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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
PG
Cast
Pierce Brosnan
Uma Thurman
Sean Bean
Logan Lerman
Brandon T Jackson
Kevin McKidd
Melina Kanakerides
Catherine Keener
Rosario Dawson
Steve Coogan.
Directors
Chris Columbus.
Screenwriters
Craig Titley.
Running Time
118 minutes

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Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Clash Of The Twitans


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Plot
Percy Jackson (Lerman) is startled to discover, after a monstrous attack by his maths teacher, that he is a demi-god, the son of Poseidon (McKidd), and his best friend is a satyr (Jackson). But a war is brewing between the gods over the theft of Zeus’ (Bean) lightning bolt, and Percy is chief suspect…


Review
Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
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A fantasy film based on a best-selling series of books. Chris Columbus directing the first instalment in a hoped-for franchise. Dewy-eyed young stars surrounded by quick turns from more famous and respected faces. Haven’t we been here before?

The differences between Percy Jackson and the mighty Harry Potter, however, are as marked as the similarities. Our ordinary boy (3.10 To Yuma’s Logan Lerman) enters a fantastical world when it’s revealed that his absentee father was the Greek god Poseidon (Kevin McKidd), and that instantly creates a darker canvas. Whereas wizards may be eccentric, the Olympians are, to a deity, rapacious, violent and tyrannous. For anyone who knows their classics, therefore, there’s a grotesque undercurrent to the comic marital bickering between Hades (Steve Coogan) and his abducted bride Persephone (Rosario Dawson), and an unpleasant twinge when Uma Thurman’s seductive Medusa notes that she used to “date” Poseidon: in legend, his rape caused her metamorphosis into a snake-coiffed monster.

That said, the action is firmly on a PG level, as Percy dodges monsters on his way to “Camp Half-Blood” to meet his fellow demi-gods. All are barred from contact with their divine parents by order of Zeus (Sean Bean), instantly setting up a whole raft of father and mother complexes for the super-powered offspring. The Dumbledore figure holding these psychotherapy candidates together is the centaur Chiron (Pierce Brosnan, clearly having a ball), but soon Percy, his satyr friend Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) and daughter-of-Athena Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) head off on their mission to save Percy’s mum (Catherine Keener) from the Underworld – and coincidentally save the world.

The plot races, especially by the standards of an origin story, Columbus mixing monsters and emotional beats with a touch that’s far lighter than he demonstrated in the first two Potters – perhaps thanks to more judicious story editing. Here, he skips nimbly between monster-fighting action (a Fury, the Minotaur, a hydra), bits of comic relief (Grover explaining that some demi-gods become celebrities; “like, White House famous”) and the development of a world that invites further exploration. When the biggest irritation is the American pronunciation of satyr as “SAY-ter”, it’s apparent that Potter may at last have a worthy successor.


Verdict
Slavishly follows every rule of the kids’ fantasy franchise genre, but it’s a well-executed and imagined world. Bet the sequel’s darker.


Reviewed by Helen O'Hara

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Empire Star Rating

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Theif

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Theif is an amazing film it's certificate is a PG and it last's for 118 minutes it shows you what the gods are capable of in the heavens above us and the film has a rating of 5.8 but my rating would be much higher if i was the person rating it would be a 8.9 for the amazing adventure of trieing to convince Hadies that Percy Jackson does not have the lightning bolt but Hadies doesnt belive him because he finds the bolt in Percys sheild the sheild isnt his so whos ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by adamfoster at 12:02, 24 February 2011 | Report This Post


Good. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by reminn at 12:07, 03 November 2010 | Report This Post


Entertaining, I Guess.

I wasn't totally won over by Percy Jackson And The Lighting Thief. Sure, it does have some good special effects, I like Greek mythology so that's a win and some funny moments. Other than that, it falls down flat with a mixture of stars that really shouldn't be in this. I couldn't really warm to any of the characters, maybe I wasn't in the right mood of watching it but it seemed boring to me. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 11:48, 12 July 2010 | Report This Post


Entertaining, I Guess.

I wasn't totally won over by Percy Jackson And The Lighting Thief. Sure, it does have some good special effects, I like Greek mythology so that's a win and some funny moments. Other than that, it falls down flat with a mixture of stars that really shouldn't be in this. I couldn't really warm to any of the characters, maybe I wasn't in the right mood of watching it but it seemed boring to me. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by joanna likes films at 11:48, 12 July 2010 | Report This Post


RE: read the book columbus

L: Qwerty Norris It's a credit to Chris Columbus he's managed to create a piece of mild entertainment out of a script that is so brain-numbingly stupid it leaves you with a sore head. A film with countless plotholes, laughable product placement (combat forces of darkness with a bloody I-phone!!! )and a complete massacring of Ancient Greek mythology – centred around a hugely unlikable protagonist in the shape of the son of Poseidon (Logan Lermon – a poor man's Zac Efron). I don't know what ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by robwillphill at 11:40, 23 March 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Percy Jackson & The Lightening Thief

It is okay, never read read the book and I suspect the books have a lot more depth. The filmed whizzed along too quickly, leaving a hectic plot (with loads of holes) little character and some cool design and mythology. More eragon than Harry potter. Still entertaining enough, just, 5/10 ... More

Posted by genejoke at 19:56, 20 March 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Percy Jackson & The Lightening Thief

yeah the mytholgy is great and like how it was done but can't ignore the things about what's good in the book being changed and left out. ... More

Posted by anakin solo at 22:48, 10 March 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Percy Jackson & The Lightening Thief

