Every young adult fantasy series, be it in the form of a book or film, will have a fight on its hands to be recognised. With Twilight and the Harry Potter phenomenons petering out the hunt is on for the next big thing and the movie adaptation of Percy Jackson tries very hard to emulate the success of its forebears.
Sadly Chris Columbus and his creative team fly a little too close to the Sun of Potter and Narnia and come out with their wings burnt by the comparison, but for younger fans with minds unclouded by thoughts of Tumnus and Hagrid Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief may prove enjoyable.
Dave put up his comprehensive review here, and I’ll add my take on the film in this review of the Blu-ray, but both Dave and I agree that Percy Jackson will appeal to fans of the fantasy genre, but that it will, like almost all young adult literary adaptations it will prove divisive for fans of the source material.
I’ve not read the books and so came to the film with a basic grasp of Greek mythology and a slightly prejudiced feeling that this one was too hanging on to the coattails of a certain Mr. Potter and any fantasy film with an eye on the young audience will have to carve out a strong identity to make an impression and PJATLT is almost in a sea of similar fare.
The CG is impressive, and on a visual level the film is treat, but I fear Percy and his pals arrived a little too late for this party and the script seems rushed, both in the sophistication and its execution. Several of the name stars do great work and the central trio are likeable if a little too eager to jump into the limelight.
What I love about these Blu-ray releases is that they bundle in a ton of featurettes and interviews with those behind the scenes as well as serve up the standard deleted scenes. You can see a list of these below, and while Percy Jackson won’t win any awards for originality it offers up a visual feast peppered with some fun moments but doesn’t have enough respect for its source material or its audience to sway the hearts of those already lost to other young adult fantasy franchises.
Percy Jackson & The Lighning Thief is out on Multi-pack, Blu-ray and DVD today.
DVD Special Features
Blu-Ray Special Features
Secrets of the Gods featurette
Discover Your Powers quiz
Inside Camp Half-Blood featurette (which you can see here)
On Set with Brandon T. Jackson featurette
Meet the Demigods featurette
Composing for the Gods: A Conversation with Christophe Beck
BD Live extras