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February 18th, 2010:

Movie Review – Percy Jackson and The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

My 9-year old read all the books in a weekend and said I just HAD to read them because they were so good. So I did :-) They were good . . . I tell people they are like Harry Potter for 9 year olds.

Needless to say, Dude was way excited when he saw there was going to be a movie! He and I went and saw it last weekend.

I was not impressed. I usually give a lot of leeway to movies, especially movies based on books, and even more when they’re kid movies, but this one took a few too many liberties. I’m not sure how they’ll reconcile those for future movies.

The movie was a lot darker than the books were. It’s like they tried to make the movie be better for teenagers than for the 7-9 year olds that actually read the books. They took out the fun stuff, like Percy getting his head stuck in a toilet and realizing then that he had water powers. Or the whole part about Clarisse being a big part of the books (but she’s nowhere to be seen in the movie). Annabeth not liking Percy in the book, but in the movie they have a lottle romance going. The flying shoes being a trap for Percy in the book and him having to figure out that the shouldn’t use them, but in the movie, he uses them more than once to help himself and his friends. Grover being a Seeker in the book always looking for Pan, but in the movie he’s just a protector and there’s no word of Pan. Percy being all alone in his cabin while the other demgods have their brothers and sisters in their cabins with them in the book.

So the movie was OK as far as movies go, but Dude and I were both disappointed at the liberties they took when they “Hollywoodized” the book. I understand you can’t put everything from a book into a movie or it would be 4 hours long, but I think they went too far to make this movie nothing really like the book except for using the names of the characters. It makes me wonder what they’ll do to the rest of the movies if they’ve taken out some of these necessary pieces that hold the books together and are big parts of the storylines.

Overall – OK movie. Good rental/Netflix. I wouldn’t spend the money to go to the theater, though . . . espeically with the younger kids.