Muggle = Demigod. The Camp for Half-Bloods = Hogwarts. Grover = Ron. Annabeth = Hermione. Percy Jackson = Harry Potter? As I exited the theater and walked alongside the comments of my fellow moviegoers, I realized that I was not alone in these observations. Is “Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief” just another Harry Potter movie dressed in Greek mythology?
To summarize, Percy Jackson, played by Logan Lerman, is your typical troubled teenager until he finds out what everyone else around him seems to know: Percy is the half-blood son of Poseidon (Kevin McKidd), God of the Sea. Percy’s royal lineage is revealed after being blamed for stealing the almighty lightning bolt from Zeus (Sean Bean), who threatens to wage a war that would destroy the earth unless it is returned by the rapidly approaching summer solstice. Thus, Percy gets whisked away to a school for half-bloods like himself (sound familiar yet?) so that he can train and prove his innocence to Zeus. Along the way, Percy encounters mythological monsters and gains two sidekicks, Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) and Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario), who also becomes Percy’s love interest–surprise, surprise.
Who stole the lightning bolt? Can Percy hone his water and battle skills, find the lightning bolt, kill all the monsters, traverse the continental United States and return the bolt to Zeus in just ten days? Well, you will have to get yourself to the nearest movie theater to find out, but in the meantime, if it weren’t for the graphics, I would have given this movie a much lower score. Percy Jackson comes to us from the same director and producer of the first two Harry Potter movies, Chris Columbus, and the similarities are palpable. If you have seen Harry Potter and you are familiar with American mainstream theater, then you will likely find yourself 10 steps ahead of Percy and the gang at all times.
To just go for the bullet points: the plot–entirely predictable. I enjoyed the Greek mythology (I have a penchant for ancient civilizations), but I think they could’ve taken it further with the graphics–great, minus the monsters (they were all brown, splotchy and slimy)–and the dialogue–<not special, but what do you expect? Also, it was obvious that Grover, Percy’s protector, was intended to be the funny sidekick, and although I chuckled once or twice, the jokes got old; and the action scenes were just decent. Most fight scenes were rather slow and unimaginative, but toward the end there are some great moments with water graphics.
In total, I would recommend that you save money and rent it later. In my opinion, the Harry Potter deja vu and the lack of imagination are just not worth it. Ultimately, it’s your decision, but if you see the film and you find yourself saying “Gee ma, that was a lot like Harry Potter,” don’t say I never told you so.