Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

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Problematic material occasionally mars this otherwise serviceable adventure sequel in which the title character (Logan Lerman) - a modern-day demigod whose father is the Greek ruler of the seas, Poseidon - embarks on a quest to find the Golden Fleece. He's accompanied on the journey by his two best friends - a satyr (Brandon T. Jackson) and the goddess Athena's daughter (Alexandra Daddario) - as well as by his newly discovered half-brother (Douglas Smith). But another offspring of the Olympian deities, the rebellious son of Hermes (Jake Abel), is also after the magical hide, hoping to use it for his own nefarious purposes. Special effects-generated creatures take priority over human characters in director Thor Freudenthal's adaptation of the second in Rick Riordan's series of novels for young people - a follow-up to 2010's Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Parents will want to be aware, moreover, that the mythological elements underlying the franchise seem to be emphasized with increased forcefulness here, while a passing reference to Christianity is at best ambiguous. Yet the script does promote youthful self-confidence, reconciliation with rivals, sibling solidarity and tolerance toward those perceived as different.

Watch out for: Steady but mostly bloodless violence, pagan themes, an irreverent joke, a few mildly crass terms. Probably acceptable for older adolescents.

Rated: A-III, adults; MPAA: PG, parental guidance suggested. Some material may not be suitable for children.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2013