PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTENING THIEF. Film adaptation. (Directed by Chris Columbus. Starring Logan Lerhman. Based on the novels by Rick Riorden)
GENRE: Action / Adventure
REVIEW: The film adaptation of Rick Riorden’s best-selling series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, moves at an efficient pace while maintaining the essence of what makes the books so appealing – Percy’s struggle to manage himself in the wider world. Lehrman plays Percy, demigod and son of Poseiden, with modern flair, mixing enough defiance into Percy’s geekiness to make him an appealing underdog with plenty of fight. Grover, his satyr "protector", grounds Percy’s quest in contextual gravity while providing comic relief, while Annabeth, the battle-ready daughter of Athena is a nice foil for Percy, who is literally dropped into his new reality when a Fury accosts him. Upon learning of his true heritage, Percy rises to the challenge and proves himself to be a natural hero with what seems to be, at times, convenient ease.
OPINION: The emotional core of Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief rang hollow at times and it lacks the world-building creativity of other series adaptations, but it is still a satisfying ride that will no doubt appeal to fans of the books.
IDEAS: A strong addition to any unit on Greek mythology or hero quests. Show the film and talk about parallels between Percy’s quest and the mythological quests it draws from (Odysseus and the lotus-eaters, Perseus and Medusa, Orpheus in Hades, etc.). There is also an inherent appeal for kids with dyslexia and ADHD as Percy struggles with these conditions before discovering that he is a hero.