For those who watched The Sea of Monsters this past August, they can be sure to remember the angry whispers that surfaced once credits rolled in. Most of these angry whispers came from those decent audience members who actually read the writings of the great Rick Riordan. Okay, maybe I was the only one hollering my head off… But what can be expected?
The Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, written by Rick Riordan, tells the story of a teenage boy who discovers that he is the son of the greek god, Poseidon. Though dwindling in quality towards the last few books, this series is very affective at relaying ancient Greek myths in a modern world setting. The characters are well written and the plot is full of unexpected twists and turns. The Sea of Monsters was one of the more well developed, myth-oriented novels in the series. We see Percy again at school with a new friend, Tyson, a tall kid who’s a bit off. Many of Tyson’s perks include being homeless, the various scars across his body and eyes that are covered with Mist (a Percy Jackson Universe substance that obscures view, usually used on monsters so mortals do not see them). At Camp Half Blood a lot of stuff is changing. Thalia’s protective tree is poisoned by Luke and his comrades and Chiron is replaced by some dude who can’t eat because someone needs to punished for it and has something against Percy and an obsessive love of the camp bully Clarisse. Tyson just happens to be Percy’s half brother and a cyclops, so life pretty much sucks as he tries to cope with that. Just to top that all off, an empathic link between him and his satyr friend Grover deems it necessary to show him footage of Grover’s bridal processes to a cyclopes on Grover’s quest to find the lost god, Pan. A quest comes along to retrieve the legendary golden fleece as the necessity to aid Thalia’s tree becomes more urgent and Clarisse gets it. I know. Percy can’t be left out or let Grover get married so He, Annabeth and Tyson hitchhike to the bermuda triangle were the golden fleece is located. We get a few encounters with magical creatures and at the end Grover’s husband-to-be. The golden fleece is brought to Camp and Luke confronts Percy but Percy tricks him into clearing Chiron’s name. Party Ponies save the day and life is awesome with Thalia’s tree turning into Thalia, while still retaining magical powers.
Now for the movie. None of that is really there. I know. But the aspects that really egged on me were drawing away from the quality of the movie. So much was cut out of the first movie, like the whole underlying conspiracy plot of the great dead titan Kronos (influencing everyone to kill from the depths of Tartarus!) that would prevail as the course of action in the remaining five books. Because Kronos was absent in that first crucial movie the introduction of Kronos was a bit awkward. Yes, Luke allied with some dead dude in the underworld and just decided to poison our tree. Sure. The way they put that made Luke sound like an equal to Kronos but in reality Luke was far from it. Kronos, father of the gods and ruler of time was so deceitful and manipulating that he showed Luke the bad parts of the gods rule, something Luke needed to hear in order to be swaded to Kronos’s side. The guy even manipulated Ares, the war god, into doing his bidding (something so necessary but so not in the movie). The idea that Kronos could influence Luke and his own army of demigods was needed in order to shape his character when he would come to life in Luke’s body in the fifth book. Um, about Kronos.
Skipping to the end, the directors decided that the most cynical manipulative villain to ever grace the world of Percy Jackson needed to be resurrected now when obviously it didn’t add to the plot or events leading up to it. Luke just had to be eaten and my favorite villain ever became a metal monster. No emotion. No jokes. No amazing sword play or crazy battle plans. No amazing sacrifices. None of it because the special effects guy needed a job and they couldn’t pay the guy playing Luke to say a couple of lines. The whole reason why Kronos was a threat was because he was good at strategy and was awfully human (I mean, Luke’s body, he is within Luke’s body with Luke’s human instinct barely suppressed!) The directors made him an awful monster that didn’t think and just killed. Percy defeats him and wala! stupid, rushed ending. The coffin glows a bit to show the oppurtunity of a sequel but by that time I was safely outside, cursing my head off while my dad vowed never to take me to the movies again.