Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Movie: Percy Jackson & The Olympians - The Lightning Thief

Ouf. I was planning to write and put up this post yesterday, but work was busy and I was stupid. See, yesterday, I worked on the computer all day and didn't take much breaks... So at the end of the day, my eyes were very small (smaller than usual) and it's as if they were bleeding and plus, I had a headache. Ugh. See, stupid. I went home, ate supper, read a little, watch curling (it's the Tim Hortons' Brier :P) and fell asleep. Just couldn't sit at the computer...

However, I'm going to be way smarter this morning :) First, I'm going to start by writing up this post LOL. Then, I'm going to blog-hop :P Anyway, that's the plan...

Percy Jackson & The Olympians - The Lightning Thief

I rarely review movies, but since I did a whole "Percy Jackson & The Olympians" week and posted my thoughts on the cast and so on, I thought this was the last touch, right? :) And since the Vancouver Games were over, I finally had time to go see the movie with my sister :)

I tried to go see the movie with an open mind. I mean, the movie critics for The Lightning Thief weren't very good, I've read Isabel's post on the movie, talked to Christine... even my co-worker warned me. Seriously, I thought I was prepared... but in truth, nothing could have prepared me!

I'm a true believer that if you're going to adapt a book/story into a tv series or a movie, then it should be faithful. Otherwise, why don't you write an original screenplay?!?! Of course, I wasn't expecting them to adapt every details and I knew it wasn't going to be a faithful adaptation, but still... It really didn't stop me from being disappointed.

The biggest problem I have with this movie is I thought my co-worker was right, the director - Chris Columbus - really didn't put any efforts into this movie. I could feel it from all the aspects of the movie - story, acting, special effects, etc. I can accept some stuff being changed because it's hard to adapt it to the big screen - I may not like it, but I understand... but this is not what happened with The Lightning Thief. These weren't small changes he made for big screen adaptation. He changed the whole "essence" of the storyline... and for what?!? I guess I should be blaming the scriptwriter more, but then, the director has last word right?

The movie left out lots of important stuff such as the prophecy and Kronos which are pretty essential for setting up the next movies... Even Talia's tree. I mean, I didn't see it or at least, it didn't really stand out. So what are they going to try to save in The Sea of Monsters? Anyway, that's another story right? You cannot put every details into the movie, even if they are extremely important. Fine. DO YOU HAVE TO CHANGE THE CHARACTERS AS WELL?!?!? Grover's personality was just wrong, wrong, wrong. No offense, but in the book, Grover is a coward. Sure, it's more fun to see a self-confident Grover, but that's not who he is! He's also not a womanizer! And Hades! He didn't want war! Even Chiron at the end... "You're now my favorite student, because you disobeyed blablabla." WHAT? In the book, Chiron sent the three youngsters on the quest! Like I said, it's one thing to change details, but whole character's personalities? Instead of adding some stupid, "emotional" scenes that were made-up, they could have focused on adapting the book. How hard is it to reproduce the Half-Blood Camp when the author even drew a map?

Okay, I'm going to stop here, because my rant could go on and on and on. I'm just going to add this: they even got Luke and Hermes' cabin wrong. And that stupid "Zeus made a rule that gods could not be in contact with their kids"... Seriously? Well no wonder they had to take out Dionysus, cos hey, being camp director, he'd spend all his time with his own kids. Okay, I digress. So yeah, I had a lot of problems with the story itself... And the storyline really set the tone in my opinion. The transitions between one event and another wasn't great, which made the acting all awkward. There were some scenes were the actors seem so stiff... of course, some of their lines were extremely corny/cheesy, so not really easy to make it believable. I can't say I liked Percy, Annabeth or Grover... the whole attraction between Percy and Annabeth, it took away from the movie I think. Also, I thought Annabeth was a bit too ferocious. The final battle between Percy and Luke? Look very fake.

So yes, I'm very unhappy with The Lightning Thief and seriously, I cannot find many redeeming factors to it. At least to me. If I'd watch the movie simply for the movie, perhaps it would have been better. I would still have find the acting a bit stiff in some places, the transitions not very smooth... but perhaps I could have still enjoyed the movie for what it is, a movie. Unfortunately, I couldn't.  Watching The Lightning Thief just got me worked up... luckily, my sister was a very patient person and didn't hit me unconscious. I seriously recommend to everyone to read the books :)

By the way, the scene between Poseidon and Percy? OMG, so cheesy and corny. It sure didn't happen this way in the book and worst of all, is that Percy said something along the line of "If he'd apologize or say something as equally cheesy, it would have felt fake..." I don't have the book with me now, but I'll put the proper quote tonight. It just goes to show how wrong this adaptation is.

EDIT: Oups! I'm a few days late... I completely forgot to put up the quote, been riveted on curling :P No seriously, it just slipped out my mind and since my copy of The Lightning Thief was in my sis' room, it slipped out even further... But here is the quote:

I got the feeling Poseidon really didn't know what to think of me. He didn't know whether he was happy to have me as a son or not. In a strange way, I was glad that Poseidon was so distant. If he'd tried to apologize, or told me he loved me, or even smiled, it would've felt fake. Like a human dad making some lame excuse for not being around. I could live with that. After all, I wasn't sure about him yet, either.

Mind you, I'm not against cheesy scenes... but that last scene between Poseidon and Percy was exactly what Percy said would feel fake in this quote. And it felt fake to me too... However, the most important is that that it shows how clearly the scriptwriter and director just didn't get it...


  1. Oh gosh, Nath, didn't know you're so totally against the movie. You didn't sound that way over at our blog. LOL

    But that's ok. Maybe you didn't want to spoil my enjoyment (I did say I enjoyed the movie, didn't I?), and you're such a dear about it. Like I said, I'll pick up the book and let you know. :)

  2. Wow. lol. I guess you didn't like it.

    It's like they put a little of clarisse in Annabeth to make up not having clarisse in the movie. Oh well.

  3. omg they DID NOT leave out Dionysus!!!

    UGHughUGH!! Thanks for saving me from watching this movie...

    I LOVED the books and I am *this* close to writing a joint review...

    I am heartbroken..

  4. Silver - It's not I'm against the movie, it's simply I'm so disappointed ^_^;

    and LOL, you did enjoy the movie :) and I know you haven't read the book. Some people are able to put faithfulness aside, just not me ^_^;

    Isabel - Well I didn't hate it. I just think it could have been better if they followed the storyline!

    Yes, I guess about Annabeth... Sigh.

    Brahmin - Yes, they left out Dionysus. The books are much better.

    Looking forward to your reviews :)

  5. I know!!!!!! ARGH! I feel the same way about all of those things as well as about all of the things you held back on.

  6. Christine - I'm glad you agree with me, Christine! What did your daughter think?

  7. My daughter's first thoughts were that they left out a lot of things, but it was okay. Hours later, she started to really complain about incorrect and or missing content and was quite disgruntled. LOL. I'm sure she'll still want to see See of Monsters when it comes out, though. I guess I have at least until then to read the book! ;)

    Right now she's back to hounding err... encouraging me to finish the last Harry Potter book. That movie comes out sooner. She's got me on a schedule. :)

  8. Christine - LOL. At the end of the movie, there was a tween who told her mom: "They changed everything!!" and I was glad I wasn't the only one feeling that way :)

    As for Sea of Monsters, you have lots of time to read it. I think the movie is not coming out till 2012.