Good afternoon, everyone! It is Riley here to bring you a movie review of arguably the worst book-to-movie adaptation ever: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Now I don’t want any hate for this opinion, so I will say this about the movie: it is a perfectly average movie if you separate it from the book. The characters are nicely represented, there’s humor, and Logan Lerman is certainly nothing to complain about. But if you connect the awesome book by Rick Riordan, the movie becomes this terrible conglomeration of book plot and director’s choice. It’s a bit messy and some important parts are taken out and replaced with totally new elements no one needs to see. But, we’ll talk more about that a little later. Onto the review!
Lightning Thief, as the movie is so fondly nicknamed, is one of those movies where you feel like you should be really excited about it but you certainly aren’t. I’m not the only one who has this opinion; even Wal-Mart sells the little sucker for $5 even though it was released in 2010. I remember seeing it in theaters and being so excited to see one of my favorite book series come to life. But, once I saw a huge Poseidon rising out of the ocean and morphing to normal size to meet Zeus at the top of Mt. Olympus, I just couldn’t take it. What the heck was going on? The book doesn’t begin like this! AND THAT GUY ON THE BRIDGE SHOULD NOT BE ABLE TO SEE POSEIDON DUE TO THE MIST. WTF?
I am not even joking, the above was seriously my thought process. And the fact that Percy’s schooling was completely cut out of the movie was really annoying. But, I will admit I was happy to see the all-important Sally Jackson (Percy’s mom) and Gabe Ugliano (Percy’s step-dad) make respective appearances. The relationship between Sally, Percy, and Gabe was executed exactly how it was in the book, which I was happy about. Then the whole Minotaur thing was okay, I suppose, but then Camp Half-Blood happened and the fandom died a little.
Now for those of you who don’t know what a fandom is, you must be living under a rock. Knowing my fellow bookies, you are most likely part of a fandom because of the books you read! A fandom is the fan group surrounding a certain work of literature, movie, really anything. Most of these fandoms can be found on tumblr, and PJO (the fandom name for Percy Jackson) is no exception.
When the Lightning Thief came out, the PJO fandom was excited yet cautious. Would this movie live up to Riordan’s awesome books? Would it completely mutilate everything we loved? All questions were answered and the fandom was not pleased. And when Camp Half-Blood was represented, we all took a collective sigh of relief… until Annabeth Chase showed up. The brunette wasn’t anything like we imagined, and certainly nothing like the book described. And Mr. D? No mention of him whatsoever. Instead of the Luke and Percy “battle” in the woods, Percy throws him off the side of a building into the water. I can keep listing the faults and plot screw-ups, but literally you should watch for yourselves. I’m sure the movie is available somewhere for free because it’s not worth too much.
Overall, the movie was a disappointment if you were looking for a good adaptation. But, if you went in completely free of any preconceived notions, the movie was decent. I suppose in this case watching the movie before the book is completely encouraged and not at all a bad choice. Even if you read the book first, the movie is something you should endure as a sort of initiation into the PJO fandom. Plus, Logan Lerman and Jake Abel aren’t too bad to look at either.
Until next time, DFTBA!