Thursday, February 18, 2010

Percy Jackson And The Olympians - The Lightning Thief

I have long heard that this movie and the series of books that spawned it were the 'next' Harry Potter. Certainly with a world populated by fantastic creatures and mythical elements it can make an argument to be included in such illustrious company. Let's see how the first movie goes.

I have not read any of the books so I went into this totally unaware of this fictional universe. I will rely on you that know better to inform me about how much the movie adherer's to the books since everyone agrees that the book is usually better than the movie made of it.

Samurai Frog (who is usually dead on with his opinions) liked the first book and it's heavy reliance on Greek mythology. My first degree is in Classic so I have had a strong eduction in myth. All my life I read about these gods and goddesses. It was fun to see their various manifestations and to be honest, the inclusion of known stars such as Brosnon and Uma Thurman as Medusa didn't distract at all from the story. Director Christopher Columbus knows how to handle young stars and established ones. He directed several Harry Potter movies.

I like the idea that Zeus and Poseidon and the other gods still exist and can come to Earth to make trouble whenever they feel like it. While they can't mess with each other, their children are under no such restriction. Their children are half-gods themselves with often no awareness that they come from such parentage.

Such is Percy Jackson, the son of Poseidon. You would think that anyone who could hold his breath under water for seven minutes would have some suspicion.

He has a best friend who uses crutches to get around and hates his school and his life. He feels like a freak. On a trip to the museum, things don't get much better when he is attacked by a Fury. Suddenly Percy finds out that everyone closest to him has a secret and no one is who they appear to be.

I really enjoyed how the movie unravels the answers slowly and we learn with Percy just how special he is. The 'hero quest' myth is in full swing here. Time for him to step up and become a man. That is if the other gods will let him. They believe that he has stolen Zeus' thunderbolt and a war is coming if Percy cannot find it and return it to it's rightful owner.

Of course his first step is to take battle training to hone his godly powers. This is where he meets Annabeth, the daughter of Athena and Cyron(Pierce Brosnon) a centaur/mentor.

What I most liked about this movie was the friendships born out of necessity. Percy needs his companions to complete his quest and they need him to lead. Once he accepts his unique heritage, Percy will always fight for what is right and good.

I can easily see the bookstores running out of this series once the movie goes into wide release. It's exciting with a very appealing young cast. The mythology elements are done right and there are some genuine moments of fear (like in the Potter films) when you believe that the characters might not survive. I enjoyed it very much.

PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF Movie Trailer - More free videos are here

1 comment:

TS Hendrik said...

Sounds a bit like Sky High. I do want to try it. I haven't read the books, but I'll give the movie a go.