Percy Jackson Destroys the Cinematic Hope of America’s Youth!

Okay, perhaps that is an overstatement – well, perhaps not.  First, let me tell you that I am a HUGE fan of Rick Riordan and that his Olympian series is some of the best level-appropriate, high-interest books you can get for your pre-teen / middle schooler (and possibly your high-schooler).  Second, let me state that I know we normally don’t write about movies here at the Pullbox unless they are comic-specific or if they just have that big of an impact into the geek-sphere, but this one I simply couldn’t pass up.

In the last year, my 12 year old daughter (soon to be 13) devoured Riordan’s series in a way that I have never seen her do before.  This series has all of the addictiveness and adventure of Harry Potter without some of the baggage and page-age that came at the end of that beloved series  (And yes, we are fans of Ms. Rowling also).   I have no doubt that any young or experienced fantasy reader (*ahem, like myself*) will enjoy this book series.

Unfortunately that cannot be said about the movie.

I did not see the movie but from everything I am hearing – this is a sad disappointment.   Leaving out major characters?  major plot revisions?  Sometimes I think screen-writers simply read the paragraph on the back of the book and re-write everything from there.  I learned this from some of my favorite Michael Crichton novels.  My eldest daughter learned this from some her fav books – Harry Potter, Eragon, Inkspell – heck, she’s at a point that if she really likes a book, she will refuse to see the movie and she isn’t 15 yet.

Well, my soon to be 13 yo saw the movie adaptation of Percy Jackson this last weekend with a friend of hers who is also an avid reader and they both thought their popcorn was way better than the movie.  Here’s what she had to say –

“In The Lighting Thief (the book) Percy Jackson a 12-year-old demigod goes on this big adventure with twists and a lot of cliffhangers, but in the Lighting Thief (the movie) the plot is anything but like the book. In the book, our main bad guy Luke is a late teenager who is manipulated by Ares, the god of war, and a shadowy Titan to steal Zeus’s almighty lighting bolt to have a blood war between Poseidon and Zeus.  This sets up the rest of the series.  In the movie, Luke steals the bolt because he’s mad at his dad Hermes for abandoning him as a baby. Lame. Though, what this movie lost in plot it gained in effects. All the creatures, and the underworld were very well done. When Hades took his true form it reminded me of the balrog in the Fellowship of the Ring.

I would recommend this movie too anyone who has never read the book for this would be great Family film. But for those who have read the series will be greatly disappointed with the plot, Annabeth, and the director.”

Out of the mouths of babes, people.

Harry at Ain’t It Cool had the same opinion as my daughter, Here, he was just more colorful in his language. 🙂

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Updated: February 15, 2010 — 11:43 am

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