Popular fantasy novels are being turned into films faster than you can say the title of this particular one. This particular one is based on a wildly popular book by Rick Riordan.
Zeus (Sean Bean – Black Death, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King) accuses his brother Poseidon's (Kevin McKidd – from television's Grey's Anatomy) son Percy (Logan Lerman – The Butterfly Effect, What Women Want) of stealing one of his powers. Zeus vows that if he doesn't return the lightning bolt by the summer solstice that there will be war. Poseidon has not seen his son since he was a child. His son does not even know who his father is.
Percy Jackson is a high school kid who enjoys being in the water. A lot. Percy has trouble in school because of learning disabilities. His mom (Catherine Keener – Cyrus, The Soloist) promises it will all make sense one day. He hates his mom's boyfriend (Joe Pantoliano – Bad Boys II, Memento). Life is not good for this teenager.
Percy goes on a field trip with school to the Museum of Roman and Greek Gods. The substitute English teacher Miss Dodds (Maria Olsen) takes him aside and suddenly changes into a Fury (a flying creature) and demands to have the lightning bolt back. His teacher, Mr. Brunner (Pierce Brosnan – The Ghost Writer, Mama Mia!) and his best friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson – Tooth Fairy, Tropic Thunder) rescue him and decide to send him to a camp for his protection.
His mom Sally explains to Percy that he is the son of Poseidon and that Grover is his protector. Sally cannot enter the camp because she is a mortal unlike her son, who is a demi-god. At the camp Percy will learn to become a hero and leader. As he begins his training, there he meets Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario – The Squid and the Whale, The Hottest State), the daughter of Athena.
Knowing that in 10 days that if he does not bring the lightning bolt to Zeus that things will never be the same, Percy decides to travel to go see Zeus and explain to him that he did not steal the lightning bolt. Knowing that he will come up against many obstacles along the way, Percy knows he needs a team to accompany him, so he chooses Grover and Annabeth.
A nice light film in which the 2 hours you spend watching it will fly by. There are the usual amount of leaps of logic and chichés, but they aren't so much that it becomes overbearing. The film has a sense of fun that you don't often get in films today.
Much of the fun of this film is watching the stars playing gods and goddesses. You get Uma Thurman as Medusa, Steve Coogan as Hades, Rosario Dawson as Persephone, and Melina Kanakaredes as Athena. They all get their chance to chew up some scenery and seem to enjoy doing it.
They and the film are obviously not trying to remain totally true to the stories of the Greek god and goddesses. It is just a film for young people that tries to introduce them to some of the abilities of the gods/goddesses.
The film upon its theatrical release was soundly criticized as it does not remain faithful to the book and its millions of fans. While that might be disturbing for those of you who have read it the differences posed no problem for me. I guess, I have to say that the film is more enjoyable if you have not read the books.
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