Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010)

Genre(s): Fantasy
Fox || PG - 118 minutes || February 12, 2010
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2010-02-23

.:: F I L M ::.

Director: Chris Columbus
Writer(s): Rick Riordan (novel); Craig Titley (screenplay)
Cast: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan, Rosario Dawson, Catherine Keener, Joe Pantoliano, Uma Thurman

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I was really excited to see Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief when it hit theaters a little while ago. Needless to say, my expectations werenít set that high as though it looks exactly like Clash of the Titans only with a kid storyline and not the adult one. However, after watching the flick, I must say this is a truly amazing movie that probably wonít give Harry Potter a run for his money but it might come pretty close.

Zeus (Sean Bean) and Poseidon (Kevin McKidd) meet on top of a building to discuss Zeusís missing lightning bolt. Unless the item is found, all war will break loose. He accuses Poseidonís son of taking the item, but his father refutes the idea and vows that it will be returned before the solstice. Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) is your everyday kid trying to make his way in dreaded high school. Heís an excellent swimmer who can hold his breath underwater easily for minutes on end, and his best friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) is always there to support him. While on a field trip to the museum he meets with the head of the institution Mr. Brunner (Pierce Brosnan) who asks him multiple questions about Greek mythology. Percy is escorted into a room by his substitute teacher who transforms into a gargoyle and tries to attack him but is saved by Brunner and Grover, who turns out that heís a Satyr (for those who donít know, heís half human and half horse, sort of like a centaur but minus two legs).

Percy is escorted to a camp for half-bloods but in the process his mother Sally (Catherine Keener) is killed by another fury that shows up at the worst time. Percy manages to kill the fury with the pen given to him by Brunner but passes out from the pain. He wakes up to train with the other demigods and meets Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), the daughter of Athena the goddess of wisdom. The two donít really click right away but after besting her in battle she soon starts to like him. At the dinner service Hades shows up and lets Percy know that his mother is in fact still alive and if he wants her back all he has to do is give him the lightning bolt that doesnít have. The next night Percy, Annabeth, and Grover set off with the help from Luke (Jake Abel), the son of Hermes the messenger, on a quest to save Percyís mother and prevent an all out war from happening.

This really was a great flick and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The runtime is just right for an introduction to the series that I hope continues. The pacing is also something to praise, as though I remember the first Harry Potter was quite boring while this one was pretty fun to watch. The special effects, for those wondering, are phenomenal. Percy controlling water near the end and the major battles he and his companions have are truly breath-taking to view in the theater, and will hopefully be just as good when the film hits Blu-Ray this summer. The monumental battle at the end, between Percy and a character I wonít spoil was just as good if not the best one of the movie and one that will have you leaving the theater wanting to see more of the series.

The acting was really surprising, as besides Brosnan I hadnít really seen any of the cast in other flicks. That being said though, I look forward to future films starring the cast. Abel does an excellent job as Luke, Daddario comes off as the wise yet angst-filled Annabeth, and Jackson is quite entertaining as the funny but loyal sidekick. The cast really works quite well together and I could tell that they had fun filming the flick as much as I enjoyed watching it.

I am however disappointed with a few things. First off, there may not be a sequel due to the filmís reported budget of over $90 million. This means unless the film starts banking some serious cash we probably wonít get a sequel anytime soon. Second, I wanted more of the ďfuryĒ characters that only showed up twice. Whatís the point of talking about them in length when they are only there twice? The rest of the villains are barely explained although they do have some darn cool scenes. Uma Thurman as Medusa was an enjoyable fifteen or so minutes, and another multiple-headed monster sequence was entertaining as well. I sort of wanted more of the back story on the villains rather than the good guys, but Iím sure due to time compression that all of it wasnít available.

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is a phenomenal flick that both parents and kids can enjoy together. There are a few things left out that made me knock a star off, and the fact that there may not be a sequel is equally disappointing. I for one though will be going to get the series on book to read more, and hopefully have just as much fun.