Thursday, February 18, 2010

Percy Jackson - The Lighting Thief

I've read the whole Percy Jackson series and loved it. I've always been
interested in the Greek and Roman mythos. I loved the twists that Rick
Riordan made to the mythos in modern times.

It's because of how much I loved the books that I was severely
disappointed in the movie.

First let me stress - these are MY opinions and there will be spoilers.
Do NOT read beyond this point if you haven't read the books and/or seen
the movies.

That's not to say that I didn't love aspects of the movie. Grover was
the best! I think they did a wonderful job with him.

I will leave out my nitpicks on product placements - those are now a
rather big part of movies.

My first nitpick with the movie was the introduction of Poseidon and
Zeus in the beginning. While I was all "squee" over their choice of
actors for Poseidon, It didn't feel right to me that he was already
introduced and that Percy finds out immediately who his father is. But
after thinking about it and how they could bring the book to the big
screen, I stepped away from this and realized that in order to set up
the movie the way the book was in regards to this, it would have taken
too long. So therefore, I was okay with it. This is probably the only
thing I later became okay with.

Annabeth - The movie took her character and meshed it with Clarisse La
Rue, the daughter of Ares from the books. Annabeth is very intelligent
and has a fascination with architecture. They lost all that when they
made her to more Clarisse than herself. This annoyed me because I loved
the arrogant, hot-headed Clarisse. In the books she was exactly what I'd
have expected of a daughter of Ares.

At camp, there was supposed to be a period of adjustment. Accepting the
fact that you're a demigod and waiting to find out who your parent is -
or if he/she will acknowledge you. If your parent accepts you, you get
shuffled into your cabin with your siblings. Until that time, you get
taken in by Hermes' children. While I said I was later okay with him
arriving at camp and finding that Poseidon build a cabin just for him,
etc. I was sad that they didn't take the opportunity to give the other
campers more of character development. There were so many other
characters that could have had one-liners or brief introductions to make
his transition into demigod-hood smoother.

The capture the flag scene - Both my husband and I were like "really??
You're just going to let him walk past you and pick up the flag?" A
friend said that they had to show him coming into his power. Yes, but it
would have been cooler if the other team kept TRYING to keep him away
from the flag. That would have been much cooler in showing his coming
into his power than letting him walk past them all just because he had
defeated their leader.

The oracle of Delphi - why did they leave this out? Was it because it
would take too much time for them to make a visit to the attic to see
it/her? Was it because the book referred to her as a green mist that
would come out of a mummified corpse in a hippie outfit? There was a
story behind that. She gave them the quest to find the lighting bolt.
But instead, they'd rather that the kids just sneak out of camp one
(having said that, I can see why they did it, to save time for the movie
- but I still didn't like it)

I was actually okay with their trip to finding the way to Hades -
mostly. I loved that they got Uma Thurman to play Medusa. I did have a
nitpick for that scene though. They found the fountain with the golden
coins in them, and Annabeth indicated that it was a sign that they were
in the right place. WHY was that a sign?! Couldn't take the few seconds
to explain that? (I know why, but the other viewers didn't)

The Hydra scene was cool. :)

I was annoyed that they had to use the "drugging" story hook in order to
keep them in the casino. I understand that they probably couldn't stay
true to the book in this respect either, but drugs? Couldn't just stick
with the - don't eat or drink or else you're stuck. In the book they
kept them there by telling them about new games, etc. Keeping them
distracted every time they thought about leaving.

Why couldn't they just use the entrance to the Underworld from the book?
I loved that Charon, the ferryman was a "guard" and that you had to pay
him for passage, aka get permission to enter the elevator. But no, they
couldn't use the entrance from the book because then they couldn't have
Charon ferry them across the cgi scene of lava and tormented souls. He
even makes a comment "all life ends in suffering". HELLO, in Greek
mythos Elysium is also in the Underworld and there is no suffering

Which brings me to my other nitpick about that. They made Hades a plain
and simple bad guy. That really really annoyed me. Just because he has
dominion over the dead does NOT mean he is evil! I liked that they
brought Persephone in the movie, but I think they went over the top.

One of the items that Luke gives them for their trip, and then plays
into the scene with Hades, is a shield. That really annoyed me because
of where Percy actually gets that shield and the significance behind it.
(I won't share more than that - you need to read the other books to

In a nutshell, *I* think they destroyed any chance of making the other
books into movies. I'm so disappointed that I don't know if I'd even
want to give it another chance and see how they are able to make the
second book if they decide to try.

I just feel like they took the wrong things and kept them for the movie
and left out some important things to the story.

I read a review that thought the movie was "awesome" and that anyone who
went in expecting the movie to match the book would be disappointed.
This is partially true for me - I didn't expect the movie to match the
book. I'm always willing for the books and movie to be different - I
just expected them to keep certain elements that were integral for the

/ steps off soapbox

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

This is going to be long - but your post was long so :-P

I loved Grover - I didn't ever think about him being colored while I read the book, but it fits so perfectly.

I went to see the movie with Mike and when they first showed Annabeth, I whispered, "That's Clarisse, she's the daughter of Ares". Then they introduced her as Annabeth and I'm going, that's not right. Annabeth has curly blonde hair. And she fights with a short knife, not a sword. I didn't like how Luke was the only one in the Hermes cabin, because it was supposed to be full of "undetermined" campers. And I really didn't like that Poseidon acted all clingy and human. He's a god - he's not supposed to be touchy feely. I honestly don't think that they will make another because they blamed it all on Luke, not Kronos (who was really behind it) so they effectively finished it up without leaving room to start the next book.