Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

There are likely to be spoilers in this without perhaps me meaning to, so please read with caution if you have not a) read the book and/or b) seen the movie. Thank you.

All right, we’ve had these types of discussions before, over the Harry Potter films and their inability to properly follow the storyline of the book, and I understand still the idea that your movie is only based on the books, and that you’re allowed to take liberties, but I believe that with this newest installment of the whole ‘Based On’ argument, we’ll find just why I hate liberties.

Honestly, I just recently read the books, at least the ones I had on hand, and so when I heard about the movie I was incredibly happy– that being said, I had a qualm with the books in that they’re the oddest type I have ever read, because they start off strong, and dwindle towards the end so you’re willing to skip a few chapters just to see what happened, but I digress; the books were still quite amazing even in that.

They had that touch of Greek Mythology that you always want to see in books of that type, just hints at the reality of the mythos and peeks into the workings of its government and beasts. Honestly, when I first started watching the film within two minutes a huge red flag went up going, “DANGER, this is not the movie you want to see.” but still, I pressed on with hope.

Poseidon and Zeus’ meeting atop the Empire State Building was more or less just stupid, needless and set the theme for the rest of the movie. Yes, we get it, they think he stole the master bolt, but in the book they had no idea that Percy was that son of Poseidon, nor did Poseidon ‘build a cabin just for him’. Honestly, the entire thing made me want to stab someone in the face, because they took some of the most important points and raped them– it’s harsh, but it’s reality.

Percy’s fight with Annabeth during capture the flag, which was meant to be a fight between him and /someone else entirely/ was completely ridiculous– the fact that it sets a weird tone for his and Annabeth’s relationship is beyond the point when the whole point of that fight was showing that Poseidon was going to claim him– he didn’t know creeping towards the water would ‘heal’ him, he fell in a puddle and Poseidon was basically like “Fine, that’s it. Kick his ass, son.” and then he got claimed.

The LUKE STORYLINE, oh dear god do not even get me started on that as he a) lacked his scar, b) had his own cabin full of technology instead of just, you know, a cabin with a bunch of other kids from camp, his father’s and otherwise, and c) was just utterly ridiculous and unbelievable. They butchered the underlying storyline of how Luke hated the Gods, yes, they pointed that out, but the entire thing was that he was working to try and overthrow the Gods by bringing back Kronos. He’d been corrupted and had decided to help the Titan return to the world and wreak havoc.

Oh, did I mention Kronos isn’t even mentioned? They ruined the plausibility for follow-up stories unless they suddenly introduce Luke again going, “Oh, now I found this titan that I want to help, ‘kay?” No, no that’s not how it works. Annabeth never believed Luke was evil, even after he tried to kill Percy on his return to camp (which also didn’t happen in the damn movie).

Other things of note: They removed the scene where Ares shows up, Clarisse was not in it at all, they did not have the scene where they got Aphrodite’s scarf, the scene with the hotel was completely ridiculous and overdone and not at all as interesting as it was in the book, Percy Jackson looked like a fangirl’s dream of the 16-17 year old pretty boy instead of the 12-13 year old kid he was supposed to be, Annabeth didn’t look any older than him, Annabeth didn’t have her invisibility hat and had ‘never’ seen her mother somehow, Poseidon was the reason for the rule of Gods not being able to have (any) much contact with their children instead of the fact that the original treaty between the three brothers was so overpowered spawn didn’t affect the world as much, and… there’s just so many things they screwed up that I can’t get over it.

I went through this entire thing with the idea that if people had not read the books they’d be fine with the way the movie turned out, but anyone whose even skimmed the books will see some serious discrepancies with the story’s entire flow– that creating the problem that we’ve lost all thread of how the movies are going to go from here, if they even make sequel. You might think that’s a good thing as it’ll create fresh movies for us, something new to experience, but in the end we’ve lost interest in the story as a whole, or at least I have.

So utterly disappointed.

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