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 Post subject: Why oh why did the Lighting Thief not steal the filmrolls?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 4:11 pm 
The Little Manic
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 12:32 pm
Posts: 2891
Location: Dublin
Hi y'all,

[Hidden spoilers below!]

Well, from the title you can already take my opinion of the film I spent two perfectly good hours of my life this morning: "Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief". It is the single worst adaptation of a book since the infamous "I, Robot". Yes, I know that was a nice action flick, but it had nothing but the name in common with the source material.

Sadly, the same can be said about this one - even when considering that Riordan of course is not nearly as brilliant an author as the late grandmaster Asimov - or even J.K. Rowling, in whose footsteps he is walking. But the Percy Jackson books are fun, they do have interesting characters and a surprising amount of darkness for books targeted at a young audience. There are many more shades of grey in them than there would be in the Harry Potter books - and what I liked about them especially was that they are unabashedly politically incorrect at times.

It seems that Fox felt that this would be too complex for what they hoped would start a new franchise, so they gave it the Full Disney treatment and left a bright colourful popcorn cinema husk. And not only did they remove details and changed characters, they totally removed Chronos, which is as if you were to remove Voldemort from the Potter myth and said "Draco Malfoy did it all on his own." And they leave plot holes big enough to have Atlas himself disappear in them.
Percy for example decidesto completely ignore the impending destruction of the world and run off to save his Mom instead, presumably to die with her once the gods destroy everything in total global war. But then he suddenly - and for reasons only known to the baboon who must have written the script, he remembers the time limit on the original mission - yes the one he didn't care about - and desperately tries to keep to it, even if he makes no attempt to do anything that would contribute to the mission.

I could go on forever, I could mention in detail how they turned the gods from the books, who are - with few exceptions - quite a bunch of bastards into sappy caricatures of themselves, but I think I save the space.
Suffice to say that the scene where Posidon (otherwise brilliant!) whines that "I always wanted to see you son, I love you, but Zeus was being SO mean and wouldn't let me." are amongst the most cringe-worthy in film-history!

Why did I write that much about a film that actually is not really worth talking about?
Because I am frustrated and saddened by a missed chance, is why!
And this was quite therapeutic. ;)

As a family film (really, only family film) you watch for the nice pictures, it is a _very_ generous 4.5 out of 10.
But as an adaptation of a decent book it is just about a 2 out of 10.
The saving graces are some nice special effects, some of the kids performances, Pierce Brosnan as Chiron and Kevin McKidd as Posidon.

Stay away if possible, and please don't hold it against the book.


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