Film: Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is a 2010 fantasy film directed by Chris Columbus, loosely adapted from The Lightning Thief, the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series of books. It stars Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson alongside an ensemble cast that includes Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Rosario Dawson, Steve Coogan, Uma Thurman, Catherine Keener, Kevin McKidd, Sean Bean and Pierce Brosnan.

Received mixed but generally poor critical reception. Reviled by many fans of the books because of the many changes the movie made.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters was released August 2013.

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    The Lightning Thief 
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • Medusa in the book is described as hideous. The movie has her as a Gorgeous Gorgon.
    • Percy himself; in the books he's a typical 12 year old child. In the film he's portrayed by an attractive Logan Lerman.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Unlike the books, which averted Everybody Hates Hades, he is a villain in the movie, although not the main villain, which is Luke.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Annabeth's hair was brunette like her actress, Alexandra Daddario. She however dyes it partially blonde for the sequel.
  • Adaptation Personality Change: Grover was written as more timid and shy. In the movie, he was more of a Casanova Wannabe.
    • In the books, Annabeth might've been a serious Action Girl, but she was also a Plucky Girl who valued brains more than brawn. The movie focused more on her toughness and made her a lot more abrasive, making her more like Clarisse from the books.
  • Adapted Out: Dionysus and Clarisse in the first movie (they both do appear in the sequel) and Circe, Tantalus and the Party Ponies in the sequel.
  • Affably Evil: Medusa, more or less.
  • Age Lift / Dawson Casting: To fit better with its cast, Percy and Annabeth go from pre-teens to full-on teenagers.
  • Always Someone Better: Percy has to deal first with Annabeth, then with Clarisse surpassing him.
  • The Backwards Я: Lettering in the films like the credits uses some Greek letters for added effect, e.g. replacing "E" with "Σ" (sigma, which makes an "ss" sound) and "O" with "Θ" (theta, which makes a soft "th" sound). Some letters are also just given random crossbars.
  • Badass Driver: Grover.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Film Grover. He's good for a laugh for anyone with a passing knowledge of Greek satyrs. Couldn't they have just given him a loincloth?
  • Book Dumb: Percy is completely ignorant of Greek Mythology, causing him to make mistakes like cutting off the Hydra's heads.
  • Bowdlerization: Cartoon Network's airing of the film edits Luke's line "Kick his [Hermes] ass for me!" so that "ass" is replaced with "butt."
  • Car Fu: Annabeth knocks down Medusa with her own truck, driving it with her eyes closed.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Medusa's severed head is shown to be used against Gabe at the end as a Brick Joke.
    • When Percy, Grover, and Annabeth enter the Lotus Casino, the camera zooms on the car they later take out.
  • Composite Character: Though it has never been stated outright, movie Annabeth has Clarisse' first major scene, personality, and hair color. She's really more Clarisse than she is Annabeth.
    • Film!Luke takes over Ares' role as the person who duped Percy into taking the Bolt to Hades
  • Cute Monster Girl: Medusa, played by Uma Thurman.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Gets off comparatively easy compared to some other adaptations. He makes his first appearance as a fiery demon type thing, but it's pretty clear that that was just for show. Much is made of him being abusive but that's not really much in evidence. He is an asshole though(then again most gods are this in general). He offers to let Percy and co. go in exchange for Zeus' lightning bolt, but when he gets it he tries to kill them.
  • Faux Action Girl: Annabeth. Despite supposedly being the best fighter in the camp, she's easily beaten by Percy once he's told how to use his powers, is completely helpless against Medusa, isn't able to recognise when they've been enticed by the lotus eaters until after they escape (due to Percy), and does nothing during the final battle.
    • Technically speaking this is all pretty accurate in the books as well. Percy in the book was able to curbstomp the entire Ares Cabin once he touches water. Annabeth actually just stays hiding in during the conflict with Medusa(as oppose to attempting to roadkill her). Also Percy was the one who recognized first that the Lotus Casino was a trap. Though this actually make sense as this would be the very first quest Annabeth took. And unlike Percy, Annabeth doesn't have any get a power boost by touching water or any kind of superpower except her intelligence.
  • The Film of the Book
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar
    • Persephone hates Hades so much she has "visitors" every once in a while. You know, lovers. When she comes across Grover, she says, "I haven't had a satyr... visit before." Moreover...
    • Medusa tells Percy "I used to date your daddy." "Date" is certainly one word for it.
  • Gorgeous Gorgon: Medusa, played by Uma Thurman.
  • G-Rated Drug: The Lotus Hotel in the film. While in the book, it was the arcade games that kept you there, the film has them literally eat lotus blossoms during their stay. This is treated as them getting high.
