Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief Review

Percy Jackson Film Review

Brief Synopsis

After a teenager living in modern-day New York discovers that he is the son of Poseidon, he undertakes a mission to rescue his mother from Hades. Warning: Review contains multiple AC/DC references.


I realize that I am not in the target demogrpahic for this film, but directors of similar films seem able to weave a little magic and make their movies entertaining for all ages; also with the likes of Sean Bean, Kevin McKidd, Pierce Brosnan and Rosario Dawson I might have got my hopes up. Unfortunately this movie included a few things which make its sort unbearable for older audiences, like overblown clichés – mom’s together with an abusive alcoholic – and the all-to-obvious (and obligatory) teenage love interest. In any case, Percy Jackson’s (Logan Lerman) world is turned upside down after his substitute teacher (a Fury) attacks him on a field trip demanding he give up the ‘lightning bolt.’ Latin teacher Mr. Brunner (Pierce Brosnan), who had held a talk about the ‘Big Three,’ namley Poseidon, Zeus and Hades, breaks in to save Percy in the nick of time. Mr. Brunner and Percy’s best friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson), as it turns out, had been assigned to keep an eye on him.

“A Real Horse’s Ass”

As a result of the attack Percy is told that he is the son of Poseidon and that he and his mother must be brought to safety. In the process they lose mom and Percy lands at demigod boot camp, where it turns out the Mr. Brunner is actually the centaur Chiron, admitting on screen that he has a real horse’s ass. I hate to harp on it, but as mentioned in the review of ‘The Wolfman,’ the attainment and use of supernatural powers doesn’t seem to be associated with any learning curve. To wit, Percy Jackson, simply by virtue of being Poseidon’s bastard, is able to fight and wield water like the angry god of the seas himself (granted, he needed to be told to give it a shot). Maybe it’s different in the book, maybe they wanted to save screen time and perhaps it isn’t too much of a stretch with Greek mythological creatures in modern America, but one still expects beginners to fall flat on their face once or twice. After a game of capture the flag, which doesn’t get finished, Percy enlists the help of Athena’s vivacious daughter (Alexandra Daddario) and his pal Grover and they hatch a scheme to break into Hades, problem is they need to get to hell, and back.

Highway to Hell

It turns out Persephone’s pearls are your one way ticket to hell and back, and after some tips and new digs from the son of Hermes (Jake Abel), the gang depart on a cross country road trip stopping at some otherwise inauspicious American landmarks where the pearls are being housed. If you’ve read this far you’re probably planning on seeing the movie anyway (or you already have), but along the road these teeenyboppers make short shrift of some of the baddest creatures Greek Mythology has to offer – there is enough material for a sequel, though. This movie does have a few laughs and isn’t afraid to laugh at itself, but anyone allergic to the modern teenage melodrama is better off taking a pass.

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