Review: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

Thanks for checking out our Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief review.

Genre: Adventure Fantasy
Directed by: Chris Columbus
Staring:Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Rosario Dawson, Kevin McKidd, Uma Thurman, Catherine Keener
Released: February 12, 2010


It’s the 21st century, but the gods of Mount Olympus and assorted monsters have walked out of the pages of high school student Percy Jackson’s Greek mythology texts and into his life. And they’re not happy: Zeus’ lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Even more troubling is the sudden disappearance of Percy’s mother. As Percy finds himself caught between angry and battling gods, he and his friends embark on a cross-country adventure to catch the true lightning thief, save Percy’s mom, and unravel a mystery more powerful than the gods themselves.


The cast is pretty strong. Logan Lerman really holds this together and the bad parts below are never his fault. Alexandra Daddario plays Annabeth, the daughter of Athena is actually quite attractive and very capable physically. Grover is there for comic relief and doesn’t lay it on too thick. He is the right kind of sidekick. The rest of the supporting cast is great even though they don’t make up much of the film. The mom is great (Keener) and Brosnan as the mentor works very well. Having Sean Bean and Kevin McKidd as larger than life Gods is awesome. These guys were meant for these roles. Oh, and Rosario Dawson might have been part of the reason this got a PG rating. Meow with the Persephone digs. Oh they say it was the violence, but whoa.

The premise of the film was a lot of fun. Seeing the children of gods in a modern world and interacting with the quiet world of mythology that co-exists right under our noses is actually really interesting. The effects on the creatures were pretty darn good.


The dialogue, the forced hand fed plot and random leaps of logic all removed me from this film. Right off the get go we see Posiedon and Zeus meet and Zues is all pissed because his Lightning Bolt has been stolen… so clearly it was Posiedon’s son. Had to be. This sets the tone for every deductive moment of the film. These random assumptions just come out of no where without any justification. And its all to keep the plot going. And the plot devices are so force fed to you. Bit of a spoiler here, they kill Medusa by hunting her with reflections and cut off her head. Then they figure they should keep that head, you know – because that might come in handy. Groan.

And when anything is described as important, or that its really hard to do – Percy can do it with ease. Its in his genetic code or something – they actually suggest that is the case. “You have to stay at Camp Half Blood and train!” and in his first session he proves to be better than everyone else who has been there since birth. Yeah, I said Camp Half Blood… special place for the offspring of gods to train. Apparently there are dozens of them. Percy gets some classic Converse Hightops with wings that Hermes son stole from the messenger god, and they need you to run to work up to flying – and they take a lot of practice, but Percy accomplishes this in a couple casual strides and we are off. Of course.

I know this was aimed at a teen crowd, but someone must have assumed they were all retarded to have to spell everything out for them, there are no surprises here.


I was actually hoping for a fun fantasy film that offers a new twist on something familiar and I really think this film had that potential. With Chris Columbus directing, I figured this would nestle right in that Harry Potter niche and offer something light and fun. But it just fell short in so many ways.

I also was watching Lerman, as he is the lead rumour for a teenage Spider-Man in the upcoming reboot. I liked him in Jack and Bobby, and if this shows anything, it is that Lerman would do perfectly fine as a Peter Parker. He even makes for a great Percy Jackson – but the film fell apart around him.

I give Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief a 4 out of 10

Comment with Facebook

34 thoughts on “Review: Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

  1. i thought u movie did not include as much detail as the book. but it was kinda cool that grover was black cause it made him more cooler and i was very mad at the end cause annabeth and percy need to make out ^^

  2. I thought that the movie was good;however, it should of followed the concepts of the book. They went off topic from the book and to be honest, when I saw the movie I was disappointed. Book 10 out of 10, Movie 5 out of 10

  3. So true, Why would zeus assume that Poseidon’s son stole the bolt…just because his bolt got stolen, he wants to start a war against OTHER GODS thus bringing about the end of the world, dats a really lame excuse…it just just doesn’t make sense & the half blood camp, how does training to use swords, shields and bows and arrows suppose to help them become heros in in the 21st century where we us machine guns and explosives…all the visual effects were awesome but the plot is all messed up…

