Home > Television & Film > Quick and Dirty: Percy Jackson and the Olympians (The Lightning Thief)

Quick and Dirty: Percy Jackson and the Olympians (The Lightning Thief)

“It’s the 21st century, but the gods of Mount Olympus and assorted monsters have walked out of the pages of high school student Percy Jackson’s Greek mythology texts and into his life. And they’re not happy: Zeus’ lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Even more troubling is the sudden disappearance of Percy’s mother. As Percy finds himself caught between angry and battling gods, he and his friends embark on a cross-country adventure to catch the true lightning thief, save Percy’s mom, and unravel a mystery more powerful than the gods themselves.” imdb

Percy Jackson and the Olympians is another YA serial novel that follows the adventures of a young man, played by Logan Lerman, as he discovers he has powers and has a powerful past.  Sound familiar?  Well that’s pretty  much where the comparison ends.  Maybe its unfair to hold it up against the epic Harry Potter but I hard to see how you couldn’t.  And my guess is distributors are counting on that comparison to lure audiences.

The Bad:

  • There doesn’t seem to be a singular grand goal throughout the series aside from finding the lightning thief which is generally what I think brings people back to the Harry Potter books and films.  I haven’t read the Percy books but the descriptions on wikipedia don’t lend much to a book series concept.
  • Percy, seems to accept his demi-god status rather quickly and jump right into adventure.   The wonder of learning gods are real is severely lacking in the movie.  Everything mythical seems to be accepted non-chalantly as if we shouldn’t be surprised.  It makes the whole thing feel rushed.
  • From the start the movie is pretty predictable with its action sequences seeming way too tame and boring.  Of course there is a pretty girl for Percy to ogle. One can only guess there will be a hook-up somewhere in the series.
  • Semi-spoiler:  Any intelligent person could have guessed that the one person in the movie who is surprisingly helpful to Percy is probably the bad guy in the end.

The good:

  • Sean Bean, Kevin McCidd and Steve Coogan as Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades
  • The one thing the movie did accomplish is it made me curious about the rest of the series.  Rather it made me curious about how it was going to handle greek mythology.  Really I’m just concerned how they’ll fuck it up.  I doubt I’ll be seeing in the theater next time.

I do have to keep in mind that this movie is based on a book written for the tween/teen demographic and according to most entertainment targeting them they don’t like a lot of complicated plot or things without explosions. Its a bit unfortunate that teen movies are so pumped full of simplistic story-telling.  I’m hoping the books are more complex than that.

That’s probably one of the most successful things Harry Potter (book and movie) accomplishes.  They don’t make things too easy and as Harry and his friends get older their lives get more complicated and worrisome and they don’t make light of the situation.  Considering that Percy appears much older that Harry at the beginning of its series I’m not holding out much hope for things getting more interesting.

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  1. Jimmy!
    March 6, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    Remember when the black guy takes off his pants and that Percy guy is all like, Whoa, you’re half donkey? I was just thinking, ah ha ha ha ha ha! He’s got a huge schlong.

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