Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Percy Jackson and the blah, blah, blah: Movie Review

Percy Jackson has a really long movie title that I just don’t feel like typing out. Needless to say, the title of the film matches the books title and neatly explains the plot of the movie. It is about Percy Jackson…there are some Olympians and someone has stolen lightning. For a little more clarification on the plot, the Olympians are not track stars or bobsledders, but the Greek Gods on Mount Olympus. Luckily they do not appear in this movie very often because the adults who portray them seem to think they are in some Greek tragedy and not in a PG rated kids flick. Luckily Percy (Logan Lerman), his very funny and cowardly sidekick Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) and warrior girl Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) have enough charm and sass to lighten up the tone a bit and save the film from the scowling Gods.

The movie is very much in the vein of Harry Potter without all the lovable character development. Percy just so happens to be related to one of the Greek Gods and therefore comes with some inherent baggage and daddy abandonment issues. Things get thrown into a tizzy when Zeus’s lightning bolt is stolen and Percy is pegged with the crime. If you can suspend your belief that “all knowing” Gods somehow don’t know that Percy has no clue who he is, then the movie is a fun romp through worlds, villains, monsters and mythology as Percy tries to clear his name. If plot holes and bad dialog bother you, then stay away from this film.

I happened to have a great time with this movie. I have not been able to decide if it is because it is the first non-chick-flick I have been able to watch in over a month, or that the filmmakers didn’t take themselves to seriously and honestly had a good time with it. Christopher Columbus has never been a great director but he has been lucky with franchises like Home Alone and Harry Potter. Percy Jackson follows a similar formula of rushing us from one adventure to the next, hopping from one plot contrivance to another with all the subtleness of a slap across the face.

The film also draws strength from its supporting cast. Valentines Day opened the same weekend (Thank heavens I didn’t have to sit through another chick flick) and had everybody in Hollywood as a part of that film. It seemed that whoever didn’t make it into Valentines Day (were they vacationing on Mars during the shoot or something) got cast in Percy Jackson. Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Catherine Keener, Steve Coogan, Rosario Dawson, and Uma Thurman all make appearances with the last three having delicious fun with the parts they’ve been given and going over the top to make the film entertaining.

The special effects are on par with the first Harry Potter film but its endearment is not. It’s the most fun that I have had this year at the movies so far, and is a much needed brainless breath of fresh air from all the contrived romances and tear jerker’s that have burned into the retinas of my eyes. It may not have the star power of Valentines Day or the magic of Harry Potter, but the sassy fun it does have…is done very well.

Final Consensus:
See it now!!!!
See it in theaters!!!
Rent it on DVD/BluRay!!

Wait for it on TV!
Don’t Bother

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