Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief – Book vs. Movie Review

Logan Lerman as Percy Jackson

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief -- Image via Reelmovienews.com

Logan Lerman (“Jack & Bobby”) stars as Percy Jackson in Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief based on the novel by Rick Riordan. Zeus’s master bolt has been stolen and it is up to Percy Jackson, son of Poseidon, to find the Lightning Thief before a war erupts amongst the gods.

I’ve always liked a good book to movie adaptation, but I find myself at a bit of a crossroads when it comes to this film. To say this film took creative liberties is a bit of an understatement. Was it a bad film? No, it wasn’t. It was entertaining and those who haven’t read the book would probably enjoy it. Those who have read the book and intend on going to see the movie; if you have a mental checklist of key plot points – you might have to stop checking off that list at maybe #4.


It is actually surprising to see a movie stray so much from the book it is based upon especially when it comes to key plot points. Sometimes plot changes may make a film better but in terms of this film, it was almost a different story altogether. Most of the characters from the book show up on screen but when the movie took a detour from the book (in terms of plot), things were just odd. Not to say it was bad, just different. After finishing the book I am curious to see if they were going to make a movie sequel, what would be the direction of the film seeing as there was no build up for sequel. Also with all of the plot changes, the on-going story may be difficult to bring back on track for a pending sequel.

What worked?
When the movie stayed true to the book, it was alright. Even though they changed the ages of the characters for the screen adaptation, the cast worked well in this film. The actors/actresses that portrayed these characters certainly had the spirit of their characters that translated well from page to screen.

What didn’t work?
Stepping aside from the obvious plot changes from the book. The pacing of the film was a bit odd. The transitions of the film were a bit choppy also the story didn’t really evolve on screen well. There is suppose to be build-up to the identity of the Lightning Thief, but the film lacked that aspect and the motive behind the theft is kind of lame. The movie wasn’t a “fail” per say, but the writing failed to portray the story.

Final Thoughts:
I’m sure the studio behind this film wanted it to be a hit, however, the changes to the story didn’t really help the movie become more grand but instead it fell short of it. Christopher Columbus did a phenomenal job directing the 1st and 2nd Harry Potter films, however, it’s his job to bring the script to life. So if the script had the problem in the first place, then the final product may not live up to people’s expectations. This film is suppose to be an adaptation of a book, and if they stuck to the blueprint this probably could’ve been a better movie. If I were to grade this film, I would give it a C. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either.

For more information on the movie, visit the Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief Official Website.

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21 Comments

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21 responses to “Percy Jackson: The Lightning Thief – Book vs. Movie Review

  1. wayne barker

    I watched the movie for the first time after finishing all the harry potter books. My view of the movie at that point in time was that it was excellent.

    I thought that the Percy Jackson series seemed like another great book series to read after Harry Potter.

    I started reading the book and was shocked to find that the movie and the book was completely different. Except for the title, hero names and first 1/3 of the movie everything else was different.

    Another great book series stuffed up by movie makers…

    This has not made me stopped reading the other books which are all excellent!

    • MKC

      Hear hear! I know the movie was not quite the adaptation people expected but the book series is much better. I personally really liked book 3 and 4. “Titan’s Curse” and “Battle of the Labyrinth”.

      • Thalia

        Same! I am like Thalia Grace down to almost the last detail, and to hear that they are going to try and get Demi Lovato to play her? I am threatening not to watch the movie!

  2. Piper McLean

    Alright here’s a thought, when I frist watched the movie I didn’t yet read the book and i thought that the movie is awesome! And when I got to reading the book….. OMG! It was so awesome! I couldn’t put it down and when I compared it to the movie and I got totally pissed! I started screaming I even complained about it between my friends. Now when ever I see something that has to do with the movie I feel like tarring it apart! “they took the 2 best book ever( #1 is hunger games) brought it down and tore it to shreds!” I seid as soon as I finished the book
    :(!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Piper McLean

    :) books. :( movie.

  4. Piper McLean

    I am not prepared to experience the stress that the second movie will bring! :(

  5. To Thalia

    To Thalia, They already cast Thalia. The actress matches the description okay, but she just doesn’t feel right, to the fact that I just don’t find the actress pretty, though Thalia was supposed to be pretty.

  6. Piper McLean

    It’s good that for the second movie they die annabeths hair blonde

  7. Piper McLean

    Let’s think where they went wrong…
    Annabeths hair
    Their age
    The pearls
    The helm
    Ares
    Clarise
    Grover
    The guest
    The passage to the underworld
    Thril-ride-o-love
    Loutus casino
    Fat lady with chiwawa
    Zoo animal truck
    The news paper with Percy on the front cover
    riptide
    In the underworld
    Oracle of delfi
    -I could go on and on, if you have any things to add to the list (which I am sure you do) dont be afirade to replay! :)

    • Piper McLean

      Oh- and press like

    • DB

      you forgot Chronus….

    • Piper McLean

      It was ares who gave Percy the lightning bolt. Not luke. And they leave his mom in the underworld, Grover stays with Percy and Annabeth. And they don’t go strait from the underworld to the empire state building. They messed it up. And I’m suppose to go see the next movie with my firends when it comes out, I might scream. Then again, it might bring out more of the first book, so it might just be better. I think, if they want this to be the next Harry potter, they are going to have to get closer to the books. I’m a big fan of the Percy Jackson books, and I don’t want the movies to spoil it. Grover better be in a wedding dress, running for his life. Or they might not get good busnius. How chould Rick Riordan do this to his books! Why Disney! Why not Universal? Or some other company, on that takes it seriously! The point is, the movie sucks, the book is a whole better adventure. If you like the movie, I’m happy for you, if you like movie and think the book was a waste of paper, this is not the right place for you. If you took part in the making of the movie, take my words into consideration, thank you.

  8. Piper McLean

    I am piper McLean
    Which carater are you?
    Reply your answer

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