(Percy Jackson &) The Lightning Thief
I recently just finished reading The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, and for a book written primarily for middle-school aged boys, I can honestly say, that as twenty-year-old female, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
So, here’s the thing: As I know I have mentioned before, I’m the kind of girl who always, always, ALWAYS reads a book before I see the movie, but I broke my rule, not intentionally though. While I was home over Christmas break, Percy Jackson & The Lightning Thief (the movie) premiered on Cartoon Network. I didn’t plan on watching it, but 1. I only have basic cable in my room; 2. Not much else was on; and 3. Logan Lerman is SUCH a cutie! But that’s not the point. I watched the movie before reading the book, but that’s because I wasn’t, at that time, actually planning on reading the books. It was just by chance that I went into the local bookstore, and they had the whole PJ series. (I ended up getting the first three books for $5.83 – used, of course).
What’s the verdict?
Having seen the movie first (and I guess I should say that I didn’t see the whole movie), I liked it. I wasn’t critical of it because I didn’t know what to look for or what shouldn’t have been there, so while the movie left much out and changed some things around, I think it got the story across pretty well:
Percy goes to the museum with his wheelchaired god of a teacher. Grover is there. Mrs. Dodds attacked him. (I watched the trailer and that thing was FREAKY.) Idk how he ends up at Half-Blood Hill/Camp Half-Blood, but he got there. Annabeth was a brunette (though she’ll be blond in The Sea of Monsters, and I guess I should mention that all the actors were older). There was the whole capture the flag game, but I’m pretty sure no Clarisse (though, she’ll be in the sequel but not quite as scary). I believe Ares was left out of the entire plot, and when reading the book, I almost thought that the whole Luke thing (with him stealing the bolt) wasn’t even in the book (but you’ve gotta read to the very end).
Some distinct differences that I noticed:
1. Uma Thurman playing Medusa. The book described her as more of a middle eastern looking woman, which is not UT. At all. Idk how or even if Medusa was physically described pre-Gorgon, and I can’t imagine what she may have looked like.
2. The kids had to find the magic transportation pearls instead of just getting them from the sea lady/naiad messenger woman.
3. The whole hydra at Athena’s temple thing (I think . . . it may have been elsewhere). I don’t really know what that was all about. I know the magic pearl was in Athena’s headband, but the hydra was just . . . And Percy used the shoes Luke gave him to get the pearl, but they didn’t have the same purpose as in the book because, boom: no mention of Kronos at all. No Tartarus either, but the rising of Kronos is apparently the main focus of the next movie (and the whole book series).
I may be not remembering things correctly, but it hasn’t been that long since I’ve seen the movie . . .
4. The fight between Luke and Percy on the Empire State Building was kinda corny. The graphics weren’t that great either.
5. Kevin McKidd as Poseidon? No lie, I wasn’t upset because K. McKidd is one sexy mother hubbard, but that didn’t make much sense to me. Sean Bean as Zeus . . . The gods were all portrayed in the movie as youngish–well maybe more middle-aged–but I imagined Zeus more like a young version of President Snow, yes from The Hunger Games (Donald Sutherland). However, more times than not, when I imagine a character in my head, I’m usually wrong. However, when Percy does go to Olympus in the movie, all the gods are there, but only Zeus and Poseidon are there in the book. And they were all wearing togas (way to be stereotypical) instead of Zeus being dressed like the CEO of some Fortune 500 company and Poseidon dressed like a fisherman.
But all-in-all, the movie was enjoyable– pre-reading the book. I’ll probably go see The Sea of Monsters if I have the chance. I enjoyed the book. I can’t wait to dive into the next one, but I don’t know if I’ll watch a movie before reading the book again. There were a lot of things that were spoiled, but there was also a lot that the movie didn’t portray which made reading the book still somewhat of an adventure. So, if you’re looking for a quick read and like Greek mythology, I give two thumbs up!