Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (2010)
Directed by Chris Columbus
Brandon T. Jackson
I originally watched this film because my daughter wanted to see it. That usually means she thinks the ‘boy’ star is cute (Logan Lerman). I was just happy that she wanted to watch a film that included Greek Mythology, a subject that I loved to study, portray in artwork, and read about when I was young. I had watched the many classic films (and some not-so-classic) pertaining to the subject throughout my years. This film made it fun for both of us, mixing the mythological characters with modern times in a new contemporary story. A kid, falling in love, a single mom with lousy boyfriend: not exactly a mythological topic. But Medusa, a Hydra, Hades, The River Styx, Zeus and Perseus: My type of film!
It was a fun flick with some great monsters. The effects were well-done with quality CG. An outstanding 5-headed hydra, and a wicked Medusa (played by Uma Thurman) and a giant Minotaur, pleased the monster fan in me. The film stayed true to the mythology world created by the ancient Greek storytellers. Having the Gods and Beasts still alive in this day and age left some creative blending to be tackled but it was handled well. For example: Medusa’ s stare still turns one to stone, so naturally she owns a garden & stone-statue dealership and wears dark shades most of the time.
Someone has stolen the Sacred Lightning bolt of Zeus and the Gods are ready to declare war on each other and mankind, if it is not returned by the summer Solstice in 2 weeks. Percy’s mother is kidnapped and held ransom by Hades for exchange of the Zeus’ Lightning Bolt. All the gods and deities are after Percy because they think he stole the powerful weapon. At Camp Half-Blood, Percy learns he is a demi-god and trains for his quest to find the bolt and save his mother from Hades. Percy is teamed up with his friend, Grover Underwood, a Satyr (half goat, half man). At the camp he meets, Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena, also a demi-god and a master archer. They set out on their journey to find three pearls, using an ancient map. The Pearls will enable them to enter and leave Hades, save Percy‘s mom and find the Lightning Bolt. Along their Journey they battle a really nice 5-headed fire-breathing Hydra, Medusa and the Lotus Eaters. Near the Hollywood sign they find a secret pathway to the river Styx. They’re taken to Hades home. There’s some nice depictions of hell and tortured souls in these scenes.
The film is based on a novel by Rick Riordan titled, The Lightning Thief, the first in a series known as Percy Jackson & the Olympians. Overall it’s a fun movie that both young ones and adults can enjoy. While it didn’t have the monster charm of Harryhausen’ s mythological creature creations, it had its own visual style for this era.
It’s an action packed movie with fun special effects, some cool monsters and a light mythology mash-up in a modern setting.
I give it 3.2 magic pearls out of 5 on the mythos scale of Greek Gods and monsters.