    Annabeth: I think I figured it out, I know why we're here.
    Percy: Why are we here?
    Annabeth: To HAVE FUN!
  • Idiot Ball: The Lightning Thief still holding that lightning bolt while against someone who can wield water. On a quest that consistently involves events from Greek Mythology, Annabeth (who is supposed to be the goddess of wisdom's daughter) enters the Lotus Casino and eats the Lotus blossoms inside, after she is saved she figures out that they are the lotus eaters from the Odyssey.
  • Informed Ability: We are told that Annabeth is a wise combat schemer, probably a combat pragmatist, but in the movie she offers no actual aid to the heroes and just kind of acts like a tag-along child with specks of damsel in distress. All the combat and ideas on how to solve problems are given by Percy the only exception being the idea to keep Medusa's head for later.
  • Informed Flaw: Percy's ADHD (apparently severe enough to put him into a special school) doesn't seem to affect his life in any way.
  • In Name Only: The film is based on the book The Lightning Thief' in that it is about a boy who is the son of the God Poseidon and he has to find the Lightning Thief; pretty much everything else in the film differs from the source material.
  • MacGuffin: The three pearls they need to get home.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: In the trailer, there is one scene with somebody firing a minigun, which was not in the film nor in the deleted scenes. Perhaps Ares was originally supposed to be included?
  • Mr. Fanservice: Logan Lerman makes his bid at becoming a teen sex symbol.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • Medusa played by Uma Thurman. Because apparently, when Athena cursed her good looks with the snake hair, she didn't curse her badly enough?
    • Rosario Dawson as Persephone. "Never had a satyr..."
  • Mushroom Samba: The effect of the lotus blossoms, apparently.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Percy slicing off the Hydra's heads, not knowing that it would come back with ten instead of five.
  • Product Placement: Apple products. Also, when Percy, Annabeth, and Grover go to see Luke on how to get into the Underworld, he's playing Modern Warfare 2, more specifically the "Favela" map on the OpFor side.
    • In the sequel, UPS is revealed as being secretly run by Hermes.
  • The Queen's Latin / Aliens of London: The gods all have British accents in the movie.
  • Race Lift: This was done to Grover, Hephaestus, and Persephone.
  • Rock Me, Asmodeus!: Invoked. Hades has the appearance and mannerisms of a Heavy Metal star.
  • Running Gag: Grover getting flirted with by hot girls, from the camp to the underworld counts.
  • Shirtless Scene: Remember those two scenes with Percy swimming, which was the first thing shown in the commercial? It wasn't in the book.
    • Hell, in the books he was twelve!
  • Shmuck Bait: "Do not open this fridge! Ever!"
  • Shout-Out: While passing the river of lost dreams thing in Hades, one can see a little sled floating by.
    • It's mentioned that Medusa's eyes need to be opened to activate her power from her decapitated head. Instead we see them open automatically, just like in Clash of the Titans.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: A justified example. Annabeth is subdued by a terrified woman grabbing onto her wrist - because the woman gets turned to stone by Medusa.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: Inverted by Medusa, who manages to get a random woman to open her eyes and be turned to stone simply by talking to her.
  • Title Drop: Count the number of times they say some variation of "Lightning Thief" in this movie.
  • Woman Scorned: Medusa. Also Persephone sort of.
    Medusa: (to Percy) Son of Poseidon...I used to date your daddy! (topples a bunch of statues on him)

    Sea of Monsters 
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication: After the manticore is killed, it crumbles into dust. No explanation is given in the film for this; however, the books make a point that monsters become dust/sand after being killed. Additionally, they aren't truly killed so much as their souls are sent to Tartarus, where they can be reincarnated later on.
  • Adapted Out: Oreius and Agrius, the Laistrygonian Giants (though one does appear on Luke's boat). On a related note, Annabeth's conflicted feelings for Luke are left out; whereas a major conflict between her and Percy in the books was whether or not Luke had become completely evil, Annabeth in the film is clearly on Percy's side.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Silena Beauregard is shown to be working with Luke.Which is one hell of a played with trope, considering that in the books she was revealed as the mole in the fifth book with no indication of when she'd turned.
  • Adaptational Wimp: The Princess Andromeda, Luke's cruise ship from the books, is here portrayed as a yacht. Not quite as impressive, really.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: "Circeland," which is built on Polyphemus's island. The cyclop's lair is in one of the rides.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: To find Kronos' tomb, Luke had to crawl through the depths of Tartarus... and then Cleveland.
  • Art Shift: When the Oracle tells Percy the story of the Titanomachy, animation that resembles stained-glass windows is used.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: In a huge departure from the books, Luke manages to resurrect Kronos with the Golden Fleece. Kronos then arises from his tomb, as a demonic giant, complete with horns and fiery eyes.
