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Movie Review

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters also known as “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters,” “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters”

MPAA Rating: PG for fantasy action violence, some scary images and mild language.

Reviewed by: Kirsten Palmer

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids Teens Family
Action Adventure Fantasy Family Drama Sequel
1 hr. 46 min.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
Wednesday, August 7, 2013 (wide—2,800+ theaters)
DVD: December 17, 2013
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, Fox 2000 Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

FEAR, Anxiety and Worry—What does the Bible say? Answer

ancient Greece



Athens, Greece

Ancient idols and idolatry

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Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
Featuring: Alexandra Daddario … Annabeth
Leven Rambin … Clarisse
Logan Lerman … Percy Jackson
Nathan Fillion … Hermes
Stanley TucciDionysus
Sean BeanZeus
Jake Abel … Luke Castellan
more »
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Producer: Fox 2000 Pictures
Sunswept Entertainment
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Distributor: Fox 2000 Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Prequel to this movie: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

If you saw the first movie “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: the Lightning Thief or read the book, then you already know that Percy Jackson is the son of Poseidon, the god of the sea. In this fictional world created by Rick Riordan, the Greek gods are all real and still exist. Not only do they still exist, but they continue to have children with mortals. These demigod children need a safe place to grow up and train to fight the enemies of civilization, thus Camp Half Blood was created.

The movie starts seven years earlier, when Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), daughter of Athena, arrives at camp with her demigod companions. Chased by a dangerous cyclops, Thalia, daughter of Zeus sacrificed her life so Annabeth, Grover the satyr and Luke, son of Hermes, could live. As she lay dying, Zeus turned her into a tree to keep her alive in some way. Thalia’s tree then creates a magical border that prevents any other danger from entering the camp.

After fighting for survival in a journey across country to retrieve Zeus” lightning bolt from Luke (Jake Abel), resulting in saving his mother, Mount Olympus, the gods and the whole world, Percy (Logan Lerman) is finding life at camp a bit discouraging. Beaten in any and every challenge at camp by Clarisse (Leven Rambin), daughter of Ares, he is starting to doubt himself. Was his success in the quest just beginner’s luck? Is he really a great hero?

To top it all off, his own father Poseidon seems to be ignoring him. When his half brother Tyson (Douglas Smith), a cyclops, shows up, Percy is really starting to wonder what he’s worth. Percy soon gets a chance to find out who he is when the camp is again threatened by Luke and his plans. After poisoning Thalia’s tree, Luke sends a Colchis bull to annihilate the camp and its inhabitants. Now, in order to save the tree, Clarisse and a satyr (I didn’t catch his name, I apologize… but I think this is the only time the satyr is mentioned; he seems to have disappeared later on) is given a quest to go find the golden fleece in the Sea of Monsters.

Before she leaves for her quest, Percy tries to warn Clarisse about Luke, but she isn’t interested in what he has to say. Percy then teams up with Annabeth and Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) to go in search of the golden fleece, but Tyson also tags along to Annabeth’s chagrin.

Following Grover’s nose, Annabeth hails a cab driven by the three gray sisters to drive them to Florida, but they only get as far as Washington, DC. While there, Grover is kidnapped by demigods Luke has recruited for his plans. Spotting a UPS store, Annabeth decides to ask Hermes for help finding Luke and saving Grover. Hermes is very helpful, giving them Luke’s location and some magical gifts to help them on their quest.

When Percy, Annabeth and Tyson catch up to Luke and are taken prisoner, they find that he took Grover to help find the golden fleece and has sent him ahead. They also discover that his plan is to resurrect Kronos and overthrow the Olympians, getting revenge on his father Hermes and the other gods for ignoring their children. Thanks to Hermes’ gifts, they escape Luke and make their way to the Sea of Monsters.

The entrance into the Sea of Monsters is guarded by a water creature, Charybdis, who swallows the raft they’re riding in. In the monsters stomach, they find Clarisse on a confederate submarine ordering around her zombie soldiers. By working together, they manage to escape the belly of the beast and sail to Circeland, an island with an amusement park built for demigods.

