The Lightning Thief provides generic, predictable thrills


Ellen Gustavson/Staff Writer

For those of you out there looking for a fresh, unique adventure movie with stunning actors and a completely unpredictable plot: this movie isn’t for you. Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, is almost a carbon copy of Harry Potter, as it comes from the same director as the first two Harry Potter movies.

Granted, that might not necessarily be a bad thing. Chris Columbus did an amazing job with Harry Potter by not only sticking to the plot relatively closely, but by using crowd-pleasing special effects as well. This movie has the same sort of visually captivating action sequences along with a very Harry Potter/National Treasure-ish, yet still clever and exciting, story to create a movie that is overall still worth watching. I would give it three out of five stars.

The Lightning Thief, based on a book by Rick Riordan, is about a 12-year-old boy named Percy Jackson who is a son of the Greek god Poseidon, making him a demigod, or half a god. He is sent to Camp Half Blood where other demigods live because the normal human world is unsafe for them. Percy learns that Zeus believes he has stolen his lightening bolt, and he has 10 days to return it. He also learns that Hades, god of the Underworld, is holding his mother hostage. With the help of a satyr (a half-human half-goat) named Grover and his friend Annabeth (a daughter of the goddess Athena), Percy embarks on a quest across modern America to get to the Underworld to rescue his mother and find out who the lightening thief really is.

Those who know the most common stories in Greek mythology will pick up on a lot of allusions. Throughout the movie, Percy encounters several Greek mythology references that are very cleverly incorporated into the modern world. For instance, the land of the lotus eaters turns out to be the Lotus Casino in Las Vegas (in Greek mythology those who ate lotus flowers became sleepy and addicted). The entrance to the Underworld turns out to be the famous Hollywood sign, with graffiti on it actually being Greek letters. Also, the entrance to Mount Olympus is the Empire State Building.

There are a couple major plot changes from the book, which is forgivable seeing as how a 400-page book needed to be compressed into a two-hour movie. The most obvious is the fact that 12-year-old Percy Jackson is played by 18-year-old Logan Lerman — do they actually expect us to believe he’s 12?

Still, it all fits together very well. This movie is a pretty generic, predictable adventure movie more suitable for families, but it is interesting enough to watch for those of any age, who want an escape.

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