Home Movie Vault Disc Vault Coming Soon Join Our Mailing List Articles About Us Contest Soundtrack Books eStore


Director: Chris Columbus
Cast: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Pierce Brosnan, Uma Thurman, Catherine Keener, Sean Bean, Rosario Dawson, Steve Coogan, Kevin McKidd, Melina Kanakaredes
RunTime: 1 hr 59 mins
Released By: 20th Century Fox
Rating: PG

Official Website: http://www.percyjacksonthemovie.com/

Opening Day: 11 February 2010


It's the 21st century, but the gods of Mount Olympus and assorted monsters have walked out of the pages of high school student Percy Jackson's Greek mythology texts and into his life. And they're not happy: Zeus' lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Even more troubling is the sudden disappearance of Percy's mother. As Percy finds himself caught between angry and battling gods, he and his friends embark on a cross-country adventure to catch the true lightning thief, save Percy's mom, and unravel a mystery more powerful than the gods themselves.

Movie Review:

Like many screen adaptations before it, “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief” attempts to translate a best-selling series for young readers into a box-office blockbuster. But as Philip Pullman’s “The Golden Compass”, Christopher Paolini’s “Eragon” or Cornelia Funke’s “Inkheart” would tell you, a success on the page doesn’t necessarily equate to a success on the screen.

This adaptation of Rick Riordan’s bestselling book ostensibly has one thing going for it- director Chris Columbus, who back in 2001 kick-started the immensely successful Harry Potter franchise. Truth is, the first two Harry Potter films were at best serviceable realizations of their respective books, with Columbus’ direction more functional than inspired. And so it is with this latest adaptation, a fantasy adventure that is only intermittently successful at capturing the imagination and inspiration of its source.

The Percy Jackson books were so successful because of their ability to fuse Greek mythology with American pop-culture, creating a universe of gods and demi-gods filled with a whole lot of cheeky humour. Columbus’ adaptation may have both the mythology and the culture, but his combination of the two is sadly lacking. In fact, one senses something is off right from the unintentionally amusing opening scene, where the mythical god of water Poseidon (Kevin McKidd) walks out of the sea in his full height before a shocked fisherman on the pier before shrinking down to human-size.

Couldn’t he have shrunk himself before coming out of the water? But never mind that you say- what’s fantasy if you’re not willing to suspend your disbelief? And do so you must, for Columbus seems so eager to get into the action that he throws you right into the story. You’d have to accept that our teenage hero, Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), an adolescent New Yorker with ADHD and dyslexia is in fact the son of Poseidon. You’d have to accept that his supposedly crippled best friend Satyr (Grover Underworld) is really his protector- with goat’s legs for feet. And then you’d have to accept that there’s a camp for training demi-gods somewhere outside the forests of New York.

Most of all, you’d have to take all that in really quickly- for much as we’d preferred to be slowly immersed into this rich world of Greek gods and their half-god, half-human offsprings, Columbus isn’t interested in build-up or for that matter, character. He has a story to tell, a story packed with action setpieces embellished with elaborate CGI, a story adorned with tongue-in-cheek humour for when the action stops. Not that we don’t enjoy the two- but one wishes that he could have fleshed out Riordan’s fascinating universe a little more or let us get to know Percy Jackson a little better before unleashing the CGI fury.

Nevertheless, Chris Columbus has plenty of flair when it comes to executing big action sequences, staging a hide-and-seek chase with Medusa (Uma Thurman in a devilishly fiendish role), a fiery battle with a fire-breathing dragon and a climactic fight between Percy and the real lightning thief with great aplomb. The blend of CGI and live-action is also admirable, especially with the amount of detail that went into creating each of the worlds of the Greek gods.

Just as he did with Daniel Radcliffe and Harry Potter, Chris Columbus has chosen a great lead actor in Logan Lerman for Percy Jackson. Lerman’s is a performance crackling with spunk and verve, and is spot-on even when the film struggles at parts to find the right tone. Together with co-star Brandon T. Jackson, they make a lively buddy pair, their witty banter great comic relief that is especially entertaining throughout the movie.

As far as teenage fiction adaptations go, “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief” isn’t the disaster “Eragon” was, but neither is it as good as any of the Harry Potter chapters. Thanks to the nifty action sequences, it is simply an entertaining diversion that does enough to keep you engaged for its almost two-hour duration. Still, given the vividness of Riordan’s fictional world, this adaptation ultimately falls short. Fans take heart though- there are four more books in the series, and if the Harry Potter franchise is anything to go by, the next director to take the helm after Chris Columbus should do the books’ more justice.

Movie Rating:

(There’s enough action and humour here for an entertaining diversion- just don’t expect this to be the next Harry Potter)

Review by Gabriel Chong


. Tooth Fairy (2010)

. Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (2009)

. The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)

. Harry Potter And The Order of the Phoenix (2007)

. Eragon (2007)

. The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising (2007)

. Bridge To Terabithia (2007)

. Harry Potter And The Globet of Fire (2005)

. The Chronicles of Narnia (2005)


DISCLAIMER: Images, Textual, Copyrights and trademarks for the film and related entertainment properties mentioned
herein are held by their respective owners and are solely for the promotional purposes of said properties.
All other logo and design Copyright©2004- , movieXclusive.com™
All Rights Reserved.