Saturday, 10 July 2010

Percy Jackson and The Lightning Thief **

Well, this was an odd one I have to admit. It looks terrible in the trailers as it seems like another kid's fantasy film, and it is, but it's actually got some good historical context in it making it that little more intriguing to watch. I don't want to watch it again though. Can you see why this is odd now?

Based around Percy (Logan Lerman) who is wanted by Greek gods that apparently still exist in this world created in the film, we watch the traumas he has to go through to save his mother who got kidnapped somewhere in the narrative. It got lost between all the poor special effects and silly one-liners from half man/half goat Grover (Brandon. T. Jackson).

It has a very weak storyline, rushing from scene to scene making fights between as many gods as possible more of a focus than the actual telling of the tale. You realise his mission is to find his mother, but the screenwriters Craig Titley and Rick Riordan try to introduce the idea of Percy as being some kind of lightning thief. You're never fully aware of what the young boy is trying to prove and why he is all of a sudden on a mission involving Medusa and Hades, and obviously why this lightning he's stolen is so important. We see modern news reports of storm clouds effectively going to stop the world, and then we're taken to a medieval camp where Percy trains for fighting the powerful ones. It's very, very limp in terms of a gripping, edge of your seat script.

You do gain some satisfaction from Grover who in himself is a very loveable and endearing character as the protector of Percy. Plus with appearances from Uma Therman adopting the role as Medusa and Pierce Brosnan playing the half horse/half man Chiron brings a new light to their personalities in terms of their acting profile, but this really is the only highlight. Percy himself is kind of cocky and his romantic interest Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) is just another power girl. We've basically got a less experienced Harry Potter cast with Harry Potter type adventures going on, but it's not Harry Potter - Bad, bad, bad. Chris Columbus even directed the first two Harry Potter films, what's he doing making this almost spin-off?!

The special effects are shoddy. Clearly we need a huge impact from the editing to make a difference in our viewing as we're effectively watching a supernatural world, meaning make up and camera work isn't going to cut it. But this film just didn't have the budget or wasted too much of it on the water effect as that's the only believable looking editing. When we see transformations of devils and other monsters, they just seem completely fake rather than film, we almost believe it's real, fake. It's a shame really because if more investment went into this, we could become enchanted with what we're watching. But no, we're aware we're watching a relatively boring film with little excitement and mostly just fun colours with kids acting.

Nothing special. Just watch Narnia, the first one. That's got half men in it WITH decent post-production.

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