So David and I finally got around to seeing Percy Jackson the Sea of Monsters. It took long enough to get to a theatre close enough that we could go watch it. I already wrote my review of the first movie and I was curious how they were planning to continue the story in this second movie. The beginning did a pretty good job of bringing in some of the elements that they had skipped over in the first book back in to play, which really helps with where the story is supposed to go.
I did enjoy Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters as a movie. It is a fun ride and pretty enjoyable to watch. At the same time the book is so good and I am willing to be pretty forgiving of changes, but they eventually just took it a bit too far for me. (Spoilers for Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters after the jump.)
There are the small differences that happen early on makes sense due to time and the first movie. One of the initial items is that they have Percy start out in Camp Halfblood instead of attending school and living with his mom. While Percy is at school he meets Tyson who does not look like a cyclops because a myst naturally exists around the supernatural. In the movie Tyson just shows up at the camp and has to use a spray bottle of myst to look normal. This is just one of many example of changes that they had to make from the book to the movie for time purposes.
They do a good job with pacing in the movie and try to not get too bogged down by the details of the book, but at the same time make sure to keep the integrity of the characters. At the same time at one point do all the subtle differences make it a bit of a different story. Luke being on a yacht instead of a possessed passenger cruise ship and the camp not being led by another person are all small items that could be overlooked. There was a larger issue that did bother me a little bit, even though if you had not read the books you would not realize it.
Kronos and the Golden Fleece
So some of the larger differences that happen occur because of what happened in the first movie. One of the big things is that Grover is not supposed to be at Camp Halfblood during the first part of the story because he is out finding Pan. In the books Percy has a dream about Grover being trapped, but is not sure where. So when they run into Luke in the book they do not have Grover with them. Now it is true that Luke is looking for the fleece and did poison the tree, but in the book he never gets as close as he does in the movie.
Basically in the books Luke wants the fleece to speed up the process, but it is not the only way to raise Kronos. So early on the fighting is more about Luke and his followers. Kronos does not want to come out in the open too early because he wants to catch Olympus by surprise. In the book it takes a long time to convince people what is really happening. Everyone thinks that it is all Luke because no one really knows about Kronos right away. So in the movie when they have this huge fight with Kronos it takes away any element of surprise that Kronos was going for.
The other part is that in the book Luke did not come up with this plan on his own. Kronos starts speaking to him and guides him down the path. Kronos is not planning to destroy Olympus alone, he knows that he needs to raise an army to do it. They seemed to want to do a big battle and could not just do Luke a second time so needed a bigger enemy. My other thought is that because they figure this is the last movie they will make they just wanted to finish out the story in some way.
David having not read the books enjoyed the movie. It is not that I did not enjoy the movie, but towards the end they just deviated so much from the book that all I could think is WHAT ARE THEY DOING? At the same time the movie is a fun time and as always the books are so good I highly recommend reading them. The movie if nothing else is worth seeing for Nathan Fillion because as always he is fabulous and as Hermes he’s hilarious.