Bottom line: While the movie Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief differs somewhat from the book (esp. the addition of some suggestive material not in the book), the general premise is the same. The movie is a mythological adventure for kids old enough not to be frightened by perilous situations involving scary creatures.MPAA Rating: PG, for action violence & peril, some scary images & suggestive material
Guide Age Recommendation: 8+
Runtime: Approx. 120 minutes
Starring: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Pierce Brosnan
Release Date: Feb. 12, 2010
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief - Overview
Except for his ability to stay under water for a very long time, Percy Jackson seems like a normal teenager. He struggles through life with dyslexia, ADHD, and a jerk of a step father who treats Percy and his mother like personal servants, but somehow, he keeps going. While others in his life -- like his best friend Grover, his mother, and his Latin teacher Mr. Brunner -- seem to see something special in him, Percy sees nothing out of the ordinary. Until, one day, he finds out that he is anything but ordinary.
Percy's adventure starts when his stodgy English teacher suddenly accuses him of stealing, then turns into a fury and tries to kill him. Percy's head swims as Grover and his mother rush him away, trying to save him from some mysterious threat. Soon Percy is enlightened to the fact that not only do gods and mythical creatures exist, but also that he is the son of Poseidon, and he has been accused of stealing Zeus' lightening bolt. If the bolt is not returned to Zeus, there will be a war between the gods. But it gets worse: his mother has been taken by Hades, who also wants the bolt in exchange for her safe return.
At a camp for demigods, Percy meets Annabeth, daughter of Athena, and he finds out that Mr. Brunner is actually a centaur named Chiron. Despite his inexperience, Percy determines to visit the underworld and save his mother. Percy, Grover, and Annabeth set out on a quest to beat the gods at their own game, but the real lightening thief isn't about to make it any easier.
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief - Guide Review
The movie Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief certainly does not follow the book exactly, but the adventurous fantasy flick does stay true to the book's general storyline and to it's audience. The Percy Jackson book series is aimed at kids ages about 9-12, and the movie is generally targeted toward kids of this age group as well.
Several scenes in the movie do contain some suggestive content. Insinuations are made regarding people or people and gods "hooking up," and one character states that she has never "had" a satyr, insinuating that she might like to. Also, women clad in tiny, cleavage-revealing dresses entice the kids to eat lotus flowers that act like a drug.
Percy and his friends find themselves in plenty of perilous situations that may be scary for some kids, so if your kids are prone to getting frightened, you will definitely want to preview this movie first or avoid it altogether. Several terrifying mythical creatures threaten the kids, but the scenes are filmed in a way that makes them slightly less intense than in a movie like Harry Potter, where the creatures seem more evil, dangerous and real. The film contains a bit of blood and gore (one character is beheaded, but there is no blood), and there are a few battles with swords and other like weapons.Fore more detailed info on possibly offensive content in the movie, please see the "content overview" below.
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief - Content Overview*May contain spoilers.
- Violence (High): The violence in Percy Jackson & The Olympians generally occurs between the kids and mythological creatures including a fury, a multi-headed hydra that spews fire and whose heads multiply if they are cut off, and a couple of hell hounds that snap and snarl. One character cuts off Medusa's head (bloodless), and her head is subsequently used to turn other characters to stone. Kids at the camp do train using swords, and some scenes show kids slashing at each other during training or games.
- Sex/Nudity (High): While not a lot of sexual interaction occurs in the movie, other than girls fawning over Grover or other characters, there are a lot of sexual insinuations. Hundreds of children are known to be the offspring of gods who mate with mortals. Persephone, Hades wife, leaves pearls for her "visitors" so they can leave the underworld, and she acts very suggestively toward Grover, stating that she has never "had" a Satyr. Many girls at a hotel/casino wear suggestive attire and lure the kids into eating lotus flowers and staying at the hotel to have a good time.
- Drugs and Alcohol (Medium): Percy's step father demands Percy's mother get him a beer. Some characters are shown drinking beer or other alcoholic beverages. Percy and his friends eat lotus flowers, which they do not know are drugged.
- Language (Low): The words "hell" and "ass" are used. At least one "Oh my God" or variation of the phrase is used.
- Disrespectful/Imitative Behavior (High): Gabe demands that Percy's mother get him a beer, and he smacks her on the butt as she walks by, which is very offensive to Percy. Gabe also states that Percy shouldn't interrupt while his mother is "servicing" (bringing beers to) him and his poker buddies. Gabe is rude and controlling to Percy. The gods in the movie are known to be constantly fighting. They blame each other for things, and Zeus has made a law that they are not to have contact with their offspring, so none of the gods have anything to do with their kids.
- Scary Scenes (High): Content listed under "violence" may be frightening for kids. Also, the character of Hades, who is at times shown as a demon-like being surrounded by fire, may unsettle kids. Most of the movie involves the characters being in peril due to the mythological creatures.
- Sad/Unsettling Scenes (High): Percy is disturbed by the way Gabe treats his mother. He is then devastated when his mother is taken to Hades. Percy and other demigods are upset by the fact that they cannot see their god parents and feel bitter and/or abandoned.
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief – Topics to Discuss
- After seeing Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, kids may have questions about the following topics: Greek mythology, gods, mythological creatures, dyslexia, ADHD, step parents, abuse, casinos and gambling, "hooking up," offspring.