182: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (PG) - 2010 - Runtime: 118 minutes
Starring: Logan Lerman, Pierce Brosnan, Brandon T. Jackson
Director: Chris Columbus

I really love Greek mythology. Especially when it's expanded upon and creates its own unique myth (see: The God of War games). I don't know, something about the gods and the old titans I just really dig. So I was looking forward to checking this movie out - I haven't read the books, but I heard they were good, if not great. Alas, this movie was major suckitude and I don't think I'd want to check out the books after watching this one!

Percy Jackson is just a normal, breathing underwater for 10 minutes high school kid who finds out very quickly that he's a demigod (or, for those too dimwitted and slow, as the movie assumes, half man, half god). He's Poseidon's son and has been accused of stealing Zeus' lightning bolt, the source of Zeus's power. So it's up to Percy to figure out what the hell is happening and of course, have some good looking chick and annoying side kick tag along to help him. The formula already is a bit thin and after the first half an hour, I grew tired. The movie started off nicely - you get right into the story, but after that it's dull.

My problems are thus: I hate it when they re-tell stories - for example, Medusa is still alive? Didn't Perseus (aha, see what they did there?), the son of Zeus kill her already? What the what? I hated that the writers were too lazy to tell a unique story. Instead, we get the always clever (read: never) looking into the mirror trick, kind of. Second, the movie felt like a video game. And not in a good way because it seemed to play out like this: find three hidden pearls! Once you get the pearls, you will face a boss - Medusa, a Five Headed Dragon, etc. etc. It's too stilted and just doesn't flow right. I can't explain it better than that! Third, the villain isn't all that menacing and you never really feel like the world is in danger. The movie is so far removed from the real world from the very beginning that when it's threatened, it doesn't seem real. Plus! SPOILER! You never find out how the dude stole the lightning bolt in the first place! Sure, I'm glad he didn't monologue, but this is very important effing information! I suppose Zeus just left it on the porch on Mt. Olympus? This is just another example of the laziness of the writing!

Okay! So I would definitely avoid this one. It tries so hard to be hip to the new generation. Like the way to get to Hades in hell is found in a cave near the Hollywood sign or the entry point to Mt. Olympus is through the Empire State Building's elevator. Thanks for giving us instantly recognizable landmarks! Because making things up is too hard. Sigh.

Rating: Avoid Like the Plague!

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