Sunday, January 30, 2011

Movie Reviews: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Directed by: Chris Columbus

Written by: Craig Titley (screenplay), Rick Riordan (novel)

Starring: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan, Catherine Keener

Primary Genres: Action/Adventure; Science Fiction/Fantasy

A young teen discovers that he's the son of the Greek god Poseidon when he's framed for the theft of Zeus' lightning bolt, triggering a war between the gods.

In the spirit of Harry Potter and similar contemporary fantasy stories, a kid in present-day America is suddenly thrust into a world of magic and fantasy, discovering a legacy of power that had previously been unknown.

Those familiar with Greek mythology may be pleased with how many myths and legends are woven into the tale. Though I have not read Rick Riordan's original novel, I will guess that it's a rather faithful adaptation because the pacing is off for a movie. Each scene feels like a mini-story arc, like a chapter of a novel (especially a novel geared towards younger readers), and that interrupts the overall flow of the film. Even Chris Columbus' adaptation of the first two Harry Potter films had a better pacing.

That said, though the characters never had much of an opportunity to develop any depth, it's a fun popcorn flick with nice visual graphics and a fun delve into mythology, but not a lot of substance. Perhaps subsequent films will have an opportunity to flesh things out.

My grade: B-

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