Most people would agree the movie was pretty bad. There were some fatal flaws that sent even the son of the sea god sinking to the bottom of the ocean. There was that whole thing with Kronos (or, rather, lack thereof). And don’t even mention Annabeth unless you want to see the fandom brandishing their swords.
I’m one of the few people that actually enjoyed the movie. The Harry Potter franchise taught me a long time ago that the books and the films are two separate entities, ones that you simply can’t compare. The movies aren’t supposed to be a word-for-word translation of the novels (as awesome as that would probably be), but an adaptation that takes what’s in the book and makes it look good on screen. Certain things need to be cut in order to make the movie work, and that’s often why die-hard fans have trouble accepting the films.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief had mixed reviews from critics and fans alike. But, believe it or not, it did do a few things right.
The book series was targeted toward middle grade students. I’m 23. While it’s all fine and dandy to read about a 12-year-old watch a Chihuahua turn into a Chimera, would we really want to see that on film? Probably not.
Instead, the film makers made the wise choice to age Percy a little bit. Enter Logan Lerman. He’s 17 in the adaptation and suddenly the plot seems a little more realistic, the characters a little more relatable. Now older audience members can enjoy the story without feeling like they’re watching a children’s movie.
Okay, so maybe Percy wasn’t the one to bring the onslaught of Greek mythology movies into the theatres, but he definitely added his unique imprint on the classic tales.
Since The Lightning Thief, we’ve seen Immortals, Clash of the Titans, and Wrath of the Titans. There’s even a rumored Hercules movie slated for 2013. These stories are classics for a reason, and Percy Jackson helps to perpetuate the lore. Even better than that, Riordan’s books and the film that followed have exposed a younger generation to these stories.
It sounds a little strange, but think about it. Most fans would agree that they royally messed up the first film. But now the producers know what they did wrong! Now they know what mistakes not to make when they film the second movie.
Take The Hunger Games, for instance. That movie was a success all across the board – critics, fans, and general movie-goers loved it. But what about the second movie, especially with the change in directors?
Will Francis Lawrence suddenly decide to be artistic and want to put his own spin on the story (hello, Alfonso Cuarón and the Prisoner of Azkaban) or will he stay true the previous film and try to repeat the same box-office success? The verdict is still out.
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters doesn’t have that problem. It is, in fact, in a much better position. I mean, it can only go up from here, right?
I don’t care whether or not the movie was a success – it still created more buzz about the books. There are plenty of traditionalists out there who saw the trailer, became interested in the movie, and picked up the book with the intention of reading it before they saw the film.
Let’s face it, movie marketing reaches a much wider audience than book marketing. It allowed those who might not be actively searching for new books to hear about this series and decide to give it a go. In the end, that’s the only reason it really matters to me.
With that said, the number one reason why The Lightning Thief wasn’t a waste of time was because of the sequel. We’re getting another movie, right? Fox 2000 Pictures is giving itself an opportunity to redeem the franchise.
Maybe I’m a little naïve. Maybe I’m a little too hopeful. But maybe…just maybe they can turn this movie into what it should have been in the first place.
Don’t forget to check out this post by our own Sonya Bennett-Brandt where she discusses the important things the writers left out of the first movie and what we hope to see in the second one!