We recently received a review copy of Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief on DVD. I watched it with my husband and my ten year old daughter and overall, it was pretty entertaining. I’m not going to rehash the whole film—there are plenty of summaries about it all over the internet—but I did want to point out some of the things I personally liked about it.
Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is a modern take on Greek mythology, based on a series of juvenile fiction books, that might come off as a bit hokey for older teens but if you can get past the fact that Pierce Brosnan is a centaur (half man, half horse) and that one of the teens is a satyr, complete with furry legs and hooves, it’s actually an engaging adventure/fantasy flick.
There were a few mild sexual innuendos that I didn’t really approve of for my ten year old (I’m strict about stuff like that) but the rest of the film had some moral/good vs evil stuff that I felt sent a positive message to kids.
What also impressed me is that while there is plenty of thematic violence like swordfighting and some explosions, there was no gory stuff. When someone got cut with the sword, it was just a little stripe of red on their skin and when the evil Medusa, played by Uma Thurman, had her head cut off (you may recall if you studied Greek mythology that cutting off her head is the only way to stop her) it was edited so that you didn’t actually see her head being cut off and there was no blood or gore at all.
I also liked that the female lead was a modestly dressed, smart, strong, independent female, something that is always in short supply in movies and TV shows. I think it’s good for tween girls and boys to see that not ALL females in entertainment are scantily clad sex objects, catty bitches or weak, helpless women who need to be rescued.
Older kids, particularly those who watch 90210 and Gossip Girl et al, might find it’s lack of overt sexuality and rich-jaded-teens-as-mini-adults boring but I think the 9-12 year old set will probably enjoy Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief very much, particularly if they like action/adventure/fantasy films.