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The Money Thief

February 16th, 2010 Posted in crappy art, Movies

I was honestly looking forward to The Lightning Thief.  I had read the books and thought that they were nicely done with a linear storyline that lent itself very well to being turned into a script.  Apparently I was either VERY badly mistaken, or Craig Titley didn’t bother to actually read the book and only used crib notes while he turned out the screenplay for this Olympian sized disappointment.

Considering the other movies to his credit (Cheaper By The Dozen 1 and 2, Scooby-Do, and a TV “documentary’ that contends the moon landing was faked) I will contend that transforming a book with three strong main characters in Percy, Grover and Annabeth into a strong movie was far beyond his capacity as a writer.

**Spoilers Ahead**

While the books were fun and enjoyable to read, the movie plodded along as if everyone that was part of it was simply going through the motions.  Percy discovering that he is a demi-god is met with the same level of emotion as when his mother is killed by the Minotaur (yes, the same one).  A few brief words of “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe it..” and then we are off to the next scene.  The entire movie felt like one forced scene after another and every one was disjointed and smashed together.  There was never a point where you felt like the picture had a pacing or flow to it that allowed the plot to reveal itself.  Instead every plot point is shoved in your face as if the entire audience is far too stupid to figure it out without big clues and signs.

In the books Percy’s parentage is slowly revealed because he is special.  In the books the “Big Three”, Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades had agreed not to have any more children with mortals because the last time they did it ended up with WWII being fought.  So Percy’s existence is chancy to say the least.  Just by breathing he has put the gods closer to going to war again.  In the books when Poseidon claims his son it’s a big deal, everyone is in shock.  In the movie it’s revealed by Chiron taking Percy to his cabin and saying “Here your father built this for you.” and the cabin looks like Captain Jack’s version of home with ships wheels and nautical items everywhere.

Every scene is rushed through to such a point that you end up wondering why one character helping the other.  They meet in the morning and by that night they are suddenly leaving together to go on a quest of life and death proportions??? Percy arrives at Camp Half Blood and somehow after only one day there is suddenly a huge bad ass with a sword and shield.  HUH??  Also, at the end of that single day he runs off on his quest to get Zeus’ lightning back.  In the books it is approached as a quest with the heroes consulting the Oracle of Delphi and being sent out but the movie can’t be bothered with this and instead resorts to having Zeus accuse Percy of stealing his lightning bolt for no reason at all except that he is Poseidon’s son.  Which, if it was stolen for the sake of stealing then Zeus would have looked to Hermes if anyone who wrote the script had thought about it for a moment.

The movie also removed Aries and Kronos as major characters, in fact, they aren’t even mentioned while in the book they are a couple of the central characters involved in the theft of Zeus’ lighting in the first place.  The movie version, in the end, makes no sense at all because events in this book lead to the next book so with the resolution that happens at the end of the movie, there is no need for a sequel.  To be totally honest though, it’s probably for the best.  All I can say in defense of this movie is that they didn’t have metachlorian’s in it.

Also, a final note, Camp Half Blood looked like it occupied all of about half an acre of land in the movie.  You would think they could have at least made the camp look somewhat believable instead of looking like it was constructed out of Lincoln Logs.

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