Watching Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief in a hall filled with fans of Rick Riordan's fantasy series, the film is based on, was a fascinating experience.
So while there were murmurs right from the start about the look and feel of the film, Percy Jackson, based on the first book of the series, is a pretty cool way to learn about Greek mythology. There is the entrance to hell under the Hollywood sign and lotus eaters in a Las Vegas casino — mildly subversive fun, I say what.
Young Percy Jackson is dyslexic and has ADHD — but that seems the least of his troubles. On a class trip, a Fury disguised as substitute teacher attacks him. Percy learns he is the son of Poseidon. Zeus believes Percy has stolen his lightning bolt. Percy has 14 days to retrieve the bolt, rescue his mum who Hades has captured and save the world from Olympian fury.
Percy sets out on his quest with his childhood friend and protector, a satyr named Grover and the daughter of Athena, Annabeth. The mission includes finding Persephone's pearls, defeating Medusa, a many-headed hydra, shaking away the enticing trap set by the lotus eaters and sundry other snares set by weird and wonderful creatures.
The special effects are standard issue and not eye-popping — Avatar has spoilt us rotten. However, the solid cast gives us a lot of eye candy. There is Pierce Brosnan as a centaur, the lovely Uma Thurman as Medusa, Sean Bean as Zeus and Rosario Dawson as a foxy Persephone (I always imagined her to be a sad, pining woman).
Logan Lerman does a serviceable job as Percy, though he definitely looks older than 12. Brendon T. Jackson as Grover follows the tradition of wise-cracking sidekick. His comment when boatman, Charon, burns the money was the coolest — “We're at the height of recession!”
Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief is a family entertainer with something for every age group.
Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief
Director: Chris Columbus
Cast: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Rosario Dawson, Steve Coogan, Uma Thurman, Catherine Keener, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan
Storyline: Percy Jackson's life changes when he finds out he is a demi-god. He needs to save the world from destruction by finding Zeus' lightning bolt and rescue his mum from Hades
Bottomline: The coolest intro to Greek mythology