(This review of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief might contain some spoilers, so if you haven’t watched the movie I suggest you to distance yourself from this blog, and if you do have watched it already, and then feel free to share your sentiments also. Thanks.)
My fascination with Greek mythology started in elementary days where I accidentally discovered an age-old book in our storage and it features a young lady being kidnapped by the god of the underworld to be his wife, thus leading of having the four seasons. The characters were Demeter, Hades and Persephone. I fell in love with the mythology, even believing they were true.
The fascination grew into obsession when I found a whole book about the Greek mythology in our old library in high school, giving me enough reasons to love the Greek mythology, its rich culture and fond adventures.
A year ago, while browsing for some interesting movies over YouTube I came across this trailer about a boy who happens to be the son of the god of the seas and its adventures. His name is Percy Jackson (being Perseus as his real name). I’ve mistaken this movie to be the last installment of the Harry Potter series for having 3 lead characters, 2 boys and a girl. But I tried to prevent myself from comparing the two books/movies (well, given that the first movies of the series were both directed by Chris Columbus). Now the obsession sparks into me once more, and began to anticipate the movie, the first of the series of books of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson, The Lightning Thief.
I just recently got hold of The Lightning Thief audio book (but haven’t finished as of this writing, just a few chapters left), in preparation for my movie experience today. Thank God for the audio book because it keeps me from reading er, well more likely to be ‘listening’ to the book. The anticipation is building up one after the other. I really can’t wait to see the movie.
Like the most of us who have the dilemma of comparing the books to their movie counterparts, The Lightning Thief is one of the unfortunate casualties.
The film started with Poseidon in his god-form rushes unto the shore and transforming into a human, meets with Zeus (in human form), at the top of the Empire State Building (where the portal to Olympus is found through an elevator)and arguing about the main bolt which is being robbed by an unknown thief. Believing it was to be the son of Poseidon, Zeus gave him an ultimatum – until the start of the summer solstice, if the bolt is still not yet returned, a great war will be initiated.
Then the story flows into Percy Jackson’s misadventures with the adversaries of Hades and how he managed to get away with them, the lost and rescue of his mother, and the main plot of bringing back the main bolt and clearing up of his name.
Basically, the main characters were all intact, although some of the supporting ones disappeared like the daughter of Ares. A lot of scenes were also changed/added, including the introduction of the movie, how Percy Jackson knew he was the son of a god, and the race to the Half-Blood Camp.
Story-wise, it’s a bit confusing since it is slightly different with the book (rarely a movie adaptation is respected by book/movie critics). People who read the book first will be much affected with this but to some who haven’t glimpsed even the cover of the book will somehow appreciate its “rawness”.
Technically, the effects is just right similar of those with Harry Potter — mid-ok to ok, not much of a surprise. The humor injected here is slightly ok, although some tends to be corny at times.
The only thing that is positive for me here is, Uma Thurman. She portrayed Medusa with conviction so much.
The complexity of the plot could be the reason of the poor story-telling of the movie adaptation. Not a bad thing though, and not a bad movie after-all. This is one those movies which you would watch on a weekend afternoon.
I will rate this as a C+.