Thursday, June 16, 2011

Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Percy Jackson thinks he's just like any regular kid from New York. Sure he's got his problems like dyslexia and his inability to not get kicked out of school but he's surviving. Well, at least until monsters start coming after him and his mom gets taken from him.

Then things start getting a little confusing with the fact that his best friend and his favorite teacher aren't who they appear to be. Not even Percy is who he thinks he is. He's a demi-god and the son of a yet unrevealed God from Olympus.

But with this new discovery and his arrival at camp Half-Blood (a place for others like Percy) comes the startling realization that not all is well on Mount Olympus. Something precious has been stolen and if it's not found by the summer solstice, there will be a war among the Gods.

I really enjoyed the book (even though I felt sort of embarrassed to be checking it out of the library). I really loved Percy as a character because even though he was a demi-god, the author, Rick Riordan, reminded you with little moments that hey, Percy's just a 12-year-old kid in an extraordinary situation. Also, it made Greek mythology a bit easier to grasp for me since I always confused Greek and Roman. I think the novel really breathed life into something that's been kept in a toga for forever and a day too long.

The film though entertaining was flawed and at times ridiculous. Does anyone remember that scene with Grover getting his hoof painted red at the Lotus Hotel in Vegas? Yeah, I'm trying to block that out too. I think there were a lot of missed opportunities with the film. Things they could have included that would have added to the whole story and made it stronger, were left out. And they withheld the whole twist of the story that set up the overarching problem of the series being that Kronos in the pit of Tarturus is planning something dastardly. I mean, Luke stealing the bolt because of his daddy issues was just too...stupid. They didn't even introduce Ares, the God of war, and he'd been a major player in the whole thing.

A nit picky situation for me was the fact that Persephone was even with Hades in the time of the film. It was summer. She should have been with her mother Demeter. For a film about Greek mythology, it doesn't look good when you get Greek mythology wrong. But I did enjoy Steve Coogan as Hades. He looked like a retired rock star of the Underworld. It was brilliant.

The film also really seemed to cheapen all its characters. I felt like I hardly got to know the Grover or Annabeth of the film. And the scene between Percy and his father was so short that it lost pretty much all meaning. It's supposed to be an important moment but instead it's just Percy being ridiculously defiant.

The film left so much to be desired so I'm hoping that it's sequel based on The Sea of Monsters, which is rumored to be in the works, will be stronger and better. Some hopeful news is that the writing has changed hands from Craig Titley to Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski (Agent Cody Banks and Man on the Moon ). Or maybe not since the information released recently suggests that they'll be borrowing material not only from The Sea of Monsters but from the other novels in the series.

Let's cross our fingers and pray to the Gods that the next film will still make Percy Jackson a hero.

Source: ONE and TWO

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