Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

February 19th, 2010 by poobalan | View blog reactions Leave a reply »
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Note: Spoilers ahead! Read at your own peril!

After Wolfman, we caught Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief.  I’m not sure if the movie looked fake. Maybe too much of Harry Potter in the last few years had affected the movie industry and the movie goers (not to mention having same director – Chris Columbus). I couldn’t help but make comparison between the two. And The Lightning Thief came off worse. Percy Jackson series has five books, and Lightning Thief is the first. I guess few more movies is in the pipeline.

Remember characters like Zeus, Poseidon, Athena, Minatours, Medusa etc.? These are gods and mystical beings in the Greek stories, along with Hercules, Perseus etc. In this movie, the Gods exist, and their offsprings (demi-gods) roam the earth as human beings. King of Gods, Zeus had decreed that the parent God can never make contact with their demi-god children, so our hero, Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) grows up with his human mom – a regular college going student. The movie starts with a gigantic Poseidon rising from the sea and having a meeting with Zeus (Sean Bean). Seems like some stole Zeus’ weapon, his thunder bolt (thus the title) and Zeus promises war if the bolt is not returned (one wonders how the theft occurred in the first place). Zeus accuses Poseidon’s son since according to him, only a demi-god born of the 3 powerful gods Zeus, Poseidon or Hades would do such a thing.

So the race begins. Rest of the celestial beings believe Poseidon’s son Percy has the bolt and tries to grab him, while Poseidon tries to warn his son. Anyway, Percy has a protector, a Satyr (half human, half goat) named Grover (Brandon Jackson), who is incidentally his best friend in college. As with most demi-gods, Percy has dyslexia and ADHD, so he goes to a special school. During a trip to the museum, A Fury attacks Percy, but he is saved by his teacher Mr Brunner (Pierce Brosnan). Percy gets suspicious and wonders what is going on. Mr Brunner asks Grover to take Percy home and inform his mother. Once home, Grover tells Percy’s mother that its time to go. The three of them get into a car and drive off, with Percy having thousand and one questions. As they approach the destination, a Minotaur attack them. Percy manages to ward off the creature, but his mother is taken away, and he thinks his mother has been killed.

By this time, Grover is revealed to be a Satyr and their destination is a camp for demi-gods. Its run by Mr Brunner who himself is a demi-god, a Centaur (half human, half-horse) named Chiron. Here, Percy undergoes some fast-track training, and has time for a blossoming romance with Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), a demi-god of Athena. He then gets a warning from Hades – return the bolt and rescue his mother (yup, she was kidnapped, not killed). Even though Mr Brunner advises him to go to Mount Olympus and talk to Zeus, Percy decides to take matter into his own hands and venture into the underworld. He is aided by Grover and Annabeth. Before they leave the camp, they met Luke, another camp member who provides them with some tools – shield, flying shoes, and map for pearls for underworld travel.

So, begins a journey for the pearls (3 in total). First was in the care of Medusa (Uma Thurman). They managed to kill her and retrieve the pearl. Second was in a museum, where they faced a Hydra. Final pearl was in a casino, where they had to overcome drug laced lotus food. Finally, they enter the underworld and meet Persephone (Rosario Dawson!), wife of Hades. Some small talk with her and Hades appears. Percy tries to convince Hades that he did not steal the bolt, but everyone soon notices that the bolt is actually hidden in the shield (given by Luke earlier). So, the trio realised Luke was the one who stole the bolt.. Hades is angered as he thinks Percy lied to him. While he is punishing them, Persephone takes the bolts and strikes Hades. Hades faints. Persephone then tells them to escape with the bolt (and she has some crazy reason for that). Unfortunately, there’s 3 pearls and 4 persons (three youths plus one mother). Grover volunteers to stay back, something that Persephone relishes as she’s attracted to him.

The three go back to the living world and was about to enter the gateway to Olympus when Luke attacks them and steals the bolt. Luke admits to stealing the bolt because he wants the Gods to fight so that the younger generation can take over (yeah, another corny reason). Anyway, to cut a long winded battle short, Percy retrieves the bolt and goes to Olympus along with Annabeth. They return the bolt and also ask for a favor – to get Grover from the underworld, which Zeus grants. Poseidon also gets a chance to talk to his son for a while. Story ends with Percy going back to the camp while his mother says goodbye to him.

So, you can see the similarities with Harry Potter story. This movie is from a book series as well, so there’s probably another 4 movies. I feel the movie failed to excite. Maybe its meant for kids, since its a simple, linear storyline.

Story: A “seen that” feeling prevails at times. Maybe due to the subject – Greek mythology. Simple and easy to understand, caters for kids.

Direction: Seems to have some disjointed parts. Not smooth flowing.

Acting: The young actors did well considering their age. The veterans like Uma Thurman, Pierce Brosnan and Sean Bean had small roles but acted well.

Conclusion: Watch this for time passing or if you are into teenage adventure stories.

Cast: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon Jackson, Uma Thurman, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan.

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy

Acting : 4/10

Story : 4/10

Special Effects: 7/10

Cinematography: 6/10

Overall Oomphness: 4/10

Note: Saw this movie in East Coast Mall, Kuantan.

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