‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’ needs more sea monsters

‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’ Director: Thor Freudenthal Stars: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson Rating: PG 1 Globe (out of 5)
‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Stars: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson
Rating: PG
1 Globe (out of 5)

‘Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters’
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Stars: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson
Rating: PG
1 Globe (out of 5)

Modern lit for anyone under 18 is distressingly interchangeable, with each ripping off either “Harry Potter” or “Twilight.” Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson” series, which steals from the former, at least has a potentially fun idea: Its boring blank slate hero gets to hang with the stars of Greek myth, who are evidently real. The first film adaptation, from 2010, surrounded star Logan Lerman with a mile-long who’s-who of affordable names, from Uma Thurman as Medusa to Pierce Brosnan as a centaur out of a romance novel cover.

The last, hugely impressionable sight is one of the many things tragically chucked from the much-dialed down sequel. Nearly all of the former supporting cast, along with their storied characters, are missing. (The cheaper Anthony Stewart Head fills in for Brosnan, and even he’s AWOL for most of the running time.) There’s not even a sea of monsters — just one, singular beast, visible only as a circle of pointy teeth, like an aquatic Sarlac from “Return of the Jedi.” (Note: That’s not as neat as it sounds.) All that’s left are emo teens engaging in either self-esteem issues or precocious wouldbe-villainy.

This round finds Lerman’s Percy trying to find the fabled Golden Fleece to save a dying tree, as well as his threatened home at Camp Half-Blood, which looks like the ground of a Renaissance Faire. (That name won’t be the only borderline litigious crib from “Harry Potter.) Again, this sounds like fun: Who wouldn’t like a modern rehash of “Jason and the Argonauts?” That question remains after “Sea of Monsters,” which does too little playing with established mythical stories, offering a steady stream of uninspired set pieces alternating with thumb-twiddling teen-aged character development. Percy gets a brother this time in Tyson (Douglas Smith), a lovable lug of a cyclops who teaches everybody a groaning lesson in tolerance.

Fantasy fiction teems with dull leads getting a Joseph Campbell-bred actualization of their inner hero. But the heroes usually aren’t this bland. Lerman, as he was in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” is monotonously nice. Moreover, having already achieved a massive victory in installment one (crows a friend, “He saved Olympus. What have you ever done?”), he simply gets to realize it again, just to make sure. The first offered shiny, adult distractions from young Percy and pals. All you get here are sassy snakes and a rampaging robot bull — again, not as neat as it sounds.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.