So when Percy Jackson came out I was actually very excited, it looked like a clever idea, looked fun and the CGI looked great. Plus I love movies that have lots of actors I know and this movie was overflowing with movie actors and TV actors that I know. Like Logan Lerman who was in my sisters favourite series Jack and Bobby, and Stella from CSI: New York playing Athena and Dr Hunt from Grey’s Anatomy playing Poseidon, Sean Bean playing Zeus and Pierce Brosnan playing Chiron (yeh never saw Pierce Brosnan as a horsey guy), Rosario Dawson plays Persephone, Uma Thurman plays Medusa. And the chick playing Annabeth is gorgeous. So I got my friends together and we watched the evening showing and it was fun. I’m not saying I’m going to go out and buy all the merchandise ‘n stuff, but it was a good movie. Of course I did wish that there were movies like this when I was a little girl.
Percy Jackson the movie is actually an adaption of the book by Rick Riordan. I found a cheapie copy on take2.co.za (most awesome site for cheap books and DVD’s, it’s local and has a LARGE variety) and when I got it I settled down to read it. Apart from knowing who the lightening thief is because of the movie, I was quite shocked to discover that the book it HUGELY different to the movie. Ok, yes this happens a lot, but recently the book adaptations I have seen have been pretty faithful.
Mostly it’s the overall motives of the Lightening Thief, and Percy and his quest that differ from the book to the movie. And if they wanted to make Percy Jackson into a series of movies which is the trend in Hollywood at the moment like Harry Potter, Narnia, Twilight, Last Airbender, Lord of the Rings, they messed it up with Percy Jackson.
I shall explain why:
MINOR SPOILER WARNING:
The lightening thief did not steal only Zeus’s Thunderbolt! He stole other things from the Gods. He also had the assistance from another God. But ultimately the lightening thief serves someone older than the Olympian Gods! I speak in code so any of you who do Greek and Roman history might have guessed who this big bad really is! AND the Lightening thief gets away at the end of the first book. Now in the next four books the Lightening Thief is constantly going up against Percy and his friends.
Also, on Percy’s quest, there is no Hydra, and the pearls that help them escape the Underworld are a gift from Poseidon, and are also not the main reason they travelled all over the country, not to find the missing pearls.
In the book they go to all the different places because firstly they have to do a job for Ares the God of War, and then they have to go to the ocean to have a meeting with a messenger of Poseidon.
Persephone was not home when they went to visit Hades.
Percy fights Echidna and a Chimera (his interactions with Echidna are so funny and witty).
The scene where they fight Medusa is a chapter in the book, less than 10 pages, and super short!
Annabeth and Grover have a history together, and it’s full of death and sadness. This back story comes into major play in later books!
I really loved the writing style of Percy Jackson. It’s fast paced and extremely funny. It was very reminisce to the Maximum Ride books by James Patterson and the Mortal Instruments Trilogy by Cassandra Clare. (Both awesome authors check them out!) The only flaw is that it seems a lot of the time the reader is smarter than the main character, you figure out the threats before the main character does. Actually it’s most probably because I have a better knowledge of Greek mythology than the intended audience, and also because the book is aimed at 8-12 years olds. (Yes I can hear you laughing, I feel no shame, and it’s more interesting than adult fantasy which is about sex and politics!)
The sequel was a bit of a letdown. It reminded me of the second Pirates of the Caribbean movie, it was trying too hard to be action packed and funny, so comedy never felt natural and the action was a bit boring. But the good news is that the author got his groove back in the third book and it was a brilliant fast-paced, funny read. The Percy Jackson series is a fun read, and if the first movie had been done properly, a good movie franchise could follow. But I think I’ll stick to the books. Man I’m dying to start the fourth book.