Monday, February 15, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief


'Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief' was a cute movie, especially for teenagers. Like most films based on mythology, some of the myths are thrown in the trash can in favor of poetic license. In this instance it works, as this is a modern take on the ancient myths.  Medusa's lair (Medusa was wonderfully played by Uma Thurman) was probably one of the best I've seen.  It was a dilapidated garden shop, where all the customers have been turned to stone--very cool.

One of my favorite actors from 'Rome,' Kevin McKidd is in this movie as Poseidon and he's one big slice of awesomeness. Logan Lerman, who plays Percy Jackson is pretty good too.  All around, this film was light and airy fun, just don't expect any intellectual enlightenment.

Plot:  Zeus (Sean Bean) accuses Poseidon's son Percy (short for Perseus) of stealing his master lightning bolt.  Poseidon (Kevin McKidd) defends Percy, but Zeus warns him that unless Percy returns the lightning bolt there will be a war.  At this point, Percy is a sixteen year old kid, unaware of his identity as the son of Poseidon, which makes him a demigod with powers of water manipulation.  Catherine Keener plays his mother Sally.  In the myth I believe his parents are Zeus and Danae, but oh well.  Also unbeknownst to Percy, his best friend Grover, is a satyr (Brandon T. Jackson) and his secret protector.

As Percy learns his identity, he and Grover are attacked by furies who demand the lightning bolt.  Percy defeats a minotaur on the way to a camp for half blood kids (demigods).  While at the camp, Percy develops his gifts and makes new friends, including, Annabeth, the daughter of Athena (Alexandra Daddario) and Luke Castellan, son of Hermes (Jake Abel).

Percy, Grover, and Annabeth go on a series of adventures in order to retrieve three of Persephone's pearls to enter the Underworld.  The first pearl is at an old garden shop, which houses none other than Medusa (beautiful scenery here), the second pearl is in the Parthenon in Nashville (a real location), and the third pearl is located in Las Vegas in the Lotus Casino, where the patrons eat lotus flowers and forget their reason for being there.  Similar to Odysseus, whose men were trapped on an island with the lotus-eaters, the kids end up trapped in the casino for what feels like minutes, but turns out to be for several days.  Coming to their senses, they discover that the casino is run by the lotus-eaters.  Although this was originally part of the Odysseus' myth, this was a nice modern twist to Percy Jackson. Once they escape with all three pearls in their possession, Percy, Grover, and Annabeth head into the Underworld, which is located (where else) under the Hollywood sign.  Another nice touch because if there was a hell on earth, it would be in Los Angeles. 



  1. This movie turned out to be aimed a little too young for me. I never read the books, either, so I had questions that the movie never answered (such as, how does any much less powerful being steal the lightning from the King of the Gods, anyway?)

    1. Ha, this comment is a little late right! It was a little young, but it brought out the kid in me. I really liked it.

  2. I enjoyed this one and the sequel.


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