February 12, 2010

Too Bad, Percy Jackson Deserved Better

The reviews for The Lightening Thief are in and it doesn't look good. You know it's a bad sign when even the most positive reviews prevaricate. "For the most part, it works" (Bill Goodykoontz). "Has 'Percy Jackson' cracked the 'Potter code? In terms of overall quality, not even close" (Ethan Alter). And those guys liked it. Of course, it's the bad reviews that are more fun to read. "Chris Columbus, true to his namesake, has charted new waters of lazy hackdom with this 'Clash of the Titans' remade as a CW tween soap" (Nick Starkey).

It will make money because of the book and the marketing. But only in a couple of weeks will we know if the target audience liked it. The Slate reviewer said his daughter didn't, but Alter thinks at least the spectacle in the film "could make it a modest hit with the 8 to 12-year-old set."

Maybe 20th C Fox will get different directors, like Warner's did with the Potter franchise. It wasn't until Columbus left that series that the movies started getting interesting.

For now, I'll stick with the books.


Bethany said...

I teach 6th grade language arts. We just finished reading this book in time to see the movie on Tuesday for a field trip. I pre-screened it today and am completely disappointed. They could have done great things with the story, and the character development and research had already been done for them - if they had just used it! Instead, they threw togas and Greek armor on everyone, gave Percy a High School Musical hair cut, and called it a day. Little of the movie is true to the book or the gods.

I also am not happy that they say "ass" a couple of times, most of the women are scantily clad with cleavage hanging out, and Persephone (who's not even in the book) tells Grover, "I've never had a Satyr [before]," implying sexually. It's rated PG, but I don't feel that's appropriate 12 year olds.

Jim said...


"Disappointment" seems to be the prevailing mood. Hope it's a career-ender for that hack Columbus and they don't let him touch another franchise like this again.


Victoria said...

I went to see it with Noah and Rachel because Noah really enjoyed the series (Rachel, not so much). My mom footed the bill...I'll have to apologize to her for that. I didn't realize it was a Chris Columbus film until his name flashed across the screen. I did an internal groan. He films light and fluffy with every material he gets. I haven't read the series, yet, but I lean to films directed by Ridley Scott. I felt like I was watching a Disney episode that they tried to throw a few words in to make it tween edgy. My heart never raced and I felt the supporting characters were under used and the main characters came across flat with zero charisma. You would think with Poisedon being Percy's dad there would have been more DEPTH to this movie, alas no.

Jim said...


That's why I don't do opening nights anymore without checking metacritic and/or rottontomatoes to see what the general consensus is.


Ms. Yingling said...

I read the book so long ago that I was able to enjoy the movie even though my son shook his head when the script deviated from the book. I read the books for the writing, which clearly was different in the movie, but it was okay.

Jim said...

Ms. Yingling,

Thanks for the review. Maybe I'll watch when it comes on TV and I can make snarky comments a la MST3K.