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Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Fantasy-adventure film directed by Chris Columbus

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"Sparky" The Lightning Kid Battles The Hordes of Greek Myth!

  • Aug 6, 2010
After the mega-success of the “Harry Potter” adaptations, Hollywood is in the hunt to find the next family-friendly fantasy franchise that can generate huge profits. They gave it a shot with an adaptation of the “Vampire Assistant” and now, director Chris Columbus makes a shot at box-office success with an adaptation of the books by author Rick Riordan with “Percy Jackson and Olympians: The Lightning Thief”. The film is a kid-friendly fantasy series that uses Greek mythology as its premise. I cannot judge the film as to how faithful it is to the book but I can however, break it down according to its execution and its entertainment value.

Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) is a teen with dyslexia problems, a home that is anything but peaceful, and for whatever reason, Percy finds comfort when he is submerged in water. One day, when a supposed mythical demon called a “furie” attacks young Percy, satyr Grover (Brandon Jackson) and a centaur in disguise (Pierce Brosnan) comes to his rescue and reveals that Percy is in fact the son of Poseidon (Kevin McKidd), the Greek God of the Oceans. To make things worst, someone has stolen Zeus’ thunderbolt and Percy is the suspect; and this may cause a war between the gods that may just collapse this existence. Coming to terms with his newfound abilities, Percy must travel across America with Grover and a demigod named Annabeth (Alexandria Daddario) to reach the realm of Hades to find Zeus thunderbolt and rescue his mortal mother (Catherine Keener) while he saves the world…

               Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson in "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief."

               Uma Therman as Medusa in "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief."

“Percy Jackson” is an ambitious film that does have a very interesting premise. I liked the idea of demigods wandering the Earth, going into training for “hero-ship” while having a threat that only one with the skills of a half-breed can help save the day. Yes, it is pretty ambitious, but unfortunately the film itself tries a little too hard to be “Harry Potter” with a Greek mythological theme. I am not sure, but I cannot feel a personality to the film; it feels really made up and while this can work on some occasions, I just had some issues connecting to the film’s screenplay and characters. It feels like a “Harry Potter” wanna-be with its main protagonists seem to be emulating the trio in that more successful series. Having a strong comparison to that franchise cannot avoided.

I guess this is because the characterization in the film is an all-time low; instead of developing its characters through Greek mythological themes, it follows a simple quest that may have been intended to answer its characterizations through the development of its story. It can work in some ways, but unfortunately the cast itself lacks the necessary charisma to pull it off. It also becomes obvious that the script and the dialogue feels a little too obligatory and overplayed that I was annoyed because it seemed to want to feel ‘awesome’ so bad that it felt that it was necessary to have that googly-eye look all the time (compliments of Jackson). I want to marvel at the fantastic things I see on my own, I don’t need a character to tell me that it looks awesome. Some moments of humor also felt a little forced but I guess I can accept those moments.

                            Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson in "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief."

                           Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth, Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson and Brandon T. Jackson as Grover in "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief."

                          Pierce Brosnan as Mr. Brunner and Brandon T. Jackson as Grover in "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief."

The film carries a lot of scenes that pay homage to 1981’s “Clash of the Titans”. There’s the scene with Medusa (Uma Thurman) among others that may include a shield and a sword. I find the encounter with Medusa to be the film’s more clever moments; as I saw Percy use the reflective surface of his iphone to see Medusa so he doesn’t get turned into stone. The CGI effects in the film are a little inconsistent with their quality, as some looked better than others. The Hydra does look very cool and that minotaur is nice to look at. I also liked Steve Coogan as Hades, as he does look like a traditional rock star. Rosario Dawson does look quite enticing to the viewer as she plays the seductress Persephone and Brosnan was good as a centaur. “Percy Jackson” does have some decent action sequences, but they are all kept at a kid-friendly style that may prove to be a little too simple for a fantasy movie.

The film is a simple effort to display its technological attributes. It is good, but not quite awesome. The characters in the film feel like mere caricatures meant to do battle with the creatures of Greek mythology. It does have its nice touches such as the “winged” converse shoes, the lair of Medusa, and I did like the touches of the city of the Lotus followers in Las Vegas, the entrance to Olympus in the Empire State building and the entrance to Hades in Los Angeles. “Percy Jackson” isn’t a bad film, and it may just turn young viewers into fans of Greek mythology and this would be a good thing. However, for those well-viewed in fantastic mythology, this may prove to be a disappointment since it makes the stakes seem very routine and fails to generate legitimate thrills. But at least,  it can entertain its intended young viewer.

RENT IT! [2 ½ Out of 5 Stars]

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A Decent Kid-Friendly Action Film That Has More Ambition Than Solid Execution...

