I have always thought that the Harry Potter movies were better than the books. With Percy Jackson, I suspect the opposite.
I haven't read the book yet, but people have been telling me it's better than the movie. And after seeing Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, I don't think the book could be more dreadful.
I spent a lot of time in the movie theater last Sunday night throwing up my hands in disbelief. Not only at the way characters from classical mythology are used, but also at the gargantuan plot holes and the pabulum that got substituted for dialogue.
"It's an action movie," my companion kept insisting. "Eleven-year olds will love it."
I guess so. It certainly will give the younger set a sense that they are seeing a PG-13 movie, what with the freaky monsters, sensuality and cleavage, and older teen hormone-crazy heroes. It's not so much a movie as a series of age-inappropriate set pieces.
I liked some of it. I like the idea that a demi-god son of Poseidon is dyslexic because he is "wired to read ancient Greek." True story: I heard a long time ago that dyslexics cannot mix up the Greek alphabet as they can the Roman.
I like the idea that an ADHD child, so out of place in a classroom where one must sit still, is ideally suited to be a hero, because they are so full of energy and spirit.
I like the idea of traveling to the Parthenon in Nashville, Tennessee, the replica of the Parthenon in Athens, Greece, which is one place the teen heroes go, in addition to Las Vegas and Hollywood (the entrance to Hades is next to the "W" in the Hollywood sign).
The mythology is for eleven-year olds-- at the oldest. Fight some monsters, go to the Underworld, meet Hades, who looks either like a Balrog from Lord of the Rings or "Mick Jagger," according to the Eddie-Murphy-Donkey-From-Shrek-like satyr.
It's a mess. But then, I'm a mythology snob. And one good thing happened from it: it made me want to read the book.