Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

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I have to get out this last tweet!

As a die-hard “Harry Potter” fan, when I first saw a preview for “Percy Jackson & the Olympians:  The Lightning Thief” I rolled my eyes and thought “oh how nice, they are copying “Harry Potter””.  However, the more previews I saw for “Lightning Thief” the more I actually wanted to see it.  I always loved reading Greek myths in school, so when I realized that this story is about the son of Poseidon and the daughter of Athena, I was there!!

Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) is your average high-school student.  While on a school field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and in the ancient Greek section, he is caught off guard by an attacking fury who demands that he return Zeus’s lightning bolt.  Percy is confused, as he has no idea what a fury is, why it’s attacking him, and why it thinks he has Zeus’ lightning bolt.  Somehow, Percy’s best friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) and his teacher Mr. Brunner (Pierce Brosnan) know what’s going on and they come to Percy’s rescue.   This part was confusing; it wasn’t explained how Grover and Mr. Brunner anticipated the attack. Maybe the books elaborated more on it, but the film lacked the proper exposition to my liking.  It is later revealed that Zeus’s lightning bolt has been stolen, and if it’s not returned by the summer solstice, then there will be a war in Mount Olympus.

It is soon revealed that Percy’s mother, Sally (Catherine Keener) had a relationship with Poseidon, hence, Percy was born.  Sally’s husband, Gabe (Joe Pantoliano) doesn’t get along with Percy, and he’s not very nice to Sally either, but that is explained.  Since it’s not safe for Percy to be in the real world, Grover and Sally take him to a special camp for children of mortals and gods, Camp Half-Blood.  While there, Percy meets Annabeth (Alexandria Daddario), a daughter of Athena, and Luke (Jake Abel), a son of Hermes.  At Camp Half-Blood, I found it rather disbelieving that the second Percy picks up a sword, he is able to wield it like a pro.  He didn’t even visit the weapons master to learn his sword fighting skill!!  This was explained as his “warrior instinct”.  Hmmm, I don’t buy it!!  But I’ll play along.

The characters seamlessly accepted their new roles as demigods with too much ease.  Also, everything we just a little TOO convenient for me.  I didn’t feel as if the characters were in any real peril.  There was always someone/something that “just happened” to be nearby to give them aid.  And mortals (such as Sally) had entirely too much knowledge about things that mortals don’t usually know about, such as the location of Camp Half-Blood, and how to get to Mount Olympus (what, you don’t know that?)  The climactic finale managed to drag a little bit.  Otherwise, the acting was solid, the special effects were fantastic, and the references to Greek gods and goddesses were plentiful.  I liked the mixing of ancient Greek mythology with present-day pop-culture, which oddly didn’t seem forced.  Everything blended nicely.

It must have left a decent mark with me, because I will be taking a field trip to my friendly neighborhood library to borrow the first “Percy Jackson” novel.  Maybe it will fill in some of the background details for me.  Overall, if you enjoy the “Harry Potter” and “Chronicles of Narnia” movies, you will enjoy “Percy Jackson”.


One Response to “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief”

  1. Shavonne Py Says:

    This has to be one of the best reviews i’ve read in a while. Thanks matty.