Movie Review: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Okay, why all the hate for the Percy Jackson movie? Yes, I am aware it is a book series with devoted fans that the filmmakers aged their hero Percy Jackson from 12 years old to 16 years old. I haven’t read the books and I have to tell you I really enjoyed the film.

What is Percy Jackson? And why such a long title?

The movie is based on a series youth fiction books, by author Rick Riordan, about a boy who discovers he is a descendent of the Greek God Poseidon, King of the Oceans. He is a demi-god.

When Percy is accused of stealing Zeus’s mighty lightning bolt his life becomes threatened.

Percy must rise to the occasion, embrace his legacy, and survive a quest while Greek monsters threaten his life.

I was a huge fan of myths as a kid and Perseus was my favorite hero. I loved the movie Clash of the Titans (funny the remake is next month) and I couldn’t get enough of every Greek legend. Kids have a fascination with myths as much as they love dinosaurs. Percy Jackson is introduction to those rich stories. I can only imagine how much the books have helped bring kids back to Greek myths.

I have read all the stories about how Chris Columbus has bastardized the novels. The biggest complaint being Percy’s age. To be honest I can understand Columbus’s decision to advance Percy’s age. You have a main character who must swing a sword, draw blood, behead monsters and well argue with 20 foot tall Gods. Can you imagine a 12 year old doing that on screen? Sure Harry Potter was that age in his second adventure, or there abouts, but he had a wand not a sword. It makes sense to turn this kid into a teen adventurer.

I have to admit it I was drawn in and enthralled with Percy Jackson.

It is a fun movie which a family heart and that has what made Columbus so famous.

His set designs, creatures and well his casting of newcomers Logan Lerman and Brandon T Jackson are brilliant.

Lerman is a star in the making and here’s hoping we see more Percy Jackson adventures to come. His wide-eyed innocence and charisma make this kid so watchable. You believe everything he does and everything he sees. This kid is brilliant.

Brandon T Jackson plays a satyr named Grover who like the muppet has a fuzzy hind section. Yes that’s right he is half goat-half man. And he is hysterical. He’s the comic relief our hero needs. He is the perfect sidekick.

The character roles from Pierce Brosnan, Rosario Dawson, Kevin McKidd and Uma Thurman make the film more complete. They bring a sense of depth to the story as well deliver great performances. Each has a cringe worthy scene that will make you go, holy crap but in a good way. You either laugh and fall in love with the movie’s sense of humor in those moments or they take you completely out of the movie. For me, they made me smile.

The performances of Sean Bean and Catherine Keener I had problems with. I don’t know if it was the script or they just didn’t have time to develop them well enough. They were just there, wooden and were like we were supposed to see something deeper in them but I never felt it.

I am really curious to see more adventures from Percy Jackson. I want to see more of the Greek world brought to life through this lens. I am really hoping there will be a sequel. I think if people can find the heart in this movie then word of mouth will spread. This movie is a fun flick!

Here’s hoping we get a sequel!

(4 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer

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