Aptly named director Thor Freudenthal takes over from the aptly nautically named Chris Columbus, who directed the original Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, in this second adaptation of author Rick Riordan's teen fantasy adventure series which dragged Greek mythology into the present.

The original had cheesy moments but it was propped up by an excellent cast, impressive visual effects and, even though it featured an ambitious story about preventing the end of the world, it didn't take itself too seriously. It was fun and easily enjoyable.

Sea of Monsters has a similar storyline, with teenage demi-gods (half-human, half-god) trying to prevent a catastrophic event, but this time round the cast isn't as strong and the mix of drama, action and humour isn't as balanced.

We meet Percy (Lerman) at Camp Half Blood (a training camp for demi-gods hidden in the woods) a year after successfully preventing the gods of Mt Olympus going to war and destroying Earth. It's been a quiet year for Percy and with little apparent need for heroic gestures, he's starting to question the hype about his abilities.


This changes when the camp is attacked and Percy, his protector Grover (a half goat, half human played by Brandon T. Jackson), Annabeth (Daddario) and his newly discovered half-brother Tyson (Smith) must journey to the Sea of Monsters to retrieve the Golden Fleece, the only thing that can save Hogwarts - sorry, the camp.

It's a journey of regular scraps with mythical creatures, with impressive CGI on the smaller action scenes impressive, but less convincing on the big climactic scenes where humans and visuals don't quite come together.

Overall, it seems Percy is suffering second-album syndrome - unsure how he's going to come up with something to better his first effort - and the crisis of confidence permeates the whole film. It's still a fun adventure for tweens and early teens, but Percy and co are just going through the motions rather than stepping up.

Stars: 3/5
Cast: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith
Director: Thor Freudenthal
Running Time: 106 mins
Rating: PG (Violence and coarse language)
Verdict: Fun, visually impressive entertainment for kids.

Follow @nzherald_ent on Twitter for all the latest entertainment news.

- TimeOut