Movie Review: – “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief”

Percy Jackson & The Olympians is amongst the several young-adult books attempting to capture the same, ahem, lightning in a bottle that Harry Potter was able to seize. I’ll open this up with saying that I absolutely adored Harry Potter as a book-series and movie-franchise, and I believe that they have cinematic brilliance on numerous accounts. Ever since Harry Potter’s success, there has been a lot that have tried to do something similar, and some of them have even succeeded. For example, while Twilight obviously wasn’t able to garner the same critical success, it was able to capture a considerable amount of success. And more recently, The Hunger Games has begun carrying the torch as a money-maker and well-received movie-franchise based on young-adult books.

However, for all of these, there are those that don’t make strong critical success and those that don’t capture the audience as what they were aiming for.

Whether it be Mortal Instruments, Beautiful Creatures, or Vampire Academy, there are countless that try to play off of that bewildering formula that made individuals gravitate toward the more popular franchises. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is the first step toward a middleman. While the movie hardly got critical acclaim, the movie was followed by a sequel, which is also soon to be followed by a sequel, and made made over two-hundred million dollars in the box-office. And so, where do we begin, where it begins, of course, and so, let’s look at this adaptation of the highly beloved Percy Jackson book-series.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is a 2010 fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus, who, besides discovering America, actually is responsible for directing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, as well as Chamber of Secrets. It stars Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson, as well as one or two others that I don’t feel like naming. I suppose that it’s time for a roll-call, we have a director that has already proven himself capable of directing a young-adult movie, and who are the actors? We have the main-girl from the Texas Chainsaw movie, that I wanted to see naked, but they were like, no, and instead gave me a terrible movie. Then, there’s Brandon T. Jackson, who I have never heard-of, but last and most important to me, we have Logan Lerman. After making this movie, Logan Lerman would go onto have a tremendous performance in a movie alongside Emma Watson, called The Perks of Being a Wallflower, and so, that’s enough for me to go ahead and say, I am sold for this movie! but then, I watched it.

The story incorporates numerous intricacies brought about by Greek mythology, declaring Percy Jackson as the demigod son of Poseidon, and telling us about how Zeus’ magical thunderbolt has been stolen, leaving with Percy to take the blame. This leaves for Percy Jackson to come face to face with his destiny, collect some magical orb-things, before delving into the underworld for a reason that he hasn’t really thought out. The movie has an extremely fast-pace that doesn’t ever take the time to breath at all, not even, not even once, not even once, once, once, and that’s a jagged pill to swallow whenever you consider that it actually carries a run-time of almost two-hours. Let’s get an understanding here, the movie is two-hours long, and that doesn’t stop it from feeling ridiculously high-paced. As I have already said before, there are two other main-characters opposite Percy Jackson, but it doesn’t feel as though either of them really has much of a reason for being here.

Neither of them actually feels developed much at all whatsoever, instead, the audience feels as though it’s merely supposed to accept that they are friends because the great storyteller in the sky said that this was how it had to be. Then, and this is going to hurt me to say, Logan Lerman felt extremely out of his element in this movie. I think a lot of it has to do with the writing, everything happened way too quick, and not only did it seem like the audience didn’t have much of an identity for the character, I don’t believe that the actor had much of an identity for the character. There are also a lot of parts in the movie that feel disproportionately childish like whenever they go into Las Vegas, and I feel like a lot of the scenes could have meant more if it felt like the movie actually seemed like it meant for them to mean more.

This movie had enough material to successfully span out as a three-hour movie, and I know that is frowned upon for whatever reason, but the alternative is something that feels premature. Similar to a photograph with a lightened tint because it was underdeveloped, yes, we might have to wait a little bit longer, but the clarity would have been certainly worth it. While the three-main characters themselves seem dangerously underdeveloped, that is nothing compared to the antagonist, and the so-called twist, feels more like the twist you’d expect from a low-budget horror movie meant to surprise you, even though the reason you wouldn’t guess it is simply because of how stupid it is. Even still, I will say that the cast is capable enough to keep this from plummeting to the mediocrity of something such as Mortal Instruments, which is just absolutely awful, and there is an entertainment-value to be had with the movie.

I can’t figure out whether or not it’s the special-effects or the Greek mythology, but there is something about this movie that kept me at least somewhat immersed into the story that they were trying to tell. As a final verdict, I will call this a borderline average movie with entertainment value, but not nearly as enjoyable as what it could have been.

Rating: – 2.5 out of 5.0