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Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

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Percy Jackson
Jeffrey M. Anderson

Yet another desperate attempt to create a new Harry Potter-style franchise, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief even manages to snatch up the man who helmed the original Potter hit, Chris Columbus. Though it should be remembered that Columbus’ two reverential, lifeless adaptations left that series for dead, and it was up to others to breathe some life into it. Based on a book by Rick Riordan, Percy Jackson is a little bit worse than lifeless: It’s clueless, like a Medusa running around with her head cut off.

The Details

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
One star
Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario.
Directed by Chris Columbus.
Rated PG. Opens Friday.
Beyond the Weekly
Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
IMDb: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
Rotten Tomatoes: Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

The movie is overwritten, overacted and over-effected, and these elements butt heads at every turn, rather than working together. Even the wondrous Catherine Keener, who can usually save a bad movie, gets lost. As Medusa, poor Uma Thurman even conjures up reminders of her Poison Ivy character from the infamous Batman & Robin.

Typical teenage screwup Percy Jackson (Lerman) learns that he’s actually the son of Poseidon, born of a human mother (Keener). Unfortunately, everyone thinks he has stolen Zeus’ lightning bolt, prompting the start of a war in just 14 days’ time. Why 14 days? That’s just the first of a series of simple, stupid questions that the movie never answers. Then comes an ad-hoc road trip through Nashville and Las Vegas, accompanied by hottie Annabeth (Daddario) and a comical black sidekick (Jackson) who might have escaped from a Jack Benny sketch. Eventually they discover the entrance to hell, and it’s the place where crappy movies are made.

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Previous Discussion:

  • Not interested in saying or doing anything contentious, the flick is purely celebratory.

  • Bradley Cooper demonstrates the greatest range of his career ... as a genetically modified raccoon.

  • A desperate tone, disingenuous life lessons and recycled, outdated jokes. Sounds about right.

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