Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Percy Jackson and the Olympians - The Lightning Thief

Percy Jackson and the Olympians - The Lightning Thief must win some kind of award for having the longest movie title this year. And, for being long on title this film is a little short on imagination. Percy Jackson is the story of a teenager who discovers that the Greek gods are real and that Poseidon is his father. After Zeus accuses Jackson of staling his thunderbolt, Percy goes on an adventure to recover the stolen item and prevent a war between the gods.

I went to see this movie with my 25y/o daughter and the two of us were overwhelmed with how much the film wanted to be Harry Potter. There were obvious parallels between schools, characters and situations throughout the film. In fact, it became a joke between the two of us as we competed to identify each person of thing in this movie with their parallel in the Harry Potter universe. In all, that's not a very good testimony for a film. Nonetheless, we did find Percy to be a decent diversion for a Saturday afternoon. The special effects were good and the storyline wasn't horrible.

From a Christian perspective I didn't find a whole lot to speak of. Obviously, we're dealing with the Greek pantheon of gods and that mythology here. As so many of us have studied Greek mythology in grade school there's not much to say on that other than they're not real. There a couple of things to be said in reference to character statements in the film. Annabeth Chase is the daughter of Athena and immediately befriends Percy. At one point she says to him: "I definitely have strong feelings for you. I just haven't decided if they're positive or negative yet." This could be a statement made by any secular person in reference to God or the church. They seem to have strong feelings but it's never completely obvious whether those feelings are positive or negative. Near the end of the film Annabeth has grown close to Percy and we're led to believe that she might kiss him. Instead, she disarms him and says: "First rule of battle strategy. Don't ever let your opponent distract you." Good advice for Christians, especially those who have felt subject to spiritual attack. The adversary is always willing to distract you, always willing and trying to deceive you. As Christians it is always wise to be on our guard.

So if you enjoyed the Harry Potter films then there's probably something in Percy Jackson that you'll find interesting. If not, it's still not a bad diversion but you'd likely do better waiting for a DVD release.

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