It was opening day yesterday for the latest commercial jackpot kids’ adventure movie, Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. Sounds like a good family night out, right? Get the kids out of the house for a while in the midst of a winter that’s been harsher than usual. So I took my son, niece and nephew to see The Lightning Thief after a nice dinner out.
Without question, the only enjoyable moment of this theatrical experience was the pre-movie commercial asking theater patrons to quiet there cell phones. “It takes a lot of phone calls to make a movie… and only one to spoil it.” Or something like that.
The movie was just bad – a weak regurgitation of the Harry Potter concept that fails on the big screen, as well as in print. Apparently Zac Efron wasn’t available for the role, so they tracked down some kid who – after enough time in the make-up trailer – could be made to look like Efron’s twin, obnoxiously forward-combed hair and all. The story has the promise of an alluring fantasy adventure – mythical Greek gods, their ties to our world and the threat of an Earthly and epic battle between the gods. But the storyline is so rushed on the big screen, the result is instead an incongruous string of scenes dominated by a bad script and mediocre acting.
To top it off, the “minds” behind the movie – in the fashion of true Hollywood liberalism – inject their political opinions into a story that had none in print. It’s common that a book be altered to some degree in the process of morphing it into a screenplay. But this addition to the script was so blatant in its adoration of President Barack Obama, and so irrelevant to the story, that it’s injection into the movie left me scratching my head – and was the final straw in my decision to completely write off this movie as worthwhile entertainment.
Percy Jackson learns early in the movie that he is a demigod – the half-man, half-god son of Poseidon. Percy’s earthly protector – the half-man, half-goat satyr – explains to Percy that demigods are every where and at all levels of power in society - including the White House.
Just to be sure this wasn’t, in fact, the opinion of the author written into the book, I bought the book (electronic version) and did a text search. Nope. No mention of demigods in the White House. Nice job Hollywood. Subtle. There’s a chance I’m jumping to the wrong conclusion here – but it wasn’t much of a jump. More like a long stride, given Hollywood’s gushing affection for Obama.
(Okay – there was one positive aspect to the movie – Sean Bean clad in Greek gladiator-style attire. But that seemed like a base and trivial observation.)