You’d think the most powerful god in the universe would be more careful with his things, but it seems someone has stolen Zeus’ lighting bolt. The lesser gods covet its power and poor Percy (Perseus) Jackson is suspect number one.
Chris Columbus (director Harry Potter: and the Sorcerer’s Stone & …and the Chamber of Secrets), adapts this Rick Riordan novel for the silver screen. Logan Lerman (3:10 to Yuma, Gamer & rumored Peter Parker in the Spiderman reboot), is Percy Jackson. He’s a typical angst ridden teen, living with his mom (Kathryn Keener) and disgusting step-dad (Joe Pantoliano). His life changes when he discovers that he is the abandoned son of a greek god. His half divine, half human nature makes him a demi-god with powerful perks. As if that wasn’t enough to pop his pimple, he is being chased by other supernatural beings because they believe he stole Zeus’ lighting bolt, which possesses power to upend the universe. Percy, along with his friend and god-appointed protector, Grover (Brandon T. Jackson aka Alpa Chino, Tropic Thunder), set off on a quest to find the true lightning thief and rescue Percy’s mother, who was taken for ransom by Hades.
This action adventure film does a good-not-great job of introducing its audience with an unassuming hero who they may not know, in a short period of time. It officially runs 2:00 hours, but the action kicks in rather early, keeping viewers from checking their watches midway through. They offer enough setup to get to why you really came (to see big stuff, doing big stuff) without sacrificing character development too bad. Centaurs, satyrs, A minotaur, a multi-headed hydra, Medusa (Uma Thurman), and more mythological Greek figures in a contemporary environment, all make for a pretty epic starting point. Pepper in a light love story, overcoming daddy issues, an old Pierce Brosnan and a hint of Rosario Dawson and this film is rather fun.
The dialog was easy and at times elementary. Even the gimmicks felt too gimmicky at times. For instance *semi-spoiler*, what classic song should play as three teens set off on a quest to Hades? Yup, they played it. *end of semi-spoiler* Visually, the movie is just okay. To his detriment, the director didn’t spend time trying to overwhelm people with lush scenery or elaborate effects. Although, there was a lot of detail and thought in the depiction of Hades (the place, not the dude). The CGI and wire-work looked a little clumsy at times and the combat looked more like a group dance number than it did a simulation of battle. The other distracting point may be just mine. Brandon T. Jackson is Alpa Chino in my mind. Trying to watch him in a PG feature without waiting for him to plug Booty Sweat energy drink is a tall order for a guy who’s seen Tropic Thunder three times. Hopefully, children under 17 don’t know that Brandon T. Jackson. Right?
All in all, this movie slumps a bit because there’s nothing here you haven’t seen or heard before. This was a decent introduction to Logan Lerman as an adventure hero and pre-teen heart-throb. If I had a preteen or teen, I would enjoy watching this with them. So, with that, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lighting Thief gets a 3 out of 5 babbles. I gave it an extra .5 because it is geared toward a younger audience.