Movie review – Percy is cool, but not Harry cool

2013-09-01 14:00

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Film: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (Nu Metro)

Director: Thor Freudenthal

Featuring: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith, Jake Abel and Stanley Tucci

Percy Jackson deserves to be as big as Harry Potter. Like the boy wizard, he’s got cool parentage – he is the son of Poseidon, god of the sea, brother of Zeus.

Weirdly enough, though, these films are not quite as good as they could be, and I can’t quite put my finger on why.

They have all the ingredients – a young hero with challenges to overcome, two friends to go on adventures with him, quests to fulfil and monsters to fight.

Yet, while the first Harry Potter film made about R900?million on its opening weekend, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief made about a third of that and this one halved that number on its opening weekend.

Rick Riordan’s series just doesn’t create the excited buzz JK Rowling’s did – perhaps because Dumbledore is just funkier than Zeus.

I liked Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. It has satisfying themes of friendship and doing the right thing.

I also like the gods of Olympus because they are more engaging than their latter-day Judeo-Christian counterparts.

They squabble, they have dalliances with humans, they release the Kraken to eat you if you irritate them enough – so it is far more likely that we are made in their image.

This time, Percy is sent in search of the Golden Fleece to stop his nemesis Luke (son of Hermes) from destroying the world, of course.

Along the way, he discovers he has a cyclops half-brother, gets eaten by a sea monster and rides a mythical sea horse.

What’s not to like? I don’t know, but I can hazard a guess that young audiences will not flock to this like they did to Harry Potter.

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