“Percy Jackson, the son of Poseidon, continues his epic journey to fulfill his destiny, as he teams with his demigod friends to retrieve the Golden Fleece, which has the power to save their home and training ground, Camp Half-Blood.”
There was too little Nathan Fillion and Anthony Stewart Head for my liking.
No, but seriously, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters must be one of the worst adaptations I’ve ever seen. And that’s including The Lightning Thief. How? Well…
Number one, it doesn’t respect the source material. Seriously. One of the things you need to do when you adapt a book into a movie is to respect the material. You don’t have to stay completely true to it, but you have to keep the essence of what makes the book well-loved by fans. When you treat the story like shit, you’re treating the fans the same way.
I don’t like being treated like shit.
Now, to put things in perspective, I want to share why Prisoner of Azkaban is one of the best movie adaptations in my opinion. Don’t worry, this will be short. Basically, in the Prisoner of Azkaban movie, the screenplay writer and the director took the parts of the book that would make the most sense in the context of the film universe, the parts that would make the movie look good, and then made sure that it kept to the message that the book wanted to put across: that we mustn’t judge others based on what we hear about them.
That movie did a great job.
Sea of Monsters actually has the same message. sort of. But the most important part of the book, for me, was the fact that this was about Percy Jackson coming to his own. The first book had him rely a lot on Annabeth, Grover, and the other kids at the camp. Sea of Monsters was his quest taken away from him, and his journey to find out who he is, and what he is capable of.
His main problem is belonging.
Instead, we are treated to what is supposed to be a series of eye-candies: a battle aboard a ship, a daring escape, and a chase scene that was supposed to scare us into thinking that our heroes are doomed. Instead of getting intelligent solutions to problems posed to our heroes, we see just how lucky they can get.
Everything is planted clearly. Everything is handed to our heroes on a silver plate. By the end of the movie, our heroes learn nothing. They do not grow.
The source material was treated like shit.
I’m supposed to go to number two now, but that’s mostly me griping about the changes made from book to film. I understand the need to make it more visually appealing for the tween audiences. But couldn’t they have at least tried to make it make sense?
Seriously, an amusement park in an island in the middle of the Bermuda Triangle? Someone definitely didn’t think things through.
Being a writer, I know how hard it is to adapt something that isn’t originally yours. Especially when you have to stay fateful, but don’t have enough airing time to do show everything important. That’s why we have creative licenses. That’s why we adapt instead of dramatize. Looking into the end product we get with Sea of Monsters, I had to wonder: how hard was it to adapt the book? Had I been writing it, I definitely would’ve done it a lot differently.