Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

First rule of battle strategy. Don’t ever let your opponent distract you.

— Annabeth Chase

I was mildly interested in the movie, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, because it an obvious Harry Potter ripoff that was based on the book series by Rick Riordan. On the /Filmcast, one of the hosts railed on how bad the movie was, so I had to check out how awful the movie is. The movie is not horrendous, but it’s not that great.

Mixing ancient Greek mythology into modern times, Poseidon (Kevin McKidd) is summoned to Olympus, which is situated on top of the Empire State Building to his brother, Zeus (Sean Bean). Zeus is angry that his lightning bolt has been stolen from him. Somehow, he only blames the offspring of Poseidon for the theft. Zeus warns Poseidon that if the bolt is not returned to him within two weeks before the summer solstice then a full scale war will ensue.

Poseidon’s offspring turns out to be a troubled teenager named Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) suffering from ADHD and dyslexia. He is living a shabby apartment with her mother, Sally (Catherine Keener) and dickhead stepfather, Gabe Ugliano (Joe Pantoliano). He dreams that his life was be better than it is.

On a field trip to look at the exhibit of Greek and Roman art, he attacked by his substitute teacher, Mrs. Dodds (Maria Olson) who turned out to be a butt ugly fury who seeks the lightning bolt from Percy. A wheelchair bound curator, Mr. Brewer (Pierce Brosnan) and Percy’s best friend, Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) think that Percy is in danger. He has to leave town with Grover being his protector with a pen that was given to him that turns out to be a sword. Huh?

On the drive to Camp Half Blood, his mother explains to Percy about his birth father and why he wasn’t in his life. The car they are in is attacked by a Minotaur. It turns out that Grover is a satyr, a half-person/half-goat creature that is the protector of Percy. During the fight, the Minotaur kidnaps his mother. Percy passes out. Three days later, he wakes in the infirmary with Grover telling him about his father, Poseidon, him being a demigod, and that he has to train for battle.

Mr. Brewer turns out to be a Centaur, Chiron, whose sworn duty to train the heroes for anything that the Gods could throw at them. While Percy is getting situated, the whole camp is involved in a spirited game of “capture the flag”, where he gets into battle with Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), who is the daughter of Athena. He is wounded. He regenerates from the water by the voice of his father in his head.

At a bonfire, Hades (Steve Coogan) appears in his menacing transformation to tell Percy that his mother is in the underworld with him. If he ever sees the mother, he has to return the bolt. Percy wants to go to Olympus to tell Zeus the truth, but Chiron thinks that is not a good idea. Outside the protective shield of the camp, he is vulnerable.

Not heeding his warning, Percy, Grover and Annabeth decide to try to find a way to get to Underworld to get his mother back. To do that, they need to find three pearls to open the portal to Hell told by the son of Hermes, Luke (Jake Abel).  They have to go on a cross country journey to vaguely Grecian places to find them.

I don’t have the same hate for Chris Columbus and his films like everyone else. I think that Chris take a source and translate it to the screen without any imagination or pizzazz behind it. That is why this movie is laughable at times and not in a good way. Is this movie serious? Sometime I can’t tell if it was supposed to be campy or been taken seriously. That bit with the iPhone? The satyr dancing to Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face”? You have fantastic cast of good actors, but it feels like a B movie you find on the Syfy Channel. An utter disappointment.

Judgment: I would suggest waiting for the Clash of the Titans movie. Don’t watch this.

Rating: **

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About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on February 27, 2010, in 2010, Adventure, Family, Fantasy and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I had a good time – and it might have been because I went in with low expectations. Watching it as if it was going to be an episode of Smallville or some equally vapid CW show was the right level to watch it at.

    I think through the money it made and whatnot, combined with intensive audience testing and perhaps even listening to critics, this franchise can only improve.

    • Well, I can’t say the same. It wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t good in my eyes. I wanted to see how atrocious it was was.

      It was watchable. That’s the highest praise I could give it.

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