Unfortunately, Polyphemus the cyclops has been bad for business because he’s eaten all of the customers. Also, unfortunately, they will have to somehow get the fleece from Polyphemus without getting eaten themselves. They find Grover has survived by pretending to be a cyclops, having taped a giant paper eye to his forehead. With golden fleece in hand, they barely escape and trap the monster only to find themselves surrounded by Luke and his demigod army. Will Percy once again save the day or will Luke be able to bring back Kronos and get his revenge?

Offensive material:

At the camp, there is a mummy in the attic known as the oracle with the spirit of Delphi. A spirit in the mummy gives Percy a prophecy about what may be his destiny. There’s some foul language, including the d-word, a couple times. Grover begins to call Clarisse the b-word, but is interrupted before he finishes the word. There is some name calling, including p***-ant. Also, there are some exclamations made, such as “oh my gods” and “holy Styx “and other references to hell or hades.

Dionysus, the god of wine, makes a statement that I wasn’t sure if the filmmakers meant as a joke or not. Having been caught with one of Zeus’s nymphs, he is being punished by having to look after the camp and is not allowed to drink wine. Any attempt to drink wine, the wine simply turns to water. In the film he says, “Christians have a guy who can do the same trick in reverse, now THAT’S a God.” I would like to believe this was their way of acknowledging Jesus as the one true God, but it may have been meant as a joke.

This is an action film, so there is quite a bit of violence. There’s fighting, punching, kicking, stabbing, fighting with fire, Tyson is shot with an arrow, but there isn’t much gore or blood.

Positive elements:

While this movie is primarily based on the premise of the existence of many gods, I did pick up a couple elements in the movie that can be used as analogies for biblical truths.

Percy is doubting himself. Percy is doubting his father cares. He talks to his father Poseidon, as if in prayer, but he’s not really expecting a response. Now consider his brother Tyson. He was living alone in the mountains, when he asked his father for help. Poseidon led Tyson to find Percy. Tyson never wavers in his faith. Several times in the movie, he is encouraging Percy to keep his faith. When they need a way to get to Luke’s yacht, Tyson asks his father for help to get there. Percy thinks Tyson is wasting his breath, Poseidon will never answer. Lo and behold, Poseidon sends a hippocampus to help Percy, Tyson and Annabeth reach their destination.

This theme throughout the movie made me think about prayer. Percy didn’t believe Poseidon was listening, but he was. When we pray, God hears. Sometimes we don’t recognize God’s response or think He’s not listening, but you have to keep praying. When Tyson asked, he asked expectantly.

Mark 11:24: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it and it will be yours.”

1 John 5:14-15: “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”

Clarisse is the best at everything. Name the challenge, she’s won it. She enjoys rubbing Percy’s nose in the fact that she has beaten him at everything. When her chance for glory comes, taking the quest to get the fleece, she is so caught up in the victory of being chosen in front of everybody, she ignores the warnings Percy tries to give her. Her attitude reminded me of something I read a few nights ago. Matthew 23:12 says…

“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.” I have to say Clarisse was a lot more humble by the end of the movie.

Another positive element that exists in the movie is Hermes unwillingness to give up on Luke. He knows Luke is angry with him and says Luke has a right to be angry, but you never give up on family. God never gives up on us. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us…

“The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”

Movie thoughts:

If you have read the book, you will probably be disappointed. While I feel they did a better job of sticking to the book in this film as compared to “The Lightning Thief,” it is off enough to make you wonder what they were thinking. I did see this in 3D, and while the fight with the Colchis bull was 3D-rific, I wish I had saved a few dollars and watched it in regular format, instead. I’m really on the fence on whether I would recommend this movie or not. I think I’m leaning towards recommending finding something better, if it’s available, because I’m not sure the positive material outweighs the offensive material. While this film is rated PG, I think a PG-13 rating would be more appropriate.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—It was great! And even better on the big screen! As a Percy Jackson book fan, I was at first upset over how much they changed things, but it wasn’t so bad when I watched the movie. I had a great time! Logan (Percy) and Alex (Annabeth) are a great team as the hero and heroine. The scriptwriters did a good job adapting the book’s brand of humor. Nathan Fillion also did a dang good little cameo as Hermes, the upset father. And the scriptwriters kept the theme of the book, “My dear young cousin, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the eons, it’s that you can’t give up on your family, no matter how tempting they make it.”

