American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
If you have to have a god for a dad, you could do worse than Poseidon. That's one of the messages of "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters," the sequel to the first Percy Jackson film, and based on Rick Riordan's popular teen novels.
Not that any of the ancient gods seem particularly attentive to their offspring, who are often conceived during a quick trip to earth. Logan Lerman once again plays Percy, here communicating with Poseidon by dipping a hand in his element. Sometimes he gets a ripple and sometimes he doesn't, which only adds to Percy's identity crisis. He worries about whether or not he can access his supernatural powers. But it's better than a lot of the gods-as-fathers we learn about in the tale of the Half-Bloods.
Poseidon is there in a crunch, coming up with a fanciful rainbow-colored horse-fish from the briny depths to rescue Percy and his pals, whose ranks include the stalwart Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), daughter of Athena, also familiar from the first film. And Poseidon—or Neptune if you will—is good for watery swirls, appropriate nods to the "Life of Pi." Dad has also tossed up a half-brother for Percy, Tyson (Douglas Smith) a Cyclops that the hero is not so sure he wants as a relative; so add sibling rivalry and a bit of snobbery to Percy's issues.
When the movie starts, Percy has returned to Camp Half-Blood, a haven for his kind, as well as for assorted satyrs and suspended gods. It's there that he finds his old friend, the satyr Grover (Brandon T. Jackson, again). But the camp's protection, secured by a magical tree, has broken down, and it's vulnerable to nasty mechanical monsters like the Colchis Bull, a stomper if there ever was one. The only way to secure the home front, Percy learns through a prophecy, will be to retrieve the Golden Fleece.