Blu-ray Review Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Directed by: Chris Columbus Cast: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Catherine Keener, Uma Thurman Running Time: 2 hrs Rating: PG Due Out: June 29, 2010 Buy Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief [Blu-ray]
PLOT: A high school boy (Lerman) with dyslexia and the ability to stay underwater for seven minutes learns that he is the son of Poseidon. After this revelation, he is accused of having stolen Zeus’ lightning, which he must retrieve at all costs.
WHO'S IT FOR?: This new addition to the “boy carries glowing stick and sword” collection of films has too much evil for little children, but at the same time the attention span of teenagers may be at risk.
I imagine that working on the screenplay for Percy Jackson must have been similar to the experience of making drugs in a meth lab. Eventually, the awfulness of such material starts to get to every part of your psyche, and your brain begins to rot. Nothing else could explain this giant failure of a mishmash plot, which has Percy and Co. going to a wizard school demi-god camp, then on a road trip to find three pearls, which will then get them access out of hell, all of which will somehow help them retrieve this one giant phallic stick (excuse me, lightning bolt). Right around the first hour, you can hear the writers playing “Incense and Peppermints” by Strawberry Alarm Clock, and laughing to themselves while scripting a scene that has the three whippersnappers eating a flower substance at a Las Vegas casino, and being unaware of how they’ve wasted five days of their life.
Parents, let’s have a talk. This movie is not the good kind of fun that you want your offspring to experience. It is piled with unnecessary scenes of phony violence that use educational topics like Greek mythology only as an excuse for a fight sequence. There are at least five moments in the movie where Percy “Action” Jackson is battling some character from mythology, and it has very little to do with the actual origins of said character.
If that stuff doesn’t pass on the meth-like side effects, here are some other odd “elements” in the movie that can possibly seep their way into your child’s brain. Percy Jackson is shown hiding underwater for seven minutes, and this is before he finds out why he has such ability. What is to stop little Quigley from going underwater and trying to find out whether he is a demi-god the hard way? Or, worse enough, the film has this really awful view of divorced parents. Why is Percy’s real father never around? Because he’s a god, duh! But, no fear, Father Jackson is always “watching over” the son. Even if he’s not paying child support, he might as well be … a deadbeat god-dad.
Plus, this is just an awful movie. Picture books about Greek mythology would cost you less, and instill in your children a much better idea of decent storytelling (don’t ruin their brains so they can’t become the next Chuck Palahniuk!)
However, after the film was over, the 11-year old next to me exclaimed to his comrade, “Why, I do believe that is my most favorite film out of all that I’ve ever seen!” So perhaps people like the seat-rocking Quigley will like it, but bear in mind this flick will only hold such a credible ranking until your child sees their next movie.
MOVIE SCORE: 2/10
Secrets of the Gods - An interactive special feature that provides a brief summary of each of the mythological creatures used in the story, regardless of screentime.
The Book Comes to Life - Author of the original series Rick Riordan shares the story behind the creation of the "Percy Jackson" books, followed by a brief praising by director Christopher Columbus.
Composing for the Gods: A Conversation with Christophe Beck - The film composer discusses the process behind scoring Percy Jackson, while providing tidbits about the process that seem relevant for most Hollywood film scores. After hearing him speak, perhaps you'll listen in on other scores to notice specifically designated motifs.
Deleted Scenes Discover Your Powers Quiz Inside Camp Half-Blood Meet the Demi-Gods Theatrical Trailer Digital Copy of the feature film
FINAL SCORE: 4/10