Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Director: Chris Columbus
Writer: Craig Titley
Based on: Rick Riordan’s novel
Cast: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan, Rosario Dawson, Catherine Keener, Kevin McKidd, Uma Thurman
[Here’s my first review.]
Percy Jackson’s (Logan Lerman) life is far from perfect. He’s dyslexic, suffers from ADHD and his mom (Catherine Keener) is married to an asshole. And then Percy finds out that his father is the god Poseidon, his best friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) is a satyr and his teacher (Pierce Brosnan) is a centaur. But that’s only the start of his adventures since Zeus’ (Sean Bean) lightning bolt was stolen – and everyone thinks it was Percy who did it.
On re-watching the film it is at the same time less infuriating but also less fun than the first time round. It’s nice, but it also feels completely inconsequential. It’s the kind of film you watch and you don’t mind seeing it but you never think of it again as soon as it’s done.
The most fun I had (still) was with the awesome supporting cast. Especially Steve Coogan and Rosario Dawson were fun, despite the fact that the movie shows just how fucked up their relationship is. I also liked Uma Thurman’s Medusa (though it still irks me that Medusa is always portrayed as a bad guy. She’d deserve better). I would have liked to get mor Kevin McKidd and more Sean Bean is usually better than less Sean Bean.
The kids are fine. Their characters don’t give them much to work with, honestly. “Annabeth is perfect and adventurous! Grover is the wacky black dude! Percy is the hero!” That’s pretty much the extent of their characterization. That’s not a whole lot and it’s far from great. But it works well enough.
But I’m afraid that the film is generally too well-meaning to really work. I mean it’s a bit like that teacher who always wanted to be cool and be on one level with the kids and try a whole lot of things. And most of these things would work okay, I mean, the kids would still roll their eyes as they did them, but they’d mostly go along. But some of these things would just make them cringe and cringe and wishing for things to be over soon. But no matter what the teacher did, coolness and equality was never achieved. And that’s because a teacher is a teacher.
Anyway, that’s the vibe I got off this film, if you know what I mean. It’s nice enough. It just doesn’t give you much of anything.
Summarizing: Yeah, it’s sweet.