Billy Soistmann

Review: Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

In 2010, 20th Century Fox, Action, Chris Columbus, Family, Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy on February 13, 2010 at 5:28 PM

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is not the next Harry Potter. That’s exactly what 20th Century Fox was going for – based on the series by Rick Riordan, it stars Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson, a young man who discovers that Greek legends are real, and is directed by Chris Columbus.

Although based on an intriguing premise, “The Lightning Thief” falls flat. It’s a real shame, too. It could have been a fun adventure through Greek mythology. Instead, it falls into a simple movie formula that we’ve all seen many times over.

The film begins with Zeus (Sean Bean) confronting Poseidon (Kevin McKidd) over the theft of his lightning bolt. The scene plays off well as tongue-in-cheek comedy, although I don’t think that’s what they were aiming for. The dialogue is ridiculous, but if the entire film just stuck with this not-too-serious feel, I would have liked it much more.

The first major flaw is the lack of an introduction. We see Percy and his best friend, Grover (Brandon T. Jackson), but we never really get to know them before the plot quickens and the action begins. The writers hit the points they need to, but the characters never come alive.

The plot of the movie is terrible. This film takes a good premise and ruins it by making it so formulaic and predictable, there’s almost no point in watching it. The only redeeming factor is that the movie is actually pretty fun most of the time.

The acting is atrocious all-around. Even the excellent supporting cast, including Uma Thurman, Catherine Keener, Joe Pantoliano, Pierce Brosnan, and Sean Bean, are humiliated through silly dialogue with no real characters beneath. As for the stars, this film goes to show you that very few teens can actually act.

However, these shortcomings don’t diminish the movie as much as they should. Somehow, this mess of a screenplay plays out as a surprisingly fun family adventure. Although not a good film by any stretch, “Percy Jackson” provides a fun adventure suitable for the whole family, and is better than most films aimed at the same audience.

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  1. This is a dumb movie review. Although the film is QUITE violent, it is good wholesome family film which appeals to all ages. The performances were quite good, there is humour, pathos, adventure and excitement in this film. The very last scene is GORGEOUS, the lair of Olympian gods and goddess is striking and mezmerizing. Sean Bean gives the performance of a lifetime. Although The Mighty Bean is only in the movie for about 10 minutes of screen time, he gives a fierce, formidable, mezmerizing performance. I think the reviewer of this blog is somewhat cranky. Of course, there is little exposition at the beginning and didn’t give the “back story” because the film stuck to 2 hour time length. This isn’t Lord of the Rings with four hours and three episodes………….I highly recommend this film, it is a high adventure romp – a great rolicking romp.

    I give it a B+.

    I thought Uma Thurman and Pierce Brosnan were miscast and “hammy”. They are both world class actors, but were either badly directed or miscast in this film.

    • I think families would have a great time with this film, however, the acting was terrible. If anything, Pierce Brosnan was the standout performance. Sean Bean’s performance is passable, but nothing compared to his Boromir. I’m not cranky, I just judged the movie on its merits, and hopefully with as little bias as possible.

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