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Too many changes
on 2 April 2013
A review by Kieran my 13 year old son;
I have been reading the Percy Jackson series for some time so when I decided to try the film I was quite excited. I was to be disappointed.
Bad Points: I'm guessing that this list is going to be longer than the good points list (most bad points are just things that I thought were needlessly changed from the original book).
So first is the age of the actors, Chris Columbus was the director of the first in the Harry Potter series, the Philosophers/Sorcerer's stone. I like this film and despite many critics saying that he did not make enough changes from the books it was generally well scored. The actors in Harry Potter were perfect; they grew up as the films grew up. Why is this anything to do with Percy Jackson? In the books Percy is 12, the actor, Logan Lerman, is 17 (at the time of filming). Big problems already, Chris Columbus obviously thought...something. It was probably to do with acting ability. If the Percy Jackson & the Olympians were to become popular enough to have lots of films in the series then there would be huge problems. The actors would get too old and they would need to find new ones. Percy isn't even the worst! Grover (12-13 in the book) is 25 in the film!
Next is the school, Yancy Academy, the first school in the series that Percy goes to. I was pleased that the author of the book, Rick Riordon, didn't go with the classic look of making American Schools look horrible, sure, he puts in the occasional Bully but not all that over the top stuff that lots of people add into books or films. Watching the film however is different. You are immediately greeted as Percy and Grover walk into the school by two boys attacking each other. Percy and Grover then start grumbling about how badly they hate High School, stating how terrible it is. I don't come from the U.S.A or even America so I don't have that experience; I bet most people who are from there don't either.
I'm sorry to say that the worst is yet to come. The changes that are made through the transition between book and film are very important, they are usually due to shortening the story to just two hours long. But Chris Columbus seems to have changed whole scenes, settings and characters so I have made a nice list (WARNING: spoilers).
1. Percy Jackson learns his skills too quickly (the first time you see him he is showing them off).
2. He uses his sword to take down a Minotaur in less than a minute, there is nowhere near as much drama as there is in the book, it's like watching someone play a video game on "very easy" or "novice".
3. Camp Half-blood is in a forest, not a valley.
4. Annabeth is a horrible Bully who likes nothing more than to hurt and injure people while being especially arrogant. For those who have not read the book that is a girl called Clarisse's job, Annabeth is meant to be a very nice person who nursed Percy back to health. This is very important as Annabeth turns out to be a very important character in the book.
5. It seems that the cabin idea in CAMP Half-Blood has been ditched and instead Percy gets a huge floating mansion, he doesn't get claimed either. Another part of the story missing.
I could probably go further in this section but sadly I could only watch the film for 30 minutes before I had to turn it off. I have never had to done this before.
Good Points: It's a great time to now add the small amount of good points. These pushed the film up from a one star review to a two star review for me.
Gabe Ugliano and Sally's characters were pictured perfectly and there ages weren't ludicrously different to the book like some of the others. They were different to how I thought of them but I don't mind since they were done so well. Chiron was OK too.
However my main good point is that Percy Jackson & the Olympians: the Lightning Thief actually has lots of action and amazing special effects. For someone who has not read the book (otherwise the changes will irritate you) and loves a good action film this is great. It's just a shame that it's lost so much of the books brilliant storyline.