Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief (PG)

Film image

The ViewBirmingham Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner15/02/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 119 mins

Enjoyable, nicely paced family adventure with likeable characters, a strong central premise and some decent set-pieces, though the plot's a little hazy in places and the humour doesn't always work.

What's it all about?
Directed by Chris Columbus, Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief is based on the series of books by Rick Riordan and clearly has an eye on becoming the next Harry Potter-style franchise. Logan Lerman stars as Percy Jackson, a New York teenager who discovers that he's the son of Poseidon (Kevin McKidd) and that his best friend, Grover (Brandon T. Jackson) is actually his satyr protector, complete with goat's legs.

When Percy's uncle Zeus (Sean Bean) suspects him of stealing his lightning bolt, Percy receives a quick bit of instruction in demigoddery from professor-slash-centaur Chiron (Pierce Brosnan) and teams up with Grover and fellow demigod Annabeth (Alexandra Daddario) to track down the real lightning thief and return the bolt before it causes a meteorological catastrophe on Earth. Along the way, the trio encounter various figures from Greek mythology, including Harpies, a Minotaur, Medusa (Uma Thurman), the Hydra, a Vegas casino full of hedonistic lotus-eaters, Persephone (Rosario Dawson) and Percy's other uncle, Hades (Steve Coogan).

The Good
Lerman makes a charismatic and appealing lead, while Daddario is feistier than the usual love interest and Jackson nabs most of the good lines as the comic relief. There's also strong support from Uma Thurman (her Medusa is terrific), Catherine Keener (as Percy's mother) and Rosario Dawson, while Steve Coogan is very funny in his only scene as Hades (well, his only scene in human form).

The effects are impressive (although you'll be hard pressed not to chuckle at Brosnan as a centaur) and the set-pieces are exciting, with Columbus maintaining a decent pace throughout, keeping the characters moving swiftly from one adventure to the next.

The Bad
In fact, it all moves so quickly that you don't notice some of the dodgier plot moments, such as why Percy is a suspect in the first place if he doesn't know he's a demigod or exactly why the lightning rod is so important. It's also fair to say that, Coogan's scene aside, the script's not quite as funny as the film thinks it is.

Worth seeing?
Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief is an entertaining, well made family adventure with a strong central premise that has a lot of franchise potential. Worth seeing.

Film Trailer

Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief (PG)
Be the first to review Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief...
image
01 Focus (15)

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro

image
02 Selma (12A)

David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth

image
03 Far from the Madding Crowd (tbc)

Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaert...

image
04 Chappie (tbc)

Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley

image
05 A Most Violent Year (15)

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

Content updated: 15/12/2017 23:44

Latest Film Reviews

Film Blog

Urban Pundit

Keep up to date with everything in film and cinema at Urban Pundit, the exciting new blog.

Film of the Week

The Conjuring (15)

Hugely enjoyable, genuinely scary horror flick that provides a welcome throwback to classic 1970s chillers, thanks to impeccable production design, a superb script, powerfully atmospheric direction, intense set-pieces and terrific performances.

Latest Close Up

Noah Baumbach Interview

The Frances Ha director discusses co-writing the script with Greta Gerwig, shooting against the backdrop of New York and the real lives of the city’s people, Greta Gerwig’s performance, the music in the film and the picture's visual style.