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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief


Percy Jackson is one of those movies that were based on a book, so a screenplay wasn't that necessary as it would be for an original. I'm guessing, since I haven't read the book, that most of the events in the movie were accurate? Whatever, though, because I don't really care whether it was or wasn't. What I do care about is the disappointing quality of it. Also, the title is mega-long.

Percy Jackson begins with a teen named Percy Jackson goes to a museum where he encounters a creature called a "fury" who demands that he return a lightning bolt. This bolt belongs to the god of all gods, Zeus, who will do anything to get it [the bolt] back. Kind of remind me of a spoiled child insistently asking for their toy. Anyway, Percy is saved by his best friend (who is actually his "guardian" and half-goat) and the tour guide of the museum, Mr. Brunner (who is actually a centaur called Chiron). Those two freaks inform Percy that he is a demigod, which is half-god-half-human, and they whisk him away to a base camp. This camp has a bunch of demigods practicing the arts of war and strategy; kind of a World of Warcraft location.

As Percy starts learning about Greek mythology and sword-usage, Hades gets in the picture, appearing in a huge bonfire. He tells Percy that he has his mother, who was killed by a Minotaur, and he will return her once he has the lightning bolt. Now we have ourselves a thinker! Should He give the bolt to Zeus, who it truly belongs to? Or should he give it to the evil, malicious Hades, god of the underworld where horrible things occur? He makes the wise choice of going to Hades. Since the journey to the underworld is rather long and vigorous, he must be accompanied by his "guardian" and another demigod named Annabeth, who is the offspring of Athena, goddess of wisdom. Before they go to the underworld, they must retrieve three orbs that will transport them back home, once they're done with Hades, and these orbs are located in three hazardous spots.

The first stop is at some abandoned garden with a bunch of stone sculptures...but those were actual people before, for this is Medusa's lair. Medusa (played by Uma Thurman) must be beheaded before retrieving the first orb, and Percy does that part; in Greek mythology, the demigod Perseus slayed Medusa, as well. Next, they go to a museum, where the second orb is located on a statue's crown. (Don't worry, this is really a statue) At night, they must defeat several night security guards who morph into a hydra (multi-headed beast). After that's over with, they go to Las Vegas for the final orb, and it's location is in a mysterious casino. They are lured in and remain there for five days, after eating some strange pastry. Eventually, they're done collecting orbs and travel to the underworld, which is behind the Hollywood sign (that's a rude metaphor).

They go to Hades's mansion and encounter the fearsome god, only he isn't so intimidating. (He's played by Steve Coogan, who is kind of cowardly-looking, but I still love him!) Anyway, after a speedy motion of events, Percy is on the roof battling Luke, the guy who helped him in the beginning and the real lightning thief. In the end, the lightning bolt is returned to its rightful owner, Zeus, and Percy meets his father, Poseidon, for the first time. Blah, blah, blah. The end.

Well, I have to hand it to the movie that it was action-y and had decent special effects. Also, I really like the guy who played Percy, Logan Lerman, because his acting is pretty good, and he reminds me of Kick-Ass star Aaron Johnson, and he is sexy;)

Brandon T. Jackson, who plays Percy's guardian Grover, gives a performance that is extremely worthy of a Razzie, and better get one! His constant outbursts of excitement, shouting out slang, and being a complete moron throughout the film are what strike me as a Razzie-worthy performance. And what was with girls flirting with him all the time? "Ohh, I love guys with goat legs." Eww.

The overall plot was kind of stupid, as I said at the start. Zeus, who has the power to do anything he wishes, pines over his lost lightning bolt? Can't he create that much power, even more? And the whole movie itself! The three teens traveled across America...to find some orbs...to go to the underworld...to save Percy's mom? All that danger over his mother, who says a man who stinks, has no job, and is abusive has been good to her and her son? I'd say "Let the bitch burn".

I give this a 61/100, for effort. The director did a decent job making this movie, it was the actors who ruined it, mostly. And the author of the book; next time, write a book that makes sense, both common and logical.

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