Book to Movie Friday is a new feature I’ve created here at Mommy’s Reading Break. (If you do something similar, let me know, as I’m unaware of any!) Since I see a lot of movies because they’re based on books, or vice versa, I decided it would be a good idea to add reviews (or mini-reviews) of movies based on books. A lot of us review the books and then see the movies, but I only see a handful of blogs actually reviewing the movies as well, so that’s something I want to add here.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
I actually read and watched The Lightning Thief back in 2010, and I’m really surprised to say that I forgot most, if not all, of both the book and the movie. So after rereading the book this year, I decided to also rewatch the movie. I really remembered very little!
A lot of things were changed between book and film. For one thing, in the book, Percy is 12. Logan Lerman is noticeably older, and I’m pretty sure they mentioned high school, so it’s set a little later in age. Most of Percy finding out about the Greek “myths” and heading to Camp is the same, though there’s obviously some trimming down.
Once he’s at camp, so much is actually changed and very quickly. Annabeth looks nothing like she’s supposed to, Clarisse doesn’t exist, there’s no Mr. D., and everyone already knows who his godly parent is. None of this is that big of a deal in the first movie (except maybe Clarisse), but if they continue the series, it may complicate things (similarly to many things in the Harry Potter films).
However, what changes after Percy gets to camp bothers me a lot. He isn’t granted a quest, he sneaks out after Hades contacts him at camp (didn’t happen in the book!). And from there, just about everything is changed. The reason Percy ends up the places he does, certain battles that are fought, and just about everything else. The big, huge things are mainly the same, but most of the rest of the story line is completely changed.
The thing that bothers me the most is the complete deletion of Ares and Kronos. They actually played a really big part (Kronos pretty much the main part) of the book, so them not being in the movie actually made the movie make a little less sense.
As a movie, The Lightning Thief was definitely enjoyable. My husband liked it (even after he read the book), and though they were a little scared, the kids liked it, too. It was definitely exciting. However, as an adaptation, I really felt like it failed on so many levels!