Percy Jackson Sea of Monsters is a great adventure movie for kids age 8 and up. The storyline is especially appealing for tweens and teens, who love to entertain fantasies of secretly being a superhero, a lost princess, or possessor of an extraordinary ability yet are filled with self-doubt. Percy, who's the son of the sea god Poseidon and a human, is a demi-god with special abilities. In the first Percy Jackson book/movie, he saved Olympus and the world, but he has started to believe that it was simply luck. He's a good and sympathetic teenager who values friends and helping others over always being the winner, and that doesn't always work well when faced with life-and-death challenges. In the end, though, his more human approach saves the day.
In this second installment of the Percy Jackson books, Percy and his friends are at Camp Halfblood when the barrier that protects the camp from invaders is breached. The tree which creates the barrier is dying, and Percy must travel to the Sea of Monsters to obtain the Golden Fleece, which heals all. He is joined by his newly-discovered half-brother Tyson, who is a cyclops, and other friends. They're attacked on their journey by Luke, demigod son of Hermes, who wants the Golden Fleece so that he can bring Kronos, an evil god, back to life.
The special effects in Sea of Monsters make this movie a lot of fun to watch, and are not too overwhelming. Many movies these days that are filled with CGI creatures can be hard to watch, with incredibly fast, overwhelming action. Sea of Monsters is more accessible, giving you the opportunity to really see and enjoy the fantastic creatures and action. While there are several scenes in which Percy and his friends battle various creatures, there is very little injury other than scratches and bruises. A couple of characters die (no details are seen), which may be hard for sensitive children.
Children who have read the extremely popular Percy Jackson series by author Rick Riordan may be disappointed by this movie conversion of Book 2. My 10-year-old is currently plowing his way through the series and said the movie is quite different than the book, although he still greatly enjoyed it. Talking about the book and movie differences provides a good opportunity to explore the challenges of converting a book to film and can help reinforce the joys of reading.
Macaroni Movies is sponsored by Showcase Cinemas Lowell. Showcase Cinemas Lowell offers digital imaging and surround sound, 3-D technology, Bookworm Wednesdays (a program offering free family movies throughout the summer), and the Popcorn Club for kids and families. See any Showcase associate for details or visit their website.