothered by the nickname though. I did, however, had a problem with how Percy is claimed. In the movie, he’s plopped oh so casually into Poseidon’s cabin – no OUNCE of water power beforehand. It’s not until later everyone figures out he’s the son of Poseidon because the dude nearly died.

percy jackson trident

In reality, I seriously wanted to see Clarisse (no appearance) trying to dump his head in a toilet in the girls’ bathroom. And then she gets drenched instead. It’s one of my favorite parts of the book that I was excited for back in 2010. Although back in 2010 I wasn’t so critical. I was all, “Yay it’s a movie and it looks so cool!” Automatic like. I didn’t even read the book until later. Still liked the movie even then.

Yeah, yeah. Twelve-year-old Sophia was naïve, totally happy go lucky, and full of mischief.

Another part I wanted to see was the part where Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) says they drowned in a bathtub whenever they faced that one dude in the underworld, who unfortunately looked more like a grimm reaper than what I recall. I let it slide since the Underworld actually looks amazing – not that I want to be dead!

percy jackson underworld

And then there are the shoes. Percy uses them… a lot. Weren’t they supposed to give him a one way trip to the Underworld (of course, Luke’s (Jake Abel) plan of that failed in the book)? But I have to say seeing the flying in action before going to Mount Olympus is pretty cool. Only because I’m evil enough to think Luke drowning is funny. :p

The best part of the movie were probably special effects, the credits at the end (come on. Gabe totally deserved it), and Grover (Brandon T. Jackson).

Sea of Monsters

I have to say I feel a bit sorry for the director here in the second Percy Jackson movie. Although fans have really high – and I mean off the charts high – expectations for the sequel, it’s pretty obvious the director tried his best to not only follow the book as closely as possible, but undo the “damage” done in the first movie, and I applaud him for doing the best he can. (Too bad the damage was already done.)

Some of the original cast members are back – Grover (Brandon T. Jackson), Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), Percy (Logan Lerman), and Luke (Jake Abel) – but some, like Chiron, have changed dramatically. There’s really no way the actors are the same for the centaur – I watched Sea of Monsters shortly after The Lightning Thief – even if there’s a whopping 3 year gap. Personally I don’t get what the fuss is all about over the entire movie – a director can only do so much fixing after all in the sequel without causing more damage. (Okay, but it was still bad.)

percy jackson navigation power

The second Percy Jackson movie also does a clarification with Percy’s age with the prophecy – the Oracle’s creepy by the way, and what’s with the puppetish stuff in that scene? In the first one, it’s obvious, he’s older than in the book. I get the entire reasoning behind the increase of age, and don’t quote me because I’m relying on my memory – back in an interview in 2010, the director mentioned that he increased the age due to the dangerous stunts a 12-year-old would have to if he casted someone younger.

Of course, it certainly makes sense to increase the age, but I had one particular question after reading The Last Olympian nagging at the back of mind: How would the prophecy work if he’s 15? He’s 16 in the last book, and 15 in the fourth book. Do they increase the age of the prophecy as well then?

It’s revealed in the second movie that the new age is 20. I suppose it’s another part of the damage control. Precisely why I like Sea of Monsters better than The Lightning Thief – the director doesn’t do a bad job, and the visuals were very well done. Even the casting for Thalia is really good – has anyone even noticed? – despite the fact her death near the beginning looked a bit fake.

percy jackson thalia grace dying

In all honesty, I haven’t lost too much hope for the movie version of the series. Or maybe I’m a sucker for visuals. :p

Sophia has a GIF for nearly everything and is frequently in a Hogwarts House crisis. Unlike her personality in blog posts, she's a socially awkward recent college grad who majored in Communications. More of her bookish reviews can be found at The Arts STL.

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