The Legend of Percy Jackson

Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief opens in theaters today. Last night at 11:00 I went upstair to wake my 11 year old son and 9 year old daughter to take them to the midnight showing (SURPRISE! They were already awake and dressed). The three of us have read all of the books in the series, but were curious about the film adaptation based on the movies trailer seen in the video below.

The movie was great. I would recommend going to see it. My 9 year old jumped a bit at the monsters, but it was rated PG so they didn’t have any gore. After reading the books and knowing the characters, the movie felt a bit rushed, and the plot-line from the books just wasn’t the same. Here’s the thing, you can’t really pack 375 pages into a 2 hour movie.

Chris Columbus the director of the Harry Potter movies took the helm on this project and sifted through all those pages and distilled them down to a 120 page movie script. To do that, he took elements of the original story and repurposed them for HIS story. Some things were left out, and some things were added. Don’t spend too much time thinking about the color of Anabeth’s hair or the type of pen that Percy has because there are much bigger issues to think about. Disney has bought the rights to the property, but that doesn’t mean that they have to make a carbon copy of the book. Interestingly enough, if they did make a 100% faithful film version of the book, the fans would probably pick out all of the little details that they left out. I may have been easier to just make a new version.

As the heroic tale is re-told throughout time, it tends to adapt and change and become a different story than the way it started. So, in my opinion, this movie is a re-telling of the book, it is not the book. It’s the Legend of Percy Jackson. I enjoyed the book enough to go see the movie, but I wasn’t so married to the book that I couldn’t enjoy the film adaptation.

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2 Responses

  1. natalie says:

    my friend has been trying to convince me to read the books since before we knew the movie was being made. but i have to be honest that i wasn’t really that interested UNTIL i saw the preview for the movie…at another movie. then i was interested. i just finished reading the first one about a week ago. i loved it! had to go buy the rest of them. but i could also tell from the movie trailer that it doesn’t really follow the book. so i’m already preped for that. the husband is taking me on a date tonight and we will be seeing this movie. i can’t wait!

    i have to also admit that i am a little like your children….it has made me want to know more about mythology as well. :)

  2. Chris says:

    I took my 10yo daughter and she liked it, and I might have, had I not read the books first. It bothered me that it really didn’t setup to allow for further movies. No Khronos, no Mr. D, No Ares or Clarisse. It was a well written book that I think easily could have kept true to the story, yet still been a great movie with good pacing (I loved the pacing of the books). I was excited that Chris Columbus was directing it, because of how true he stayed to the Harry Potter books. Would it really have been so hard to get 12-13yo kids to do the movie true and setup the whole rest of the series? As far as being a good movie it was, nice effects, funny and entertaining, but why do so many directors need to make the movie be thier movie? The only time that has worked is Bourne Identity, which is a great series of books, really good movies, but the books are dated, and the movies were well done. Eragon was ruined, horribly. Lord of the Rings stayed pretty close, and is AMAZING. Percy Jackson couldn’t have done the same thing.
    That being said, I think that Harry Potter should be a television series, with every chapter being an episode. I think it could work, you’d have 7 years of amazing TV.

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