You are clearly a purist of the book Anakin Solo which is fair enough. If I had read the book and loved it I would probably be upset with his changes and ommisions too. However as someone who has only seen the film I thought it was good fun trying to do with Greek mytholgy what the Harry Potter books have with wizards and witches having a training camp as opposed to Hogwarts (unless these bokks came out first?) etc. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Cruisecontroller at 15:03, 10 March 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Percy Jackson & The Lightening Thief

That was good but the point is that columbus ruined it and their is no way i'm adding this film to my dvd collection. ion. ... More

Posted by anakin solo at 23:16, 08 March 2010 | Report This Post


RE: Percy Jackson & The Lightening Thief

Okay I haven`t read the books so I don`t know if this is a fair competent film version or not of them but having seen the film I have to say it was exciting and visually stunning fun. The cgi was amazing (honestly you could almost beleive Pierce Bronson was half horse! if the gods were going to be anywhere it wouldn`t be above the clouds of the Empire State Building it would be Athens but that aside having demi gods in the present day with a training camp was a fun idea. I`m sure Clash of The T... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Cruisecontroller at 15:17, 08 March 2010 | Report This Post


Book fans lock and load as another classic novel is destroyed by Hollywood. Looking at this film you may think that it will be a nice family day out enjoyed by all...well your wrong. Not only has Chris Columbus decided to skip over the important part of any film and read the core text, but decided to burn it on the hearth and fill his film with a bunch of wooden and uninteresting actors. For starters Grover is a shy nerdy coward who was able to overcome his fears to support his friends. He is no... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by RanDom1 at 22:32, 07 March 2010 | Report This Post


Book fans lock and load as another classic novel is destroyed by Hollywood. Looking at this film you may think that it will be a nice family day out enjoyed by all...well your wrong. Not only has Chris Columbus decided to skip over the important part of any film and read the core text, but decided to burn it on the hearth and fill his film with a bunch of wooden and uninteresting actors. For starters Grover is a shy nerdy coward who was able to overcome his fears to support his friends. He is no... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by RanDom1 at 22:32, 07 March 2010 | Report This Post


RE: read the book columbus

It's a credit to Chris Columbus he's managed to create a piece of mild entertainment out of a script that is so brain-numbingly stupid it leaves you with a sore head. A film with countless plotholes, laughable product placement (combat forces of darkness with a bloody I-phone!!! )and a complete massacring of Ancient Greek mythology – centred around a hugely unlikable protagonist in the shape of the son of Poseidon (Logan Lermon – a poor man's Zac Efron). I don't know what Helen O'Hara was... More

Posted by Qwerty Norris at 22:34, 06 March 2010 | Report This Post


RE: read the book columbus

Some bits of this film were great while others were not so great, first the great. 1 pierce brosnan as an centaur 2 most of the mythology creatures were well done 3 the three main characters had great chemistry and worked well together 4 it was great that sean bean was in a film that he didn't die. 5 the scene in the casino the bad 1 the fight scene at the end 2 kevin mckidd as poseidon when did that happen in the book 3 the fact he's at the training camp a day, before ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by anakin solo at 22:32, 06 March 2010 | Report This Post


read the book columbus

I am seriously shocked that Empire gave this anything above one star. The movie was useless. Why is it that Chris Columbus manages to destroy every book adaptation that he has ever made? (eg Harry Potter 1 & 2) The story is completely different to the book, which makes me wonder if he even READ the book before making this movie? Any fan of the book knows what I am talking about, and the saddest thing is that people will now judge the books by this terribly manafactured book. Granted th... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by poiromaniax at 13:30, 02 March 2010 | Report This Post


ABSOLUTLY AMAZING! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Jennyyy at 13:19, 23 February 2010 | Report This Post


Entertaining, but that's about it. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by nc_jj at 01:16, 16 February 2010 | Report This Post


This is a bad bad film.

The Empire review seems to be quite lenient, but Percy Jackson is simply a bad film with CGI that give it 2 stars. The script is poorly written, and indeed ridiculous (driving around America in a matter of hours? Methinks not!). It's racist by reducing the only 2 non-white characters to racial stereotypes. But the real crime is bastardization of Greek myths and legends, relocating EVERYTHING to America. Bad, bad film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Taggart at 02:09, 15 February 2010 | Report This Post


Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

I think I would have enjoyed this better if I were about 11 years old, so if your older dont bother. The plot does race by and anyone who is mature will pretty much be able to spot the bad guy from a million miles away. Compared to Harry Potter it isnt really as rich an experience. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bighousewill at 17:23, 13 February 2010 | Report This Post


Greek mythology mistake

Poseidon didn't rape Medusa. They were having an affair and made love in Athena's temple. Athena was so offended that she turned Medusa into snake hair. Athena also helped Perseus kill Medusa. Sort it out Empire! ... More

Posted by HIM at 14:46, 13 February 2010 | Report This Post


RE: hmm

L: odddaze Keener is in this? Hmm, that slightly increases my interest, but if there is a want for this to be the new Harry Potter, then why release it in Feb? Surely if there was more confidence in the pic it would be a summer release. hey wanted to get it out before Clash of the Titans. They, rightfully, thought that two Greek mythological films would be too much... ... More

Posted by Timon at 09:51, 09 February 2010 | Report This Post


RE: hmm

Hmm, director of Harry Potter And The Philospher's Stone directing another adolecent fantasy about 'something somthing' and the 'something something'. Hmmm. ... More

Posted by Tank Boy at 04:12, 09 February 2010 | Report This Post


hmm

Keener is in this? Hmm, that slightly increases my interest, but if there is a want for this to be the new Harry Potter, then why release it in Feb? Surely if there was more confidence in the pic it would be a summer release. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by odddaze at 20:11, 08 February 2010 | Report This Post


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