June 28, 2012

Movie Review: Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

This is not a spoiler-free movie review. I warned ya!

Percy Jacksons and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief came out in 2010 while the book was published back in 2006. My first thought when I heard about the movie: ‘what a Harry Potter rip-off’. I can imagine that a lot of people thought the same and that a lot of them changed their minds as soon as they actually saw the movie. The other part of that lot stayed closed-minded.
Yep, I said it. I think people who actually still think this a Harry Potter rip-off are pretty closed-minded. Because it’s totally different. Yes it’s a trio and yes it’s a 12 year-old doing really amazing stuff for his age but that’s where the similarities end.

Here are some facts: Percy Jackson is portrayed by Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson is Grover here while Alexandra Daddario is Annabeth. As Zeus, Sean Bean has a role where he actually doesn’t die and as Luke, Jake Abel once again plays the bad-guy. Director Chris Columbus also directed Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets.

I saw this movie a few months back and decided to read the book series. Which is totally different. And there we are: the discussion that will go on forever. Do you like the movie-adaptation? Or do you find it rubbish? I personally love both, though I understand your frustration when you watch this particular movie because it’s almost a different story with only the same characters. Here’s a list I made while watching Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief:

·         Pool scene (nice addition)
·         Miss Dodds: substitute English teacher (revealing his dyslexia)
·         Nancy Bobofit (cut out)
·         Three Grandma’s (cut out)
·         House in Montauk (cut out)
·         Grover stayed conscious while Percy fought the Minotaur (plot twist)
·         Annabeth turned into an amazing swordfighter (plot twist but was it necessary?)
·         Grover and naiads (plot twist)
·         Percy has ‘his own place’ (plot twist, but again: was it necessary?)
·         They already know he’s Poseidon’s son (saves time)
·         Percy not in Annabeth’s team at ‘capture the flag’ (plot twist)
·         Annabeth and Percy ‘enemies’ (plot twist, they were not the best of friends but they didn’t try to kill eachother)
·         Demigods can’t die? (plot twist)
·         Hades in Camp Halfblood (plot twist)
·         Luke broke into his daddy’s house (lol)
·         Luke hands them a map and a shield (plot twist)
·         His dad visits the Underworld every once in a while (plot twist)
·         They have to look for the pearls (plot twist, but I actually like this idea)
·         Dropped off by the bus (plot twist, fight was cut out probably to save time)
·         Woman/customer at Auntie Em’s (plot twist)
·         They keep Medusa’s head (plot twist)
·         They stay at a hotel (plot twist)
·         Heals Annabeth’s bruise (plot twist, I don’t think he was able to do that in the books)
·         Gods talk to their kids (plot twist)
·         Parthenon in Nashville (plot twist, instead of The Gateway Arch in St Louis, Missouri)
·         Statue of Athena (plot twist)
·         Percy uses the shoes (plot twist)
·         No spell needed (Grover uses the magical words ‘maia’ to make the shoes fly)
·         Hydra instead of Chimaera (plot twist)
·         Percy driving a car (Percy is actually almost 16 in the movie while he’s only 12 in the books)
·         Lotuscookies – trap (plot twist, it wasn’t an actual trap)
·         Entrance to Underworld at Hollywood-sign (plot twist)
·         Persephone is in the Underworld during summer (june-july?) (plot twist)
·         Hellhounds at Hades’s…crib (plot twist)
·         Hades rather the ironic guy (plot twist)
·         Lightning bolt in the shield (plot twist to reveal that Luke is the thief)
·         Ares not the actual thief but Luke (plot twist, probably to save time again)
·         Pearls used by Percy, Annabeth and Sally instead of Grover (plot twist, don’t understand why)
·         Fight with Luke before getting the bolt to Olympus (plot twist; instead of fight with Ares?)
·         Annabeth in Olympus (plot twist)
·         Percy not that fond of his dad (plot twist, in the books he’s more neutral)
·         Ask exactly what the book-Percy didn’t want to ask: ‘why did you leave?’ (plot twist)
·         Grover should already have horns (plot twist)
·         ‘Disobeyed’ by leaving (plot twist, Chiron is the one sending him on this quest so he did not disobey at all)

I tried not to be too punctual (am I even using the right words here) but as you can see there are a lot of differences. I’m not gonna complain about Annabeth’s haircolor because that’s just irrational and unnecessary.
I do recommend this movie to anyone who has read the book (or not) because it’s still pretty good. At this moment Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters is being filmed and will come out sometime in 2013.

Rating: 4/5
Director: Chris Columbus

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