  4. I read The Lightning Thief, and it was practically the BEST BOOK I’VE EVER READ IN MY LIFE AND PROBABLY MANY OTHERS!!!!! But the movie was just skipping all over the place!!!! Plus,THEY LEFT OUT MR. D!!!!!! He is a character in the story in my eyes. Mainly, they miss a lot of things from the book. Not even remotely, in some parts, did they pay attention to the book. Hydra’s were from second book, and they left out ARES! THEY LEFT OUT THE CRAWLING SPIDER THINGIES, THE WATER BED THING, they didn’t have the three headed dogs who Annabeth trained. They said they knew who his dad was. ALL OF US DIDN’T FIND OUT UNTIL A COUPLE CHAPTERS IN! THIS MOVIE DIDN’T DO WELL STICKING WITH THE BOOK. I understand he was rating the movie and not the book, and personally I partially agree with him! Total difference from the book aside, good movie. The book in my opinion is better, but for those who haven’t read the book and have seen the movie, I wish you hadn’t seen the movie, so you could read the book and be as happy I was before the movie viewing.

    1. Oh yeah I so knew that I would be better off reading the books before the movie and from the sound of things my intuition paid off. From the moment I heard about this film I figured it was only made because of the success of Harry Potter which means instead of the attitude being, “Hey we need to make this movie faithful to the book.” it was “Hey we have to make the next blockbuster hit based on a novel series targetted at a young audience.” (which is sad because if they had the first attitude the second would have fallen into place, like it has with HP and Twilight).

      With the way this first movie seems to be on one’s radar I would not be surprised if the remaining four books never make it to the big screen.

      No Mr. D = No deal.

  5. My 11 year old son was waving his hands in disgust through many parts of this movie. He of course read the book and was ready for a wild “quest” across the USA by Percy and company, and this was just not the case in the movie. His biggest disapointment was that Hades was not in the movie yet had a large role in the book, not to mention that the ending was completely destroyed. Percy thanked by Zeus????? I dont think so. Zeus was ready to kill Percy in the book.

    Ah but that is how Hollywood goes! All action no story.

  6. I thought the movie was terrible. I picked up the book from my nine year old kid and gave it a quick read before taking him. I guess after Harry Potter that I was used to a movie at least following the book somewhat. I was looking forward to seeing Chiron come out of a wheelchair and I really wanted to see who would be cast as Ares the god of war – he was pretty cool in the book. There was no prophesy guiding the movie Percy, no St. Louis Arch and my kid said the hydra was taken from book two.

  7. The movie is what it is. No deep characters. No complex plot. But for teeny-bop popcorn fare, it worked. Mythology’s answer to Harry Potter and Twilight. Not every film has to go for an Oscar. It was fun and a good way to kill an afternoon. And for us grownups it was something to whet our appetite for “our” movie – CLASH of the TITANS! especially after leaving the theater and seeing all of that movie’s publicity stuff in the lobby.

  8. I have a funny feeling that when the new, rebooted Spiderman comes out, you may be writing much the same review, should the same actor be cast in that. I have a very, very bad feeling about that movie, no matter *who* they cast.

    While I haven’t seen the movie, I’ve seen one or two things its lead has been in and have to agree with you — the kid’s got good screen presence. I wouldn’t mind seeing him in more movies, I just hope he (and any decent young actor out there) gets some better material to work with.

  9. My cousin also watched it with me and she is a non- reader. She dislike it because it went too fast and really wasn’t clear in the beginning. I filled her in along the way.

  10. I highly doubt there is going to be a sequel because of the major chunks of the book the writers left out. I was expecting it to be as amazing as the book but it was an extreme disappointment. The actors did their jobs and was very proud of that, but the plot was nowhere near the actual book. It could have been so much more than what it actually was. Still a fan of the books… paid too much for that movie!!!

  11. I liked it just fine, but have no problem with the way Rodney came down on the other side. His arguments are fair.

    Having read the book, I kind of filled in the blanks, but as Rodney says, this ain’t a book report.

    Ultimately, my seven year old LOVED it and I spent half the film watching his glowing face. The film could have been directed by Ule Boll and I still would have been glad I went!

  12. Can’t say I’ve had very high hopes for this one either. I kind of wanted to see it, but nothing in the previews have been able to impress me. I mostly just wanted to see it because it is a fantasy film, a Greek mythology one at that and directed by Chris Columbus.

    Kind of sucks to hear one of his movies actually turned out bad. Oh well. Thanks for the warning and taking one for the team Rodney! ;D

    Thankfully, “Clash of the Titans” is just around the corner and with luck will more then make up for this movie, as an action adventure Greek mythology film.

  13. Pretty much what I was expecting. There aren’t that many ‘Greek God’ films out there with a particularly good story. Great review, Rodney. And I’m glad you reminded me of “Jack and Bobby.” That was a good little series.
    “Wolfman” next perhaps?

