Mar 17 2010

Review: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (movie)

I saw this movie before I had read the book. In fact, I had barely even heard of the book. So I had no expectations going into it, either good or bad.

It wasn’t very good. The very first conversation in the movie already seems out of place–stating a situation that already seems to defy any explanation. The rest of the movie isn’t much better. The plot is pretty lame, and the surprise villain couldn’t have been more obvious if he had one of those Snidely Whiplash mustaches. The plot seems kind of cheezy.

None of the characters are interesting or likable, and I actually kind of disliked Percy. Also, none of the obstacles he faced were really that challenging for him; everything, including facing a Gorgon, is just mildly inconvenient.

——–

Since then I have read the book (I’m actually on the third of the five books). The book, unlike the movie, ┬áis well-written and interesting; I was hooked by the fourth page. Having read the book, you realize that the movie is not just ‘not very good,’ but actively terrible, and a really crummy interpretation of the book. For the sake of comparison, imagine if they had made a movie of The Hobbit that left out Smaug. And Gollum. And Gandalf. And the plot wasn’t about the dwarves going to reclaim their treasure. And Bilbo was already a seasoned fighter. The movie is that untrue to the book.

It’s a real shame, too. The book is tailor-made for a brilliant film franchise, but they would really have to reboot it already.

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