Reviewed by Victor Rebikoff.
Director: Chris Columbus, 20th Century Fox, M 118 Minutes.
Against a modern mythological setting comes this entertaining family fantasy from ‘Home Alone’ director Chris Columbus who has fashioned a fascinating storyline around teenager Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman – ‘Fury’) a descendant of a Greek god, in fact Poseidon’s son.
Based on Rick Riordan’s popular novels ‘The Lightning Thief’ is the first in the Percy Jackson series in which Zeus (Sean Bean – ‘Jupiter Ascending’) as the ruler of the gods accuses Percy (Poseidon’s son) of stealing his lightning bolt.
In order to avoid a war amongst the gods Zeus tells Poseidon (Kevin McKidd – ‘The Last Legion’) that his son has only fourteen days to have his precious rod returned to him.
Meanwhile Percy is unaware of either the lightning bolt theft or even being a demigod until it is revealed to him by his physically handicapped best friend and protector Grover (Brandon Jackson – ‘Tropic Thunder’) during their visit to a museum.
To ensure his safety Percy is taken to a camp full of demigods accompanied by Grover and his mother Sally (Catherine Keener – ‘Trust’) where he again meets his teacher Mr Brunner (Pierce Brosnan – ‘Survivor’) -aka Chiron a half horse half man Centaur.
At the camp Percy is smitten by the daughter of Athena, the sword-wielding Annabeth (Alexandra Daddari – ‘Hall Pass’) before seeing his mother being attacked by a Minotaur and disappearing within an instant.
On learning that his mother has been taken to the Underworld presided by Hades (Steve Coogan – ‘Philomena’) Percy does not waste any time in travelling there together with Annabeth and Grover to save her and retrieve the lightning rod.
Along the way they confront many obstacles the most dangerous being their encounter with the malevolent Medusa (Uma Thurman – ‘Motherhood’) prior to entering Hades’ kingdom to save his mother and returning to Olympus to hand back Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt.
Although targeting a teenage audience Columbus has also ensured his family fantasy is enjoyed by everyone having incorporated a Greek mythology theme into his storyline including many action-orientated scenes through his brand of special effects.
Besides bringing together a great cast the movie’s major highlights are Percy’s encounter with Medusa-magnificently portrayed by the terrific Thurman with her tantalising CGI snakes adorning her head-and his meeting with the Olympian gods.
Percy Jackson and The Olympians-The Lightning Thief is showing on Channel 7flix at 7.00PM on Saturday 13 June
Vic’s Verdict: 3 ½ Stars