8 Problems With the Percy Jackson Films

Let’s mourn what could have been



Developing a beloved book series into films is no easy feat. Whilst the ‘Percy Jackson’ films were good fun, they can’t hold a candle to Rick Riordan’s fab novels. From absent characters, to product-placement galore–here’s a few examples of what the movies got ever-so-wrong…


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1) The plot is crazily convoluted


In defense of the film, it’s tricky to squeeze everything from a novel into less than two hours, especially when the source material is as action-packed as Riordan’s. But why did the first movie adaptation leave out Ares, Clarisse and Thalia’s tree, but decide to dream-up a whole new storyline in Nashville with the hydra? You know, the creature that wasn’t supposed to show up until ‘Sea of Monsters’. Madness!

2) It’s a humourless affair

One of the best aspects of the books is Riordan’s razor-sharp, tongue-in-cheek wit. Percy’s sarcasm is a breath of fresh air, and as much as we love Logan Lerhman, he’s a bit too brooding in the films, and the only really interesting dialogue is give to the side-characters. The fab Stanley Tucci as Mr D. is the one saving grace.


3) Greek Mythology gets totally butchered 


A major factor behind the books’ astronomical popularity is the way they re-imagine classic myths – adding a fresh twist to cherished stories whilst keeping their logic intact. The films aren’t so bothered about the latter point. At the end of The Lightning Thief, for instance, we see Persephone with her husband Hades in the Underworld. But as this part of the film is set in the Summer time, this undermines a huge part of Persephone’s mythology, which dictates that she stays with her mother in the Spring and Summer; only spending the harsher months with Hades. A geeky gripe, sure – but a valid one.
4) Important character backstories are non-existent...

Major spoiler alert! The revelation that Luke is the lightning thief falls flat in the first film, as his reasons for being angry at the gods are never properly explained. We aren’t told about his love for Thalia and his grief following her death, or the extent of his bitterness towards his father, Hermes. Even though ‘Sea of Monsters’ explores these points in more detail, it’s all too little, too late.


5)...And their development doesn’t get much better from there


Alexandra Daddario does her best as Annabeth, but she really isn’t given much to work with. Where is her architectural ambition? Her prodigious, strategic mind? Really, she’s just a 2-dimensional pretty face in the movies. And they didn’t remember what colour hair she’s supposed to have until ‘Sea of Monsters’.


6) What’s with all the gadgetry?

In the books, it’s made crystal-clear that demigods are forbidden from using technology at Camp Halfblood, which allows monsters to track them. But the films feature HD TVs, an iPod touch and expensive computers. This would be a minor criticism, if it wasn’t for the fact that this is such glaringly obvious product-placement, which stops the audience from being able to lose themselves in the story.


7) The Mist is missing


We’re–ahem–mystified that such a crucial part of the books would be left out, creating plot-hole of epic proportions. In the books, the mist is a handy supernatural force that stops mortal’s from seeing the Godly goings-on, which would overwhelm their puny minds.

But there’s no mention of this in the films, and the appearance of Medusa’s severed head causes quite the shock for the cleaning lady. With no way of keeping the magic under wraps, how are we supposed to buy the fact that mortals are ignorant of the existence of Greek gods?


8) What’s up with Kronos?

Although we never meet King of the Titans Kronos in the first book, he’s shown to be the mastermind behind Luke’s theft of the lightning bolt. His total absence in the first film is totally baffling for fans of the books, who know just how much of an important role he plays throughout the series. Luckily, in ‘The Sea of Monsters’ Kronos does make an appearance. But even here, he’s a little uninspiring. The audience is give no real clue of his dastardly manipulative nature, and his brief resurrection at the film’s finale is utterly nonsensical.


Think we’re being too harsh on the films? Or did we only scratch the surface? Battle it out in the comments!

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