Unlike most movie adaptations that try to cram the plot into two hours, Percy Jackson does not disappoint. The best-selling children’s book by Rick Riordan holds its own as a movie: the characters are well thought out and the dialogue hilarious.
Directed by Chris Columbus (Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone), Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief is fun to watch and blends both Greek mythology and urban life fantastically.
In more than one way, Percy pays homage to Harry Potter. Harry Potter is a boy who has hidden magical talents, famous parents and two best friends—a girl and a guy. Percy Jackson has ADHD to keep him on his feet during battle, and his dad is the sea god Poseidon, and he travels with two best friends—a girl and a guy. Yet, the movie manages to distinguish itself with a quick-witted script, and delicious villains like Medusa (Uma Thurman) and rock-god Hades (Steve Coogan).
Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) finds out he is the son of Poseidon and is sent on a quest with friends Annabeth, token girl-hero-hasa- crush-on (Alexandra Daddario) and token sidekick, Grover (Brandon T. Hall). They have to find Zeus’ master lightning bolt and prevent an all-out war between the gods. Adventure ensues, and all three have to rush to save the world while being chased by monsters.
The free-style retelling of Greek mythology is aided by a healthy injection of modern-day conveniences and references. In one scene Percy tries to slay Medusa ala Perseus who beheads the Gorgon Medusa by looking at her reflection in his bronze shield—because if he looked at her directly he would turn to stone. But instead of the shield, Percy uses the shiny back cover of his
iPod Touch. Olympus has also relocated to New York’s Empire State building and the Underworld is in Hollywood.
A teen movie at heart, if there was one problem with this show, it’s that the teen actors needed more sword-wielding lessons. For a bunch of demi-gods they showed little of their inborn monster-slaying skills. And while the movie missed some key parts of the book, and changed some traits of the characters (in the book, Percy is 12, but in the movie he’s over 16), it held the same feel and the same theme. Fans of the book and Greek mythology will definitely not be disappointed and newcomers to Percy Jackson will definitely be enthralled.