Disclaimer 1: Percy Jackson the BOOK and Percy Jackson the MOVIE are completely separate entities.
Disclaimer 2: I have a horrible little girl crush on the kid who plays Percy Jackson in the movie.
Now that we’re clear, I would like to tell you a little bit about Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, THE MOVIE.
The Lightning Thief is the story of Percy Jackson, a dyslexic kid with ADHD, who struggles through school and has a rough life at home. After a very freaky scene in a museum, we come to realize there’s something different about Percy Jackson. He is, in fact, the son of the Greek god Poseidon! At this point in the movie, I was doing cartwheels in the theater. I was a Classical Civilizations minor, specializing in ancient Rome. I’m a sucker for this ancient stuff, so I just couldn’t wait to hear more about the Olympians, Medusa, the FURIES…I could go on and on. However, that does not mean the mythology-challenged need not attend. The movie is good for all of us—geeks and normal folk alike. So read on…
The young actors do a perfect job of portraying demi-gods (and in one case, a satyr with hooves). As I mentioned above, Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) is swoon-worthy. And it’s legal, because the kid is eighteen, okay? Equally attractive is Lerman’s co-star, Alexandra Daddario, who plays the wise daughter of Athena, Annabeth. The aforementioned satyr, Grover (played by Brandon T. Dawson), operates as the politically incorrect sidekick and comic relief, but I’m just getting started…this movie is FULL of random celebrity appearances. Namely Pierce Brosnan as Chiron, Uma Thurman as Medusa, Sean Bean as Zeus, a very sexy Rosario Dawson as Persephone, a meek Catherine Keneer, and even a greasy Joe Pantoliano. I think I know why they all signed on. They signed on because there is bound to be a sequel.
Although the actors were a pleasure, the special effects in Percy Jackon/The Lightning Thief rocked my world. I’m not talking Avatar, where the special effects WERE the movie, but I am talking some impressive stuff. A flying fury at the beginning of the flick is gonna scare the little ones, but I loved all the monsters! Uma Thurman/Medusa with snakes for hair was killer (literally), and even Brosnan as a centaur was believable! What I also enjoyed were the multiple “worlds” created. In the span of this two hour action/adventure, I visited a demi-god camp, a Vegas casino, the underworld, and Mt. Olympus, and each new setting was just as detailed and impressive as the next. Talk about the stuff that dreams are made of!
I will say a bit about the negatives. For one, this movie will scare little kids. (It had me screaming a couple times.) Secondly, Percy Jackson is the son of Poseidon, the sea god. I could have used a few more scenes with Percy tossing water around (which may come in movies 2, 3, 4…?). However, I’d say the biggest flaw of the film was its lack of emotional tugs. I know I’m keeping the book by Rick Riordan and movie from Chris Columbus SEPARATE (because they have very little in common), but I know I felt a tug for these characters only because of my affiliation with the books, not because of the film. In the film, you just don’t FEEL it. Things are kind of shallow, because with all the action, there was little time to develop emotional connections between the characters. Percy is upset about his mom, but everything is so rushed, I wasn’t really upset about his mom. Percy has a “fight” with papa Poseidon, but it’s not cathartic. I didn’t feel better when it was over; I felt indifferent. It just felt weak. Maybe further emotional development will happen later, but for me, the first movie didn’t pull on any heart strings, and it dang well could have, if it had been done right.
So the moral of the story? You should see Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. See it on the big screen if you can, because it’s FUN like that. Don’t expect to get all teary, though. And if you’ve read the books, DO NOT EXPECT ANY OF YOUR FAVORITE PARTS TO BE IN THE MOVIE! JUST DON’T DO IT. YOU WILL ONLY BE DISAPPOINTED, AND THE MOVIE IS GOOD ON ITS OWN. So check it out, because all those classics professors in college will really appreciate it.