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August 08, 2010
This is an outstanding review, WOOPY! I especially like the photos and the trailer; real fancy, kiddo. This reminds me of the way I format my celebrity interviews for Dames of Dialogue and our Dream Reachers books. I enjoy graphics and lay-out work. Thanks for sharing. xo
August 15, 2010
Thanks, Betty! Sorry I am a little late in replying, been a bit busy. I appreciate all the comments :)
August 15, 2010
It's okay, honey. I understand busy... and you don't have to reply to every comment. If we did, we would go bonkers worrying about it...us conscientious people, anyway. Keep up the great reviews. You're the best (you and Scotty...hehehe). xo
August 06, 2010
Surprisingly the reviews I've read on this have been more generous than I would have expected. It'll be interesting to see if this turns into a full-fledged franchise or not...
August 07, 2010
it does have potential as a family-friendly film, but they need to polish it a bit more.
August 06, 2010
Honestly I was not interested in this at all but now that I know Uma is in it I may give it a shot. Great review man.
August 07, 2010
Just rent it, bud. I doubt it has replay value.
More Percy Jackson and the Olympian... reviews
review by . August 24, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
My first impression on seeing Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is that it's basically a Harry Potter ripoff. Almost literally, except for the fact that it draws from Greek mythology rather than Medieval legends. Otherwise, it's the same movie, with two guys and a girl on a quest; the main hero never really knows his father; there's a school/camp for young magicians/demi-gods; and the first quest in this movie even involves searching for something (lightning) that …
review by . February 15, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief may be the worst movie title ever, but it is far from being the worst movie ever.  There is something quite fun about the film in and of itself.  It will require a LOT of suspension of disbelief to enjoy, but once you settle in for the ride it becomes a movie that's fun in spite of some of it's more daunting moments that actually come out from me just having to nitpick and ask questions.        The Lightning …
review by . July 12, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
The first film based on the successful series of books makes the character of Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), parentage true that a normal high school is much stranger than anything he could wait. His best friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) claims to be a student with physical disabilities in the school of Percy, but the fact of hiding their true nature. It's really a satyr: half man, half goat. He was responsible for the custody of the gods of Olympus Percy, which should never find its location.   …
review by . February 14, 2010
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief sounds a lot like Harry Potter in it's title. I think everyone will go in expecting something akin to Harry Potter Lite if they choose to see this at all. The title immediately suggests Greek gods and goddesses and the traier hints at lot at what you're going into to see. We've been trained for many years on the Potter franchise though, and unless you've read the books this movie is based on, I expect most will  go in expecting some version …
Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Got a chance to watch this movie this past weekend and found it to be a good movie. Children could watch this and be enchanted by the Greek Mythological creatures, learn a bit about Greek Mythology and a couple of "bad words". If you don't mind the word a$$, then they can watch it as that's about as bad as it gets. The movie was nice, flowed decent, but we could tell who was the Lightning Thief right away. Decent if you want something different to watch!
review by . August 23, 2010
My first impression on seeing Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is that it's basically a Harry Potter ripoff. Almost literally, except for the fact that it draws from Greek mythology rather than Medieval legends. Otherwise, it's the same movie, with two guys and a girl on a quest; the main hero never really knows his father; there's a school/camp for young magicians/demi-gods; and the first quest in this movie even involves searching for something (lightning) that ends up in a suspiciously …
Quick Tip by . July 10, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A good adaption from the book. I suggest disassociating it from the book and watching it solely as a movie.
review by . March 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Chris Columbus takes the bold outlines of Greek Mythology and turns it on it's heels......
For teenagers they all think that life is going to be simple and easy, some of them find out the hard way that is not so while others lazily go by doing what they do everyday. For High Schooler Percy Jackson this is   so, Percy thinks his only purpose in life is to just survive High School, barely, while dealing with his slob of a step-father. Battling his troubles with dyslexia, ADHD and all the while trying to make his mother proud of him. For a teenager this is no easy feat especially …
Quick Tip by . July 09, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
not even close to the book in any way, but an entertaining film.
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Mythology and the modern world collide in this epic quest for justice by Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), your basic below-average, misfit student whose family life is a mess and who's misunderstood by everyone except his best friend, Grover (Brandon T. Jackson). A voice warns that everything is about to change as Percy enters the New Roman and Greek Art Gallery on a school field trip, and, indeed, it does. Percy's substitute teacher morphs into a mythical beast and tries to attack him, and it's revealed that Percy is the son of Poseidon, and a true demigod. Percy also discovers that Grover is really a satyr--half-human, half-goat--and his sworn protector, and that one of his teachers is a centaur--half-horse, half-man--who's more committed to Percy's education than he could ever have imagined. On top of it all, Percy is the prime suspect in the recent theft of Zeus's lightning bolt and is being hunted by the gods. Following these shocking revelations, Percy is taken to a special training camp to learn to control and use his exceptional powers, and in the process, his mother is imprisoned by Hades. Against all advice, Percy, his protector Grover, and Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), daughter of Athena, leave camp to rescue Percy's mother from the underworld. Their quest is extremely dangerous and puts them squarely in the path of Medusa (Uma Thurman), with her venomous hair and gaze that turns people to stone. The three also battle a five-headed, ...
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Movies, Action Movies, Science Fiction Movies, Hype, Rosario Dawson, Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Uma Thurman, Logan Lerman, Brandon T Jackson, Jake Abel, Alexandra Daddario, Steve Coogan


Director: Chris Columbus
Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: February 12, 2010
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Craig Titley, Joe Stillman
DVD Release Date: June 29, 2010
Runtime: 120 minutes
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