The Percy Jackson series, several books written by Rick Riordan (which my kids pronounce Rye-or-Dun), concern the life and times of a half breed mortal/immortal. Percy’s mom, who we met in the first film of the series but who doesn’t show up here, had a dashing affair with Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea. Their offspring, Percy, has many of the abilities of his more famous father such as control over the waves, utilizing the healing power of water, and all manner of things aquatic.
In short, the series is wildly imaginative, useful for teaching knowledge of Hellenic gods and goddesses, and a great deal of fun. In this episode, Percy and his pals go in search of The Golden Fleece–yes, the one previously pursued by Perseus and the crew of the Argo long ago. It still has terrific healing powers, and they’ll need all the healing they can get, since one of their friends has been turned into a tree (!) outside the camp where Percy and the other demi-gods youths train for their lives as sort of deities.
I know this sounds like nonsense. To be sure, it is–one of their new friends is a Cyclops, a descendant like Percy of Neptune/Poseidon. The movie deals with him learning to deal with his unusual forehead, and accepting whom he is, and does a nice job of doing so. Again in this chapter, Percy’s best friend is a daughter of Athena–a very nice combination of beauty and wisdom. Again the adventurers receive help from their famous parents and contend with their nemesis who is a son of a middle aged, unfleet (if there is such a word) Mercury.
This is a monster movie, and so very young people shouldn’t go. But the monsters are done so well that while they are intimidating, they are not going to horrify–rather they will interest youngsters. After all the Greeks dealt with more than a few horrible creatures in their myths.
A great film? By no means. Worthwhile and diverting? Absolutely. This is a good film for the family to see together, and would go well with a visit to Edith Hamilton’s classic book, Mythology. A great tool for teaching and learning and enlarging on imagination, I’m giving this a high mark–four stars–as one of the most entertaining films of the year.