I mentioned previously that I read The Lightning Thief. I also mentioned that the movie trailer was giving away quite a bit more than it should. Well, I finally got a chance to see the movie earlier today.
I enjoyed the book quite a bit; it was quite an amusing way of doing an update to the original stories. And the characters were very well-done.
The movie? Well, when I saw that it was being done by Chris Columbus, who directed the first two Harry Potter movies. The reason for that being important wasn't the similarity of the material (which isn't all that great, to be honest, though casual viewers might think so), but, rather, that he did a very good job of sticking to the story that was in the book.
This one, however, he butchered. I just don't know any nicer way to put it. I understand that the story needs to be compressed a bit, but the relationships among most of the important characters were significantly changed. And one very minor change that really bugged me was a line at the beginning that didn't make sense unless Percy's name was no longer a shortening of Perseus (sorry, forgot the exact line).
To make matters worse, there was no subtlety about resolving the mysteries. And to add insult to injury, the heroes are flipping stupid at the end.
"I am the lightning thief!"
"Ok, but I've got the lightning now." ZAP!
Not very dramatic, but that's the only reasonable reaction to what one would expect to be a fight to the death as set up.
And the monologing? I really needed Mr Incredible and Frozone to MST3k the end of that. Egads.
I'm also pretty sure that the changes in the remaining books of the series (presuming they do make movies of them) will also suffer pretty serious changes. Some of the changes they made here will definitely make the future books more difficult. But we'll see.
As it is, about the only positive thing I can say about it is that the scene going to Hades' palace was really cool. That was a treat. But the rest of it was borderline on scholastic abuse.
I'm hard put to say what I'd think about it if I hadn't read the book first, beyond being certain that I would like it more. Would I like it enough more to have a positive reaction, though? I think it's unlikely, but I'm not certain.
If you have read the book, though, definitely spare yourself.