Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief Review: Still Holding Out For A Hero

PERCY JACKSON AND THE LIGHTNING THIEF: On General Release From 12th February 2010

It looks like Hollywood’s gone all historical on us in 2010.

Percy Jackson And The Lightning Thief seems set to be the warm-up for an epic season which includes Clash Of The Titans, Prince Of Persia and let’s not forget about Robin Hood.

Looks like the award for sexiest skirt-wearing actor could be a tough category this year.

But can Percy Jackson set the tone for the others? The answer is sort of. The main difference between Percy and it’s contenders is that it is set in the present US and the leads are all teenagers. Yeah, I know, it doesn’t sound like a winning formula but director Chris Columbus makes it work.

Based on a series of books, the story follows Percy, an average teen who finds out that he’s actually a demigod because years ago his human mother hooked up with Poseidon. Nice. Only now, for some never explained reason, Zeus believes Percy has stolen his master lightning bolt. With the help of Athena’s daugher Annabeth, and inexperienced Satyr (half goat man), Grover, Percy must return the bolt to Mount Olympus and rescue his kidnapped mother.

Sounds like a full-blown epic adventure right? Well it would be if Columbus had let it run a little longer; Percy clocks in at only 110 minutes, making the film stop just short of being really kick-ass. It’s poorly laid out plot rushes through the action and it all feels a bit silly. Having said that, I’m not the target audience for Percy, so I can put those feelings aside because I know that kids are going to lose their minds over this film.

Percy is played by up and coming Logan Lerman, who you may have seen in Gamer. He carries the film effortlessly and fits the profile for teen idol like a dream – keep an eye on this one. Backing up our titular hero are Alexandra Daddario and Brandon T. Jackson as Annabeth and Grover respectively. Daddario makes an impression and really holds her own amongst a male dominated casts while Jackson brings the comic relief in a typical loyal sidekick role.

The set pieces are all very impressive and the special effects bring life to a minotaur, a hydra and Medusa, all of which are nice to look at but don’t really go the extra mile. You might be drawn to the big names (Steve Coogan, Sean Bean and Uma Thurman) but unfortunately all the Gods and Goddesses are relegated to bit parts. So while you may go for the stars, you’ll probably end up having fun without them and watching what might be the start of a new franchise.

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