Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Lightning Thief: Strikingly Disappointing

To change things up a little bit I'm going to talk about a movie I didn't like (at all): Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.
The Lightning Thief came to theaters three years ago, and is based off the first book in a popular series written by Rick Riordan. As someone who read the book series when it first came out, I was really excited for the film adaptation hoping to see some of my favorite characters come to life on the silver screen. I was deeply disappointed.
Both the movie and the book follow a young boy named Percy Jackson who learns that all of the myths from Greek mythology are real and that he is the son of the Greek god, Poseidon, throwing all other religious beliefs out the window. Percy is accused of stealing Zeus's master lightning bolt and if he doesn't prove his innocence in the next 10 days all of the gods will be at war against each other. Most of the similarities between the movie and the book end there.
Many creative liberties were taken by the writers as the book was turned into a screenplay. So many, in fact, that the movie tells almost a completely different story.
The movie also has James Bond as a centaur.
What caused these changes? More than likely it was targeting the movie to high school students while the books were targeted to preteens.
For example, one of the characters, a satyr (goat-person-thing) named Grover, is portrayed in the book series as being very shy and cowardly. As the books go on, readers see his character grow out of his cowardice and develop into more of a hero at times. The movie, however, took this character and said, "Hey, let's make him hip!" And so they made him an outgoing, smooth-talking goat-man who is constantly chasing after women. Even one of the godesses hits on him toward the end.
Another example is the music put into the movie. Since the target demographic of Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (long title!) was high school students and the year was 2010, the producers had to put popular music at the time into the movie. So, in the middle of the movie, viewers are graced with a montage in a casino set to Lady Gaga. And shortly after that, Ke-dollar-sign-ha's "Tik Tok" plays in the background. Neither seemed to fit well with the atmosphere of the rest of the movie.
And it's not just a bad book adaptation movie, it's a bad movie in general. The acting is terrible and it takes itself way too seriously. And the story in the movie is less believable than the book, which is difficult to do considering the book is also about Greek gods being real.
If you read the book series and somehow still haven't seen The Lightning Thief then I envy you. This movie made a mockery of the book! Three years later, I still remember my disappointment after walking out of the theater. I paid 10 bucks to watch that crap!
Some of you may be thinking, "Dude, that was three years ago, get over it!" And you're right, I should get over it. I was over it. My anger and upset-tion (it's a word now) have only returned because not too recently I learned that the sequel is coming out early this August.

To be perfectly honest, this trailer looks much better than trailer for The Lightning Thief, and it looks like they've done a few things to make Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters better than its predecessor ... like giving it a shorter title.
And putting Nathan Fillion in it.
Sea of Monsters hits theaters in just over a month. Unfortunately, it reminds me of the bad taste I was left with after seeing The Lightning Thief. Hopefully, the sequel doesn't disappoint me.

1 comment:

  1. I'm a little worried for the sequel. I love the books, including the Heroes of Olympus series that comes next, and I hated the first movie. They just changed SO much! Horribly awful adaptation from a book. Plus, they aged the characters by like 3 years. So by the time they finish the series, the actors will probably all be in their 30s, playing teenagers! Argh! Here's hoping Sea of Monsters is better... way better.