Little knowledge of the first Percy Jackson film or Rick Riordan’s YA book series is required for this sequel, since it operates according to a template familiar to anyone who’s seen the Harry Potter movies, Twilight or any other tween fantasy effort from the past decade. Here the myths are Greek, the boy hero (Logan Lerman) is the half-human son of Poseidon, the baddie is a blond rival demigod, and the goal to recover the Golden Fleece from the Sea of Monsters (a.k.a., the Bermuda Triangle) while preventing the resurrection of the Titan villain Kronos.
The specifics of Jackson’s mission, however, are ultimately no more important than the themes about father-son bonds, which director Thor Freudenthal dutifully trots out as a means of treading water between CG-enhanced set pieces involving badger-scorpion beasts and Transformer-like bulls. Despite the usual end-of-world crisis and Mount Olympus MVP characters, there’s no sense that anything’s truly at stake; rather, it feels as if the filmmakers are coasting on the fumes of teen-angst fantasy and making up their fairy-tale rules (Cyclopes are fireproof!) as they go along.
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