Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

1 ½ Waffles (Out of 4) - The people behind Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief are trying to follow the Harry Potter formula to make some box office magic (even bringing in the director of the first 2 Harry Potter movies), but this film is not even as exciting as a rabbit being pulled out of a hat.

Logan Lerman stars as Percy Jackson - a young teen Jonas Brother look-alike who is about to learn a secret that will rock his world. It turns out he is not just some geeky, out of place kid who loves the water a little too much. Percy is the son of Greek god Poseidon (Kevin McKidd), and Dad's brother, Zeus (Sean Bean), has accused Percy of stealing his lightning, which breaks a pact between the brothers not to steal each other's powers.

Of course, Poseidon declares his son's innocence, and we know Percy is not a dirty, dastardly thief, but Zeus is threatening to destroy the planet if his lightning is not returned.

Will Percy be able to handle the truth about his parentage, or will he demand Maury Povich perform a DNA test?

Can he find out who did steal Zeus lightning?

Is Zeus's lightning a metaphor for something a little more risqué and I am not getting it?

At times, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief feels like some sort of educational trick. Sure, let's fool the kids into learning about Greek mythology by cloaking it in the guise of a hip movie with fight scenes, special effects and beautiful young people to get their attention. Then, it becomes so lifeless and unoriginal, it's possible the only lesson you will learn about this movie is the cineplex's refund policy (or lack of one).

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief, while winning the award for longest movie title, is a film that only goes through the motions. It's yet another movie with a Romeo and Juliet story. It's yet another movie with some new gadgets to wow the kids. It's yet another movie with a wisecracking sidekick. It's yet another movie with a group of older actors on the popularity decline who show up hoping this role will introduce them to a new generation of movie fans (and a few more hefty paychecks).

Most of all, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief might get your 5-year old's attention, but it's not for younger kids. I even question if it is for those under 13-years old as Percy runs into the Aphrodite girls, who, in a scene that comes straight out of a beer commercial or an episode of Real World, frolic in the hot tub and beckon the young boy to join them.

Then, in another scene, Percy and his pals end up, for lack of a better term, high off a substance that is more potent than LSD and Heroin combined. Plus, as if you haven't already tried to dissuade your child from seeing this movie, some very scary monsters attack our heroes with the intention of eating them for dinner.

This is the stuff nightmares and uncomfortable questions are made of.

1 ½ Waffles (Out of 4)

Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief is rated PG for action violence and peril, some scary images and suggestive material, and mild language.

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