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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dora the explorer + Clash of the Titans + (insert teen comedy here) =

Percy Jackson and the Olympians:
The Lightning Thief
review by Brent Sweeting

1 1/2 out of 4 stars

Let me start by saying that when I was 10, I would have loved this movie. As a matter of fact my brothers and I would probably have watched it over and over on VHS. That said, I am not 10 anymore, and unless you are, I suggest you steer clear of this insulting take on Greek mythology.

The plot revolves around a young teenage boy named Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman), who learns that he is the son of Poseidon and has all the powers and responsibilities that go with it. We learn early on that someone has stolen a thunderbolt from Zeus (Sean Bean), and that Zeus blames Percy. Unless Percy returns the bolt, Zeus will declare war on Poseidon, and apparently the battle will destroy all life as we know it. Percy of course did not steal anything. Suddenly Hades kidnaps Percy's mother, and Percy goes on a quest to find 3 magic pearls that will allow him to save her.

If that seems awfully disconnected, it's because it is, and we never really have any idea why one idea flows to the next in this plot. There is however a magic map, and three points that Dora, (sorry, I mean Percy) must get to, to get to the final destination where everything will conveniently be wrapped up. At each point is a monster or challenge, and while there is no Grumpy Old Troll, there is Uma Thurman as Medusa in what is by far her most ridiculously over the top performance since "Batman and Robin".

Along with Percy is a sidekick/comic relief who spouts off a number of catch phrases that Will Smith already said in "Bad Boys" and "Men in Black". Also with them is the love interest Anabeth (Alexandra Daddario) who is also the child of a god. Anabeth meets them at a special camp for offspring of the gods called "camp half-blood". I swear I'm not making this up.

Aside from the bad acting, cheesy dialogue, and silly plot, there are a few good things about this movie. If you like Greek mythology, there are a number of classic myths loosely interpreted here that serve like Easter eggs throughout the movie. The special effects are actually very well done, as is the action, and the overall look and feel of the movie is of high production quality. Even the monsters which are obviously CGI were realistically rendered. Also of note was a memorable and fun interchange between Rosario Dawson as Persephone, and Steve Coogan as Hades. Unfortunately they are only on-screen for about 5 minutes.

If you have kids, this is probably a movie they will enjoy, but beware of simulated drug use and some overt sexuality. Mostly though, beware that you may find yourself laughing out loud during moments where your kids are watching with intense seriousness.

All in all, I recommend that you stay home and watch the Ray Harryhausen stop motion classic from the 80's, "Clash of the Titans." 
Clash of the Titans (Snap Case) 

1 comment:

  1. The original Clash of the Titans was awesome. I cant wait for the new one. Check out my movie review blog at Nice site!