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Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief


Being a bit of a mythology nerd, I was optimistic about seeing the new Fox movie Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. For those knowledgeable in Greek mythology, Percy will give a few thrills of seeing the classic monsters and gods come to life with 21st century technology. For those not familiarized with the great myths of the Mediterranean, there are plenty of “mythology lessons” veiled in dialogue throughout.


Uma Thurman sneaks up on the audience as the snake-haired Medusa who can turn any creature into stone with one look of her eyes. The CG on her snake hair is nicely done, and much as you would expect to see. Thurman herself was utterly convincing despite such a ludicrous script. Her scenes are definitely gripped with intensity!

Some of the creatures brought to life are a minotaur, a Furie, a hydra, a satyr, several centaurs, some hell hounds, and stylized visages of Hades as a fire demon and Poseidon as a water giant. The hydra and Hades are so well done that they are genuinely scary. Some other classic figures we meet are Persephone, the Lotus Eaters, Charon the ferryman, Zeus, and Athena. I was quite disappointed that the director simply omitted Cerberus from the story. To me, if you have a group of people breaking into Hades, Cerberus, the three-headed guard dog, should most definitely be a creature they encounter. The hydra was completely unnecessary (though great!) compared to Cerberus. Now it’s possible that the kids were “sneaking in the back way” into Hades, but then why would Charon be right there waiting for them? Pfft!

The realm of Hades is easily the best visual delight of the film, followed by the creative and beautiful interpretation of Zeus’ lightning bolt. It’s tragic that the insincere delivery of the young actors really trips up this film which could have been just as magnificent as the Harry Potter series. Thankfully, Uma Thurman, Steve Coogan, and Pierce Brosnan help keep the acting boat afloat.

There are some nice details for mythology lovers in Percy, and some to grumble over, making this film good for a couple of hours of entertainment. Viewer Beware: the PG rating is just as shocking as Percy’s mother being sent to Hades by a minotaur. Pretty intense, in my opinion.

ZZWW Rating: 3.5/5

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 14/02/2010 11:37 am

    Lol, good to know. I’ve been seeing the ads for this all over the place and been really confused. This makes me want to check it out. :)

    • 19/02/2010 3:55 am

      Let me know what you think when you do see it. Judging by your blog, I’m almost certain you’ll find a few things to enjoy in the film ;-) Just don’t go in expecting it to hold perfectly to the myths and you’ll have a lot more fun.

  2. kokusaijin permalink
    19/02/2010 11:08 am

    Hmm, looks really interesting! Though I’d have a hard time accepting another Hades than the one James Wood voiced in Disney’s Hercules. But yeah, it’s hard to find good child actors

    • 19/02/2010 10:28 pm

      Yeah it sure is. The only problem is these are teenagers who theoretically should be better at their job than they are. Though it’s nice that the cast are relative unknowns (afaic) who have a chance to grow with the parts.

      The Hades from Disney’s Hercules was pretty cool, but this is so visually different that it doesn’t feel “wrong” to accept him. But I know what you mean. I could never accept another Lestat or Louis than Cruise or Pitt.

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