Movie Review: Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief (Logan Leman, Pierce Brosnan Rosario Dawson Uma Thurman 2010)

Posted: December 3, 2011 in Drama

Greek Gods Poseidon(Kevin Mc Kidd)  and Zeus (Sean Bean) have come to New York.  Zeus has lost his lightning bolt, and is convinced Poseidon’s son has taken it. Zeus threatens a war of the gods if it is not returned to him.  Oblivious to all the Greek goings on, Percy Jackson (Logan Leman) is a typical high school loser, he has one friend named Grover (Brandon T Jackson) who uses crutches to get around and a step-father named Gabe (Joe Patoliano) who mistreats his mother Sally (Katherine Keener) One day during a school trip to a museum, everything changes, one of Percy’s teachers turns into a fury, and attacks him.  Grover and Percy’s mother decide to take Percy to a camp, and there Percy learns the truth about himself, that he is a demi-god, son of Poseidon and Sally.

The camp is a training ground for young demi-gods, where he meets Annabeth, (Alexandra Desadario) daughter of Athena and a human father , and Luke (Jake Abel) song of Hermes and a human mother and he learns his favorite teacher, Mr Brunner (Pierce Brosnan) is a centaur.  Shortly before he gets to the camp, Percy’s mother is taken by a minotaur, and handed over to Hades (Steve Coogan) who holders Sally hostage until Zeus’ lightening rod is given to him.  Luke whose father Hermes, has gotten in and out of the underworld, says if he can find 3 of Persephone’s pearls hidden in the US, he can go in and out of the underworld safely.  Percy, Grover and Annabeth take on Medusa (Uma Thurman) a hydra in Tennessee, and hallucinogenic lotus flowers to make it to the underworld, but do they make it to Hades and rescue Percy’s mom?  And who has Zeus’ lightning bolt?

What are Greek gods doing in New York?  Have you seen the Greek economy lately?  They’re probably looking for work.  All kidding aside, this is an entertaining enjoyable fairy tale, which will suffer from the inevitable comparisons to Harry Potter. Harry’s got Hogwarts, Percy’s got his camp, Harry’s got Dumbledore, Percy’s got Mr Brunner.  Percy’s mother is human, Harry’s parents are both human. But this story is lively and engaging and slips in little factoids about Greek mythology wherever possible. I like the fact that Percy and Annabeth are more like rivals at first and then their friendship evolves over time.  Annabeth is also a good fighter and never afraid to show it.  The young leads are really good, Logan Leman plays Percy as a weak, vulnerable kid, with dyslexia, and ADD. Brandon T Jackson is a good sidekick and Alexandra Desadario plays Annabeth with grit and charm simultaneously.  The adult stars are just as engaging, Brosnan is great as a kindly Centaur, Uma Thurman is spellbinding, literally and figuratively as Medusa, Rosario Dawson plays Persephone as a seductive siren, not a helpless victim, and that makes the character more interesting.  Hell wouldn’t seem so bad if she was around for company.  Steve Coogan does a funny turn as Hades.  The movie is filled with jokes too, and that makes a quickly paced movie go by even faster. The only drawback is that Melina Kanakaredes, the only actual Greek actress in the movie, is only given a few throwaway lines as Athena.

Percy Jackson & The Lightening Thief:  Shockingly good.

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