Director Chris Columbus has brought life to another fantasy novel, though this one’s main character does not discover that he is a wizard. He discovers that he is the son of Poseidon, the god of sea and earthquakes, as found in Greek mythology.
“Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” is based on the first book out of a series of five written by Rick Riordan. The book was released June 28, 2005, while the movie debuted recently on Feb. 12.
In the film, Percy Jackson seems to be another ordinary high school student, until Greek mythology explodes into his life. Zeus’ lightning bolt has been stolen and is blaming the nephew he has never met, Percy, for the crime. Following the discovery of his heritage, Percy’s mother falls victim to a disturbing disappearance, while Percy is left at Camp Half-Blood with other students who have some sort of mythological base.
The storyline seems to follow an outline all too familiar to that of the “Harry Potter” series by J.K Rowling, though with enough alterations to allow it to stand fresh and on its own. Percy like Harry discovers that he is not a normal guy, and is then opened into a hidden world, which remains hidden to the public. Like Harry, Percy is teamed up with two friends. And as found in “Harry Potter” one of those friends is a girl, while the other is a guy. They train in a magically sealed school and then start off on the traditional hero’s quest. Percy, like Harry, is apparently the chosen one.
Though similar to Harry Potter, Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) stands as a new and likable character. The heroin engages the viewer in the beginning of the film with how long he can hold his breath under water. From that point, it does not take long for the plot to jump into action and the mythical world is introduced. The transaction is more sudden than expected, but still keeps viewers engaged. From there, action continues as the mysteries of Percy Jackson’s life begin to unfold.
All characters in the film appear to be well-cast, including a character known as Mr. Burner, who is none other than Pierce Brosnan, who has proven he can play the role of a centaur. Other mythological characters expected to be seen include Zeus, Hades, Athena and, of course, the dreaded Medusa.
For those familiar with Greek mythology, the film proves to be pleasing and well-researched. One of the only possible downfalls could be contributed to the sound track, which contains several popular songs running in the back round, rather than a constant theme. The music such as “Poker Face,” playing in a casino, would have thrived better in any other film, other than a fantasy. Familiar music breaks the unconscious distinction of what if real and what is not.
The film, however, is worth viewing and is sure to gain more fans within the pages of the book series from which it was based from. “Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief” proves to be an excellent appetizer for those who are awaiting “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows” release next November.
“Percy Jackson & the Olympians” is currently showing at the Cowley Cinema 8.