Writer: Lai Swee WeiWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“The Chronicles Of Narnia”, “Harry Potter”, “Hercules”
From the director of the first two "Harry Potter" films, Chris Columbus takes on another book-to-screen adaptation with The Lightning Thief, Rick Riordan's first novel in the Percy Jackson & The Olympians series. He knows how to take up a challenge by throwing in a cast of unknown young actors, some recognised Hollywood names among the supporting cast and equips himself with a bag full of special effects. This could be the next best thing for fantasy flick lovers (mainly teens) as Harry Potter is terribly overrated. So, move over Radcliffe, Grint and Watson as Columbus brings a new trio into the limelight, Logan Lerman ("3:10 to Yuma"), Brandon T. Jackson ("Tropic Thunder"), and Alexandra Daddario ("Bereavement").
Hauling in Greek Mythology, our lead character Percy (Lerman), son of Poseidon, discovers that he is a demi-god (half mortal, half God). He's best friends with Grover, Percy's protector and a satyr (half man, half goat - not donkey) and soon they befriend Annabeth, a warrior and daughter of the goddess Athena through a special school called Camp Half Blood (Oh boy, can't Riordan get creative with the name?). When Percy is accused of stealing Zeus' lightning bolt and his mother goes missing, Percy realises and that he and his friends must go on a quest to find the real lightning thief.
Columbus injected plenty of comedic dialogues and scenes in this one, intertwining with the captivating moments with their strange encounters such as the snake haired Medusa, God of the Underworld Hades, minotaur, hydra (many-headed serpent, seemingly like the three headed dogs in "Harry Potter & The Sorcerer's Stone"), and a few others. The way these Greek Gods are placed in the contemporary American places are simply hilarious, merging ancient myths and the modern world. They journeyed to the casino in Las Vegas and who would've thought Hades lived right below the - well, you'll see.
Speaking of Hades, Columbus did a magnificent job at bringing Hell to life. The special effects were stunning, fiery as the depths of Mount Doom in "The Lord Of The Rings" and as magical as, well, "Harry Potter", what else? The battle sequences were average, considering they are in fact young actors. However, Daddario wasn't too shabby executing her moves like a junior Xena warrior princess. Uma Thurman's role was considerably small, yet decent as Medusa together with other well-known stars like Pierce Brosnan as Percy's centaur guardian and Sean Bean as the almighty Zeus. However, the god that left an impression was indeed Hades played by British actor Steve Coogan, who gave Hades a more rock 'n' roll persona with his torn outfit and laid-back attitude.
This film is suited for all to enjoy, so let's hope the second film, "The Sea of Monsters" won't be a disappointing one.Cinema Online, 09 February 2010