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Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief: Movie Review

Movieguide Magazine


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Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is neither a children’s movie nor an exciting fantasy. Instead, it is a somewhat silly reinvention of Greek mythology in contemporary America.

Plot Summary of Percy Jackson

Percy Jackson is having trouble at school, loves his mother, Sally, and hates his crude, abusive stepfather, Gabe. Quickly, his adolescent confusion is intensified when he discovers his real father is Poseidon, the Greek god, and that his uncle Zeus has accused Percy of stealing Zeus’ lightning bolt. If Percy doesn’t return it by June 21, there will be war in Olympus, with Zeus, Poseidon, and their brother, Hades, fighting each other, and destroying the world. These are the same three brothers who chopped up their cannibalistic father Chronos so they could be the ruling gods.

Percy finds out his best friend Grover is a satyr, who’s been protecting him all these years. He’s directed by his teacher to go a camp for demigods, the children of gods and human beings. After brief training, Percy teams up with Grover and Annabeth, the daughter of Athena, to rescue his mother from the clutches of Hades and perhaps return the lightning bolt, which he did not steal.

Percy Jackson: Good or Bad Movie?

Percy Jackson & The Olympians has some commendable dramatic elements. It is a well-paced story. The action is emotional. And, the storyline delivers on its premise. There are also moments in the movie that are well executed. However, there are also dramatic problems that make the movie feel like a B movie. There are some serious logical flaws and plot holes. Plot problems are solved several times by Deus Ex Machina, which may have worked in Greek theater, but distract from the storyline. The setting in New York seems highly incredible, and some of the acting is foolish. And, the music does not fit the movie.

Percy Jackson and Morals

There are some very questionable moral elements in Percy Jackson & The Olympians. Grover is a satyr, with legs like a goat’s. His proclivity to sex and orgies is mentioned several times. There are also groups of women such as nymphs, the Lotus Eaters, and the daughters of Aphrodite who are on the prowl, not to mention Persephone who trolls for lovers although she’s married to Hades. Of course, the movie’s premise is that the gods come down and have illicit affairs with human beings. There are also several items stolen without any remorse, such as winged shoes, pearls, and a Maserati. And, there’s a psychedelic sequence in Las Vegas when Percy and his friends are waylaid by a cult running a fancy casino.

There are also some commendable moral points, however. Percy Jackson is willing to give up his life for his mother. His mother has sacrificed for him. Grover is willing to sacrifice his freedom for Percy and his mother. There are also some acts of valor and a chaste relationship between Percy and Annabeth. Unintentionally, the movie shows how stupid the Greek concept of gods was. These guys chop up their father, lie to each other, steal from each other, want to kill each other, and sleep with mortals. They are not a pleasant bunch.

Watching Percy Jackson & The Olympians, one can only think how blessed we are to have the Good News of Jesus Christ, fully God and fully Man, who sacrificed Himself to deliver us from this mythological nightmare.

NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers.

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About The Author

MOVIEGUIDE® was founded in 1985 by Dr. Ted Baehr, past president of the Episcopal Radio & Television Foundation and former director of the Television Center at the City University of New York. MOVIEGUIDE® is affiliated with the Christian Film & Television Commission® ministry (CFTVC). Both MOVIEGUIDE® and CFTVC are dedicated to redeeming the values of the entertainment industry, according to biblical principles, by influencing industry executives and artists and by informing and educating the public about the influence of the entertainment media and about how to train their families to become