Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rebecca's Reviews: Percy Jackson and The Olympians - Lighting Thief

Otherwise entitled "Motivations? Who Needs 'Em?"

First, the good stuff. This film had clever moments. I especially liked "Auntie Em's Roadside Emporium of Atrocious Lawn Art." Always knew there was something creepy about those places. And the Lotus Casino? Marvelous. And I loved the boatman and our visit to the underworld. Basically, this film was Greek Myths redone with snarky teenagers and computer generated monsters. Kind of fun.

On the other hand, I spent most of the film wondering, "Now why are we doing this?"

Percy Jackson doesn't know his absent biological father is really Poseidon. I want to know why not? Why hasn't mom told him? You want some teenager with awesome magical powers wandering around not knowing who he is? Not knowing that there are hydras and harpies and minotaurs lurking about that want to eat him for lunch? I can't see how keeping the poor kid in the dark could possibly be in his best interest.

In order to keep all the monsters off their back, Percy's mom marries a fat, abusive, beer-guzzling slob because, because, now get this, because the man's foul stench keeps the monsters off their trail! Oh really now, there has got to be an easier way! How about dousing Percy in ketchup every morning or something like that instead. A lot less counseling needed later on down the road, I tell you.

Later on, Percy plans to march down into the underworld to rescue his mother with no better plan than explaining to Hades that he doesn't have the ransom Hades is demanding. The daughter of Athena, goddess of wisdom and battle strategy, does not say, "You idiot that will never work." No, she says, "I'm coming with you whether you like it or not. I've always wanted to go on an adventure."

Maybe she takes after her dad.

The whole film went on like that, with me scratching my head over the choices the characters were making. I guess you could say this film was plot driven, not character driven. Did I get that right, my writing friends?

In the end, what puzzled me the most was why the Greek Pantheon had spawned so many half-mortal children. It looked like there were at least a hundred of them just between the ages of 14 and 18. It was creepy. I didn't want to think about it too hard. With a premise like that, I'm afraid I can't classify this as a wholesome family film.

The Lightning Thief movie was a toss-up for me. I really enjoyed some of it, really hated the rest of it. Of course it is possible that I only liked the parts I liked because I saw it after ten o'clock at night. My brain was tired, I could tell, because the trailer for the new Cats and Dogs movie actually looked cute. That's never happened before, though I've seen that trailer three other times.

I've got hopes for better kid films to come out later this year. My calendar's marked for "How to Train Your Dragon" in March, and "Toy Story 3" in June. Stop by then for more reviews!


Unknown said...

I read this review to my husband and we laughed and laughed! I haven't seen the movie, but now I want to just for the entertainment factor. Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca J. Carlson said...

Thanks, Nisa! If you liked that, you should check out my other reviews. Just click up there on the labels list.

Amber M said...

Hi Rebecca!
I had the same reaction to the movie that you did. I also noticed that they got everything they went after -- no try/fail stuff. Look for a pearl, got a pearl, look for another pearl, got another pearl, etc. You get my drift.

Did you read the book?

But on another note, two other movies that were previewed got my family very excited: the new Karate Kid and the big-screen The Last Airbender. Don't you love that they are making so many family films these days?

Rebecca J. Carlson said...

I didn't read the book. My sister said it was fun but nothing to get too excited about.

The new Karate Kid looked a lot of fun. I loved that they're setting it in Asia! Wow - what a great idea!