Based on the second of Rick Riordan’s books about the half-human son of Poseidon, this fantasy adventure begins with Percy and his fellow teenage demi-gods training at Camp Half-Blood under the tutelage of Dionysus (Stanley Tucci) and centaur Chiron (Anthony Head). However, when the magical tree that protects their camp is poisoned, Percy and pals have to go on a quest to retrieve the mythical golden fleece that will heal the tree and protect them all.
A fun follow-up to 2010’s The Lightning Thief, this features lots of cool creatures – including a giant metal bull that shoots flames, a short-sighted Cyclops and a beautiful hippocampus (sea horse) – and adventures for the teens as they discover they’re not the only ones after the fleece.
Of course, the teens on a quest theme means Percy Jackson is often compared to the Harry Potter series, and there are definitely some similarities (friend Annabeth is the wise Hermione-like one while satyr Grover is the comic relief) but this is lighter fare than the wizard’s tales and perhaps more appealing for kids who would be petrified by the later, darker Potter movies such as Deathly Hallows. Adults may grumble that there are similarities with other movies too – spot the Raiders Of The Lost Ark scene, an opening reminiscent of The Hunger Games and a grand finale that seems to use the set of Scooby-Doo – but kids won’t care as they enjoy a fast-paced, effects-filled Greek adventure aimed at kids over eight who will love every mythical second.
Is Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Younger viewers (under 8s) may find the old woman in the attic towards the beginning of the movie scary.