  14. i agree with some aspects of the review but i also have some more that i find obligated to point out. first off, the book is absolutely amazing. the book hits strait on and is big with the young teens who enjoy this specific type of fantsy. the movie however does not. i think that i would enjoy it more if it was more related to the book. the movie is more like a spin off with the same title as the best selling book. i also think that it will be big in the box office. not necessarily because of its change in plot but because of all of the readers out there, like yours truely, who simply fell in love with the series and thought that the movie fell short. the movie had so much potential but that all went away when they cut out some of the more appealing parts/chapters of the best selling book. the movie, as i have said before, simply fell flat in my opinion. the director and the author are bith amazing, its just that it would probably have more appeal if it was closer to the amazing book. best hopes for the sequal, Angry Reader.

    p.s. AMAZING cast! perfect percy, annabeth, grover and luke! the rest of the cast were pretty head on too. also, Rodney, read the book. it will hopefully change your mind about the plot. well for the book anyway.

    pretty good movie….. if you havent read the book.

    1. Unfortunately, I am not reviewing the books.

      I am sure there is a lot more in the books that smooths out the sad excuse for a plot and the leaps in logic. All films based on books have to adapt to the medium.

      This one just doesn’t do it well. At all.

      The plot was fine, it was how it was delivered that made the film suck.

    2. this book was decent….its funny how in the last 10 years it seems that the reading requirement for schools must have dropped….i mean 15-18 year olds are reading books that are intended for kids 8-12.

      I havent read this book but i have skimmed through it at a friends house (mainly cause i new the movie was coming) and these types of fantasy books make me laugh at the fact that they are basically taking other notable works of literature and adding a twist…yet they dont really touch on the main points of the original works (mythology)…when i was younger i read lots of dragonlance and forgotten relms books….i mean there were a whole crowd of us reading that stuff….those books now seem like there intended for 20 year olds not 12-15 year olds….i swear i think the readers of are young generation are slipping….like it puzzles me that a 30 year old women will find the same amount of impact over twilight as a 14 year girl.

      1. Every generation makes that complaint… oh, this new generation is getting dumber, or doesn’t do this, or has bad taste in music, yada, yada, yada, yada. Maybe sometimes it’s true, but normally it isn’t. Human beings have changed little in the tens of thousands of years we’ve been on earth. Mostly the only things that have changed is what’s around us.

        If anything, there are more readers now than there were in recent, previous generations — it’s just that the new readers are the ones reading those soft books which are probably more suited to a younger (or less well-read) audience. Harry Potter got them going, with other books (and authors) continuing to feed that trend — from Dan Brown (ugh) to Stephenie Meyers (double ugh/vomit).

        More to the point, there’s probably nothing wrong with that. Yeah, all the teen girls reading Stephenie Meyers are reading just about the worst “literature” imaginable, but it’s probably (though not certainly) a net-plus, as many of those girls probably weren’t reading *anything* at all.

      2. Ok, mister. First of all give me a break. This is a review of a movie not of the book (which I agree, it jumped in logic, cut out all training and explanations of why they are doing things, disappointed me a little, and fyi nobody finds out that Percy is the son of Poseidon until like a third of the way through the book because none of the big 3 are supposed to have kids) but since you brought it up, the books are fantastic and I have seen kids read these that I would never suspect to do so. There is a reason that schools (our middle school grade 8 read them and then went to the theater)are reading them. Flipping through a book does not count for reading it and I encourage you do so because the final book is incredible with its battle scenes through New York. I’m a librarian and a certified teacher, this is what I do and I know what the kids read. I love high fantasy but I can read a good and enjoy it without being prejudiced. Just because it doesn’t use words that you need to look up does not mean its not worth while. By the way, the fact that 15-18 year olds are reading these shows just how good it is. Rodney, good job on the post, I think 4 was low, but fair as it entertained most of the crowd.

    1. You’ll get the Camp Half Blood training thing if you read the books…..they’re AWESOME! And, having read the books, I think the movie rocked…..stuck to the main story really, really well…..

      Lerman as Spiderman? Brint it on!

      1. I liked the movie a lot – but “stuck to the main story really, really well….”

        Are you kidding me? I don’t think the writers of the screenplay even read the book.

        A lot of the plot holes are explained in the book – but they didn’t take time to cover it in the movie – as is expected.

        I enjoyed the flick from a true pop corn flick standard – but not as a great cinematic event.

Leave a Reply