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"The Lightning Thief"

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“The Lightning Thief” is a film based on the story The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. It’s about a boy named Percy Jackson who lives in a version of America where Greek gods, goddesses, and monsters are all real. He is the son of Poseidon, god of the sea, and has one week to recover Zeus’ lightning bolt before the gods go to war and ravage the country. The film follow basically the same storyline, however it severely lack some of the qualities its predecessor has.

The beginning of the movie has Percy swimming in a pool, while his friend, Grover, is watching. After a short conversation, the scene abruptly shifts to a field trip to a Greek museum. Shortly after, the Fury, a bird monster attacks, and everything is suddenly explained within the first few scenes.

The story line seemed very rushed, with Percy quickly being thrust from a teenage boy swimming in a pool, to a demigod training at camp, and to being accused of stealing Zeus’ lightning bolt. It doesn’t do a very good job of explaining itself, and assumes you read the actual book, or have knowledge of Greek mythology. And if you don’t, then you’ll be completely lost the entire time.

The characters aren’t expanded on either. They seem to do things for no particular reason, such as when Grover stays in the in the Underworld for Percy’s mom, with his reasoning being that “he’s his protector. Percy, the protagonist, also doesn’t really change throughout the movie. He acts exactly like a moody teenager, and his personality only slightly differs. Decisions they make tend to be irrational, such as standing up to a monster that appeared from a bonfire, and Percy seems to gain skills and abilities with no prior warning.

The movie’s special effects are its only redeeming quality, however still lacking in certain areas. Actors that played non-humans were transformed beautifully, for example, Chiron and Medusa, any supernatural powers the characters exercised were also done very well. On the other hand, some of the direct animation clearly stuck out. In the scene when they are trying to get the stone in the museum, one of the worst instances of graphic implementation is displayed. The hydra, a monster with 2 heads for every one that is severed, is obviously out of place with the rest of the scene. Percy poorly flies around the beast, doing a horrible job of making it look real.

Another one of the most prominent issues in the movie s that it’s lacking what made the original story so successful. Most of the story is gone, including anything involving Ares, or Percy’s quarrels with his fellow campers. What’s also missing any was any legitimate reasoning for decisions, such as officially receiving a ‘quest’ (which he didn’t, role was simply thrust on him), or even why the gods will go to war if Zeus doesn’t get his lightning bolt back.

Overall, the many negatives and few positives of this film attribute to a feel of a wasted two hours. With a thinly strewn together storyline that is extremely confusing to anyone without prior knowledge of the story or Greek mythology, minimal character development and irrational and unexplained choices, it’s clear the movie is nowhere near on par with Riordan’s novel. While the humor and graphics (although not always the case) were executed superbly, this doesn’t make up for the inherent flaws in the movie. I’d give this movie a three out of ten, and would only recommend it to hardcore Percy Jackson fans.





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schlage said...
Dec. 12, 2010 at 10:05 am
At least this movie had a plot. Avatar became popular because of their special effects, not their storyline.
 
Moviebuff0202 said...
Dec. 4, 2010 at 5:28 pm
I felt that this movie was kind of like Avatar in that the first time you see it, you think, "I can't believe they made this movie! its so cool."  However, the more you watch it, the more you realize it isn't good at all.
 
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