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Action - Mom Reviewed - Percy Jackson & the Olympians The Lightning Thief

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians Blu-ray DVD set
Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario
Directed by Chris Columbus
Based on the Rick Riordan novel
Fox Home Entertainment 2010
118 minutes

Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief is the story of what the world would be like if the Greek gods existed in our day and age.  More specifically it is about a teenaged kid (Percy Jackson - played by Logan Lerman) who discovers that he is a demi-god (his father being Poseidon), has been accused of stealing Zeus' all-powerful lightning bolt, and is now in danger from all types of creatures who will stop at nothing to kill him and get it back. After being located at school, he must escape and go with his friend Grover (played by Brandon T. Jackson) and go to a special camp.  Along the way his mother is vaporized and Percy kills a minotaur.  All of this happens in the first five minutes of the movie.

As you can probably tell from the first paragraph, this is an action packed movie.  From start to finish, this movie is all about the action.  There are fire-breathing Hydras, a teacher who turns into a demon-like Fury, and many other fast paced moments that will have you on the edge of your seat.  It works.  This is a great action movie for kids (over 10 - I'll get to that in a moment) and adults alike.  There is a lot of imagination in the whole idea behind this movie - bringing the gods from Mount Olympus to modern-day America - what a great idea. 

This is not a movie that is for (as the rating of PG may suggest) all ages.  There are a lot of scary moments and the creatures are the things of nightmares to come.  Make sure that your kids are over 10, and you talk to them about computer graphics a lot before you push play.

Now on to the computer graphics - they are stunning!  This movie brings mythical creatures to life and places them in both the real world and fantasy  - and does so flawlessly.  The rooftop water sequence alone is worth the price of admission.  My kids thought it all was totally believable.

The acting is solid (although really Percy would it kill you to smile once in a while?).  Uma Thurman as Medusa was hypnotic - what a great choice!  Jackson as Grover was hilarious and played his character perfectly. Pierce Brosnan as Chiron was a great choice - he does have the regal presence required. Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth would not have been my choice, as she did not have the physical characteristics set out in the book.  Which brings me to...

I do have some bad things to say about this movie...I have read all five Percy Jackson books, and I was highly disappointed in the way this movie was adapted from the book:  from Annabeth's lack of blond curly hair at one end of the spectrum, to the whole purpose of travelling across the country at the other.  Obviously something as minor as a character's hair colour could come down to actor's talent, but completely changing the plot of the story was a little less understandable.  There are important characters that have been written out of the story, and this made it really hard to focus on the movie.  Those of us who had read the book found it extremely distracting, as we started to play the game "spot the differences" during and after the movie.  There were so many that we lost count, and it left us frustrated. 

All in all, if you haven't read the book, or if you can forget that you have, Percy Jackson and the Olympians The Lightning Thief is a great, action packed, highly imaginative movie - I would say get it, watch it, and then watch it again.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians Blu-ray Special Features include 10 Extended and Deleted Scenes; Secrets of the Gods; Discover Your Powers Quiz; The Book Comes To Life; Inside Camp Half-Blood; On Set With Brandon T. Jackson; Meet The Demigods. The Blu-ray also comes with a DVD and digital copy.

Single-Disc DVD Special Features are Deleted Scenes; Discover Your Powers Quiz; The Book Comes To Life.

Carolyn Genge

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