*** Official PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF Review Thead

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Patrick Sun, Feb 15, 2010.

  1. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    Though the film has a ridiculously long title, the film is primarily aimed at children and teens, and for that intended audience, it does a yeoman's job in introducing us to Percy Jackson, a high scool student more at home underwater, than above water, and before you know it, it is revealed that he was the offspring between the coupling of the Greek god Poseidon and a human woman named Sally (Percy's mom). The film ramps up the plotline by putting Percy in danger of being hunted down for possessing the stolen lightning bolt of Zeus, and his true nature is quickly revealed after all these years of being hidden from his true parentage. Percy is whisked away to a place where other half-man/half-godlings are trained and educated. Just like any good Greek mythology, Percy and a couple of friends go on a quest to ward off the wrath of Zeus, and the film primarily deals with that storyline.

    Logan Lerman is solid as Percy, he's transistioning from young child TV actor to young film actor. Brandon T. Jackson is Grover, Percy's longtime friend, and the gal with the amazing blue eyes and potential love interest for Percy is played by the lovely Alexandra Daddario. There are some decent turns by more established actors, like Rosario Dawson playing Persephone, Steven Coogan as Hades, Sean Bean as Zeus, Kevin McKidd as Poseidon, Catherine Keener as Sally, Pierce Brosnan as Mr.s Brunner (Percy's teacher). Just don't expect a lot of screentime by the more recognizable names in the film, it's primarily a vehicle for the younger actors in search of the next big film franchise for children and young adults, though I'm not sure they have enough charm to become household names or ingrained in the pop cultural landscape.

    The film is a little long at 2 hours, and the screenplay won't set the film world on fire, but if somehow the kids see this film, and gain an interest in Greek mythology and the classics, then that's a good thing. This film is simple in execution, and director Christopher Columbus doesn't over-stylize the look or tone of the film, and just keeps it basic and simple.

    I give it 2.75 stars, or a grade of B-.
     
  2. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    This thread is now the Official Review Thread for "Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief". Please post all HTF member reviews in this thread.

    Any other comments, links to other reviews, or discussion items will be deleted from this thread without warning!

    If you need to discuss those type of issues then I have designated an
    Official Discussion Thread.




    Crawdaddy
     
  3. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I was entertained by this film and I agree it was made for children and teenagers which will hopefully invoke some interest in Greek mythology for these young people. A nice popcorn matinee for me.





    Crawdaddy
     
  4. Bryan Tuck

    Bryan Tuck Screenwriter

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    I wasn't sure what to expect from this movie. I tend to enjoy films based on children's fantasy literature (some really good stories out there), so I wanted to give this a chance.

    Unfortunately, I had a hard time getting wrapped up in the story; I just felt there was no real emotion from the characters, and consequently their quest lacked immediacy. This is not Lord of the Rings, of course, but even in a "children's" film (often even more so), things need to matter, and a lot of the emotional beats from the characters rang false for me.

    I haven't read the book, but just as a movie, I thought it wasn't so much bad as just willfully mediocre (something many 20th Century Fox releases have been in recent years). I did, however, take a brief look at the source material (which is written in first person) at a bookstore, and although there's only so much you can glean from the first page of any book, I found more personality and attitude on that one page than in the entire 2 hours of the movie.

    I'm sure a lot of people will blame Chris Columbus and his often too-straightforward directorial style, but I really think this is a case of the studio constantly second-guessing the audience. The script is full of on-the-nose descriptions of what we're seeing on screen, and a lot of the jokes are stomped into the ground to make sure everyone gets them. Also, the biggest disappointment to me is the mere lip-service given to what seems to be one of the story's central conceits: that of the Greek gods and goddesses as absentee parents.

    Also...

    I don't know if this was in the book, but the scene during the credits in which Percy has left Medusa's head in the fridge for his stepfather to find seemed like something some exec came up with over lunch ("Heheh...you know what would be funny...?"), which was then shoved into the movie before anyone stopped to think of what it says about Percy's character.
    On the plus side, though, Christophe Beck delivers a catchy, energetic fantasy/action score, and there are a couple of lively action sequences (I just wish more was going on to make us care about them). Overall, not a complete mess, but certainly more average and half-hearted than it needed to be.

    2 stars out of 4
     

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