Jackson & the Lightning Thief is the latest Harry Potter wannabe.
However, as far as Harry Potter rip-offs go it ain't bad and is certainly
more fun in many ways than the previous overlong and over-serious entry in
the Harry Potter franchise, namely
Harry Potter & the
Even though it clocks in at almost two hours, Percy Jackson feels
much breezier and faster paced. It's a fresh-faced adventure that will
appeal to underage Harry Potter fans even though the film-makers have made
the main characters several years older than they are in the original books.
Special effects are okay and the movie zips along nicely.
Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) is your typical modern teenager - that is, if
your average teen has a passing resemblance to Zac Efron and is in
negotiations to play Peter Parker in the planned Spider-man reboot.
Speaking of which, we loved the line about the line about Percy's tough
inner school: "It's high school, but without the musical." Har, har.
Like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson will however soon discover that he is
"special" and "different" from all the other kids and by that we do not mean
that he drools a lot and bumps his head against the walls or anything.
Nope, Percy is in fact a demigod, the son of the sea god Poseidon and an
ordinary mortal woman (Catherine Keener) - something which he was unaware of
until his English teacher turned into a winged harpy and tried to kill him
one day. (We all have days like that.)
Yup, the ancient Greek gods are all in fact real and still exist in our
modern day and age.
It seems that someone has stolen Zeus' lightning bolt and Percy is somehow
the main suspect. To prevent a war between the gods themselves Percy has two
weeks to find the lightning bolt before all Hades breaks loose.
Needless to say he first has to undergo training at Hogwarts, er sorry, Camp
Half Blood (ho, ho) before embarking on his quest with some trusty sidekicks
. . . (Unlike the
Potter movies, Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief actually has
black folks in it even though they are relegated to sidekick status.)
Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief can be described as
Clash of Titans for the tween set. The
movie is clearly aimed at the underage Harry Potter crowd (it is even
directed by Chris Columbus who actually directed the first two Potter
movies). But make no mistake: the movie is not suitable for very small kids
who no doubt get nightmares from some of the scary creatures featured.
Let's hope this one makes enough money and that we get to see some sequels.
RECOMMENDATION: You might not be too happy forking out the full price
for a Blu-ray or DVD, but Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief will
make for a pretty decent rental. A passable time-waster to say the least.