Main cast: Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson), Brandon T Jackson (Grover), Alexandra Daddario (Annabeth), Jake Abel (Luke), Catherine Keener (Sally Jackson), Joe Pantoliano (Gabe Ugliano), Kevin McKidd (Poseidon), Steve Coogan (Hades), Rosario Dawson (Persephone), Uma Thurman (Medusa), and Sean Bean (Zeus)
Director: Chris Columbus
Knowing that there won’t be many more Harry Potter movies to make, Hollywood is turning to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson & the Olympians series to keep the money rolling in. Heck, they even get the talentless hack Chris Columbus to direct this movie. Fortunately, the actors in this movie are not kids, so the ineptitude of the director for once does not shine from his rear end like a beacon from the Statue of Liberty.
Aren’t the kids in the story supposed to be ranging in age from 12 to 14? If so, these kids in this movie must be the oldest 12 to 14 year old kids I’ve seen. Percy Jackson is played by a block of wood painted white all over with Zac Efron’s face pasted on one end while it’s pretty obvious that the guy who plays 14-year old Luke is in his twenties. How many books are there in this series? Because it looks most certain that by the last movie, all the young kids in this movie will closely resemble Luke Perry and Gabrielle Carteris.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief has plenty of similarities to the Harry Potter movies and I’m not just talking about the fact that the director is a useless waste of space and the main character is played by an inanimate object. We have a main character contrived to be useless and weak until it becomes apparent later on that his uselessness or weakness is actually misunderstood – he is actually a Person of Great Power! He never earns his powers or his special status among his peers. He’s born into it. And oh yes, he’s a whiny tosser to boot.
Percy is the son of Poseidon. In this world, Zeus has decided that the Greek gods cannot communicate with their children. You’d think it’d be easier to ban them from fornicating with humans in the first place, but I guess these Olympians can only fornicate with each other for so long before they get totally sick of each other. In this world, apparently Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades – the Big Three – have fecundity issues because their offsprings are few and far in between. Hey, don’t laugh, I’m not making this up.
So, in this movie, Percy doesn’t know that his father is Poseidon. Instead, he runs around sulking because his best friend is a creepy guy who speaks ghetto and watches him run around in swim trunks, his mother is sleeping with a smelly loser, and he has only one facial expression. Meanwhile, Zeus is angry because his lightning bolt is missing. He somehow knows that Poseidon’s son is the thief, an accusation that has Poseidon fuming mad. Percy doesn’t know this at that moment, of course. All he knows is that erinyes and minotaurs are out to get him because they think he’s the Lightning Thief. His best friend turns out to be a satyr who must be related to Donkey in those Shrek movies because they speak the same way. As they and Percy’s mother try to make their way to the Camp Half-Blood, Mommy dies but Percy spends the next twenty minutes more interested in the breasts of Annabeth and his new dig at the camp.
It turns out that Camp Half-Blood is a school for all the illegitimate brats of the Olympians. I wonder how these people know that those kids are Olympian brats if the parents never contacted those brats. Worse, these kids spend their time learning how to use swords when you’d think it will be easier to use a bazooka on a hydra. When Hades crashes Percy’s attempts to lose his virginity to Annabreasts, er, Annabeth, Percy realizes that he must go solo into the Underworld to convince Hades to release his mother even if Percy doesn’t have Zeus’s mighty lightning rod.
As you can tell by now, plot and logic are not the main priorities of this movie. I’d recommend a complete shutdown of the brain in order to enjoy this movie thoroughly. Yes, the story smells as bad as Gabe Ugliano and Pierce Brosnan is unintentionally hilarious as an anatomically incorrect centaur, and the acting from the main cast reminds me of washed-up flotsam (Mr Lerman looks like he’s on the verge of bursting out into laughter most of the time).
But the special effects are amazing. Uma Thurman’s Medusa is easily one of the highlights of this movie because of the gorgeous snakes on her scalp as well as her campy but menacing performance. The hydra monster is also pretty impressive. But I absolutely love the Underworld – it’s just beautiful, the breathtaking panorama of the Underworld. Rosario Dawson’s performance and her character’s innuendo-laden lines seem out of place in a movie aimed at kids, but I guess the sleepy fathers in the audience need something to keep them awake as they accompany their kids to watch this movie.
Simply put, yes, the story is incoherent and there are huge gaps of logic everywhere. I suspect that I will be less inclined to be generous when it comes to this movie if I have read the book of the same name. Since I haven’t, I’m able to say that I’ve had fun shutting down my brain and enjoying the visual distractions this movie has to offer. Fast-paced and brainlessly fun, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is a solid example of the triumph of CGI over intelligent film making. I have this suspicion that I will lose my credibility if I recommend this movie to you, so I will just say this: if you are dragged kicking and screaming into watching this movie, don’t worry. You may end up enjoying it more than you’d like to admit. Naturally, I won’t tell if you won’t.