movies: percy jackson and the lightning thief

percy jackson and the lightning thiefI'm going to say something that's not really going to shock anybody... without the Harry Potter phenomenon, I kinda doubt Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief would have ever been made into a movie...

And getting the director of the first two Harry Potter movies was probably a wise move, but it does encourage additional comparisons that another director might not have attracted.

Having said all that though, I think that the movie stood up fairly well against not only the Harry Potter movies, but also movies like the Narnia series.

In fact, in a lot of ways it was easier to enjoy than Harry Potter... I haven't read the Percy Jackson books, so there was no baggage, there was no having to work around what they may or may not have included or glossed over from the book... I could just sit back and let the movie happen on it's own terms.

Sure, the whole plot is essentially one big fat MacGuffin to cram in as many Greek mythological references as possible, but it's serviceable.

Plus I've always had a big thing for Greek gods, so I was pretty much in my element as far as that was concerned.

And, if I'm being completely honest, Percy Jackson is a lot easier to like than Harry Potter... there's much less moping around and feeling sorry for oneself and remarkably little angst even if Percy does fall prey to the somewhat predictable "must go and do this thing that I've been forbidden to do" plot device that happens a lot in this type of movie (I'm pretty sure that's the basis for the plot of every Harry Potter book/movie).

But enough with the comparisons, let's just deal with the movie on it's own merits.

Logan Lerman was very impressive as the titular Percy... plus he's quite cute to boot (and I can say that without feeling like a complete perv, because he's now officially 18). However, I have to say that his offsider, Brandon T. Jackson, was a trifle annoying at times... that was probably more about the way the character was written though... but he just ended up being "smart mouthed African American comedy relief sidekick guy"... which is a shame, because the character had potential at the beginning of the movie, but went downhill later on.

And sadly, the Hermione to Logan and Brandon's Harry and Ron respectively, Alexandra Daddario didn't really have very much of an impact, either the way the character was written or the way she played it (actually, probably more of the former rather than the latter)... she was okay, but thinking back on it, for this supposed "great warrior with battle strategy skills", she was a bit vanilla throughout.

Additional snaps do have to go to both Rosario Dawson and Uma Thurman for chewing their way delightfully through the scenery...although, honestly, Rosario was a little too Deus Ex Machina for my liking.

However, these are things that have really only come to me when thinking about the movie afterwards, it did keep me thoroughly entertained during the two hour running time.

It's definitely entertaining... the plot hurtles along quite quickly although it doesn't seem particularly rushed. I would imagine that the book has more time to catch it's breath, but I could be wrong about that.

The special effects are solid throughout... there was something not completely right about the satyr and centaur effects, but they also weren't standing out as obviously "effecty"... in fact, none of it was bad, I just don't know that it was stand-out good either... but definitely solid overall.

So all in all, it's entertaining and solid... good but not exceptional within the genre... but if you like the genre, then it's worth a look.

yani's rating: 3 winged Converse out of 5

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