Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is Hollywood’s latest tween cash grab that has the built-in audience to actually work. The only problem is that The Lightning Thief may be a direct rip off of the film with a boy that has a lightning bolt scar. So, yes you will see a boy mistreated by a parent that is keeping a secret from him, this boy will go to a school to learn things about his new abilities and yes he will be thought of as the most powerful boy at this school. The only difference here is the context; instead of Wizardry we have Mythology.
Percy is a teenage boy that like most of the main characters in these kinds of films doesn’t quite fit in. He can hold his breath under water for an unusual long time and has a rare case of dyslexia that allows him to read ancient Greek. During a field trip to the museum, Percy finds out that he is more than your average teenage boy with dyslexia, and that he is the son of Poseidon. Along with this new found knowledge about the dad that left him, Percy is told that his life is in danger because Zeus thinks that he stole his lightning bolt, clue in the title of the movie here. But instead of going on an adventure with new found friends to clear his name, it’s time for a pointless journey to save his mother from Hades.
If you can’t tell by now, I didn’t enjoy this film. In fact, wishing I had a knife to plunge into my leg to dull the pain of watching it came to mind a few times during the screening. The subject matter of the film just does not work; it makes Greek Mythology come off cheesy with special effects that are at times embarrassing. Mostly embarrassing for the actors involved, Pierce Brosnan plays Chiron, a centaur that makes me hope he got a lot of money because I’m not sure if I’ll be able to look at him the same way ever again. It’s not that he was bad in the role of a mythological beast but when you see a guy as a half horse/half man, the image never really leaves your mind.
That’s what really hurts the film is it’s production value. With films like Harry Potter, you are swept away to another world and can imagine the that it really exists. With Percy, you can do the same thing but the imaginary world seems as if it could easily be recreated in your back yard. Just grab a few sticks and a tarp and you have camp “Demi God.” Run down to Lowe’s and let your children loose in the garden area or “Medusa’s lair.”
I could go on and on about how much I did not enjoy myself but thinking that people will stay away from this film because of my adult opinion would be wrong. Percy is for the kids and when it comes to that it does have a few good messages for that generation. For instance, a child with ADHD can be a super hero and a man in a wheel chair might be a centaur, giving children less reason to make fun of their peers with the same issues. For me, I’ll write this viewing off as punishment for dragging my Mom to see Power Rangers when it hit the big screen and let the next four films torture parents across the world absent from my opinion.
I give Percy 1 “I killed a guy with a Trident” out of 5
by Ryan Davis