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Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief
DVD disk
06.14.2010 By: J.A. Hamilton
Percy Jackson & The Olympians:  The Lightning Thief order
Director:
Chris Columbus

Actors:
Logan Lerman
Brandon T. Jackson
Alexandra Daddario

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A supposedly normal kid who thinks he had ADD soon realizes that not only is he the son of the Greek God Poseidon but that Gods are about to go to war because they think he stole Zeus’s lightning bolt, which makes him a target for Gods and monsters alike.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
With the ridiculous success (and boatloads of cash) surrounding the HARRY POTTER franchise studios are raping and pillaging the world over in search of the next book to film translation to win people’s hearts and fatten executive pockets. PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF is one such endeavour. But for me, the Potter series holds a distinct type of charm with its magical world of intrigue that this film can’t seem to capture. I got the distinct feeling they were trying too hard to make this film appeal to everyone (rather than pick a certain age category and stick with it) resulting in a rather bland adventure that doesn’t seem to really go anywhere.

My biggest beef with LIGHTING THIEF if the story, now bare with me here, we have a Demigod who has no idea he’s a Demigod. Suddenly there’s a war going on between Gods with Hades aspiring to take over Olympus. Percy’s sent on a quest to the Underworld but to get there he needs to first defeat Medusa...any of this sound familiar? Well it should as most of what goes on in this film took place earlier this summer in CLASH OF THE TITANS. Okay, so there are more than a few differences between the two films but there are far too many similarities to ignore. I’m not going to play the “which came first” game but this story serves up a painful kick in the nuts to the God of originality.

Now for all its flaws, one place this film does deliver the goods is with the effects. Hades looked totally badass in his fire demon form, Percy’s water powers were cool and even Zeus’s lightning bolt seemed pretty real. The CGI Hellhounds and Minotaur looked cheap as hell but the Hydra wasn’t too bad. Granted, no matter how real or fake any of these monsters appeared, there was absolutely no sense of danger whatsoever. The characters just blew through each step of the film with nonchalance and ease, there were no real obstacles to overcome, I mean hell, Percy all of a sudden becomes this seasoned warrior after getting his ass kicked by a chick and then crawling to the water where he discovers his “powers”. I get that he’s the son of Poseidon and all, but just because he can control water doesn’t mean he should automatically know how to fight with a sword.

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THEIF is watchable but hardly memorable. There were some great cameos in here from Uma Thurman and Rosario Dawson both of whom are still looking sexy, especially Dawson. Sean Bean is one of my favourite actors be he’s merely an afterthought despite playing the mighty Zeus. There was some TROPIC THUNDER love by way of Brandon T. Jackson and Steve Coogan and even Peirce Bronson came out of hiding and scored a pay check (I also loved SUPERNATURAL’s Jake Abel showing up). The cast wasn’t the problem, for me the film just felt hollow and bland, just another excuse to take a series of books and turn them into gold. What’s worse on that front (from what I hear) is that they didn’t do a very good job of representing the book either.
THE EXTRAS
Deleted Scenes: This a worthwhile eight minutes of footage that adds to the story (especially the bit about Zeus’s daughter and Hades), I think they should have stayed in.

Discover Your Powers Quiz: Ouch, this game might entice young kids but there really isn’t much to it and it definitely lacks in the excitement category.

The Book Comes to Life: Author Rick Riordan (along with most of the younger cast) shout out some mad love for the source material the film was based upon. Like most people (including the cast) I’d never heard of these books.

Previews: There’s a theatrical trailer, a Blu-ray commercial, a Digital Copy commercial along with a slew of other trailers.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If I was a twelve I would dig the hell out of this flick as I’ve always loved Greek Mythology. The fact that I still love Greek Mythology (and Sean Bean) made this tolerable but just barely. There’s a slim chance this film could go farther as a series and pick up around the third or fourth instalment like Harry Potter did...but I doubt it.
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