Overall, it’s a good movie, and while I think they might as well have let some more violence in (make it PG-13, perhaps) it was still a decent watch for a college-age guy, and definitely a good pick for kids.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Andrew, age 21 (USA)
Positive—I have not seen any previous Percy Jackson movies. This was my first. I went it with my 13 and 15 year old sons. It did not hang me on the edge of my seat, but it was not a total bore either. My boys and I have studied Greek/Roman Mythology in the past. The story was a bit predictable because I know the stories of Odysseus and Jason and the Argonauts on which were what this story was based.

What made the movie hilarious was how they incorporated the mythological stories into modern day inventions, etc. I laughed at how Hermes worked for UPS or the gray sisters were taxi drivers. I realized that there was some profanity in the movie, but it went by so quick that I did not always catch it. I would not recommend this movie to little children. I think that it is a great reinforcement of your Greek mythology. So, teenagers to adults could see this movie, especially if they have studied mythology. The movie is funny look at mythological creatures in modern day times.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Karen, age 48 (USA)
Positive—This movie had it’s moments, but many of the jokes were weak. Special effects carried it. I was impressed with the language. I am writing this a few weeks after, but I can’t remember any bad words. “Thank the gods” might bother some people. The comment about Jesus changing water to wine was a joke, in my opinion. I would rather leave God out of this to be honest, but It was done admiringly.

I’ve always thought of Zeus as a super powered alien that people took for God, same as Thor. So it doesn’t bother me much. The movie was predictable and, at times, boring. But my 18 and 17 year boys loved it. Enough said.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Chris, age 47 (USA)
Neutral—When the first Percy Jackson movie came out a couple years ago, I was hesitant to see it in theaters. I finally saw it on a movie channel later and said to myself, “Not bad. Definitely made for kids. Average at best.” So out of sheer curiosity, I went to a double feature containing the old Percy Jackson film and the new one. I have to say, “Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters” was not bad. I quite enjoyed it and thought it kept the same level of moviemaking quality as the first film and had a nice story.

There were elements the movie could have done without (the oracle, three headed ladies with the one eye, etc.). But overall? I liked it. Bottom line is that this is a nice edition to the franchise. I’ve heard there are two more Percy books on the market, so I suspect we may see a couple more films. Time will tell, I suppose.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
Alexander Malsan, age 23 (USA)
Neutral—I also felt rather neutral about this film. It also has the potential to be greatly offensive to Christians. The whole purpose of their Being is really foreign to those of us who are Believers. This may sound funny, but what struck me was how Godless the film was despite the fact that the characters were offspring of gods. In one part a character remarked “oh my gods” which made me roll my eyes. I was reminded of Paul’s words in Acts 17:23 when he challenged the Greeks to recognize the true God by pointing out that they had an altar for an “unknown god”. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3
—Kathy Pj, age 53 (Canada)
Neutral—The biggest problem with this movie is it didn’t know what it was doing. Percy Jackson 1 was a little more serious, and plainly meant to be aimed at teenagers and such. “Sea of Monsters” has too much campy dialog mixed with some neat action and witty lines. It just doesn’t know what it’s supposed to be. A kiddy movie for ten year olds? Or something like “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” meant for more like late teens? A decent watch, but it’s disjointed. They should have picked one or the other—“The Lighting Thief” didn’t suffer from this, and was a better movie overall.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 3½
—Wesley, age 22 (USA)


Comments from young people
Neutral—For my Birthday, I watched Percy Jackson and the sea of monster with my brother (10) and friend (he’s about 12, if not older). Just for the record, I found the graphics five-star and very realistic, the story very fast paced—which is good—and the characters very easy to grasp. I did, though, I found some of the scenes pretty violent. At the beginning of a scene a young girl is killed which I found quite intense. Also, many scenes are taken in dark misty forests. Young children may find some of the creatures frightening (Cyclopes, zombies, witches).

In my opinion, someone should at least be 13 to watch it, and younger kids should maybe watch “Turbo” or “Disney’s Planes” that are coming out at the same time.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Hannah, age 13 (Australia)

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