  • Back from the Dead: Thalia, like in the books. Annabeth and Tyson as well.
  • Bland-Name Product: "Demigoogle," which appears to be a demigod search engine of sorts. As in, one can track a demigod's location by searching for them on it.
  • Body Horror: Thalia turning into a tree; the trunk GROWS out of her stomach. In present day, the tree roots still vaguely retain her features.
  • Chickification: Annabeth goes from a skilled, badass warrior (in the novels, not the first film) to a blonde racist who is little more than dead weight.
  • Composite Character: Mr. D takes over Tantalus' role as being the person to assign Clarisse to go after the Fleece.
  • Convection Schmonvection: Despite being a giant made of rocks and lava, Kronos' touch does not affect human/demigod skin at all. Kronos have also swallowed several characters whole yet they came out unscathed.
  • Decomposite Character: An example of this and Retcon: Annabeth in the first movie appeared to be a Composite Character of Book!Annabeth and Clarisse, who was nowhere in the film. In Sea of Monsters, Clarisse is shown to be attending Camp Half-Blood.
  • Disney Death: FIVE of them in The Sea of Monsters. Tyson, as he sherlock-falls from the cliff and comes back alive; Grover and Luke, who were eaten alive by Kronos and reappeared unharmed after he's defeated; Annabeth near the climax, revived within a minute by the Golden Fleece; and Thalia in the epilogue.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Ethan Nakamura is on the Andromeda with Luke.
    • Kronos appears in the final battle.
    • A manticore fights alongside Luke. This would technically make it Dr. Thorn's film counterpart.
  • Eldritch Abomination: Kronos: A horned giant whose fragmented body separates and rejoins in pieces as he moves. Also possesses some Volcanic Veins.
  • Famous Last Words: Clarisse says the trope's exact name when recounting how her Satyr friend was killed by Scylla.
  • Fantastic Racism: Against Tyson.
  • Follow the Leader: This adaptation has Kronos as the main antagonist despite not being in the book. Kronos' "Titan made of lava" appearance is also reminiscent of a recent movie about demigods.
  • Getting Crap Past The Radar: Polyphemus laments being forced to eat his sheep. Wait. If they weren't already there for eating, what were they there for? And was he wearing a kilt?
  • Idiot Ball: Oh my Zeus, so many characters love it. Luke trying to imprison the son of Poseidon on a boat, Luke not searching Percy for his sword disguised as a pen when he ties him up, Percy and his brother hugging instead of stopping the Golden Fleece from resurrecting Kronos, the group crying over Annabeth's body even though they've just gotten the fleece that can heal anyone or anything. Every bad guy saying that Percy can't stop them because he's destined to destroy Mount Olympus even though the prophecy explicitly states he will have the chance to save it. The plot wouldn't move at all if the goddess of wisdom had been a bit more generous with her gift. However, in the books, Anaklusmos is enchanted to always reappear in Percy's pocket, which Luke might not know about. Though frankly, neither would someone watching the film...
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: Mr. D thinks so, at least; he's apparently a fan of the wine miracle from the wedding. Interesting, when you consider how the two are usually compared to each other in Real Life.
    • It's also about the most insulting thing he can say to Zeus, who is obviously listening to him at all times.
  • Mythology Gag: Some of the quests Percy mentions Clarisse completing—- fighting a bronze dragon, recovering Ares' stolen chariot, etc.—- were taken from some of the short stories in the original series. Ironically, whereas Percy played a pretty big role in those stories, the film states that Clarisse was the one to complete those, with Percy being mostly ineffectual.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: They prefer the term "Undead Confederate Soldiers whose lives have been given in tribute to Ares." But "zombie" works just as fine.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Due to the characters being in their late-teens, the Great Prophecy sets the age of the prophesied demigod from sixteen to twenty.
  • Rage Helm: Kronos' face appears to have been designed with this in mind.
  • Sequel Hook: Luke survives (but is at the moment captured by Polyphemus), and Thalia is alive once more.
  • Shark Fin Of Doom: Charybdis' teeth are mistaken for this at first.
  • Shout-Out: Tyson's get-up (both in shades and under Mist's effects) is close to resemble Encino Man.
  • Snake Talk: Averted. Hermes' staff includes two snakes adorned on it that can talk, but they speak normally, without the typical hissing. Hermes actually admonishes them for this, saying that they should speak Snake Talk just to please any guests he brings around.
  • Suppressed Mammaries: Alexandra wears layers of shirts to portray a girl in her late teens after her more adult roles in White Collar and True Detective.