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"Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief" movie reviews

This weekend's big literary movie is "Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief," and I haven't seen Nancy so excited since Maryland's basketball team beat the Dookies. The movie is adapted from the first book in Rick Riordan's fantasy series about a troubled kid who discovers that he is the son of Poseidon. Nancy promises to see the movie this weekend and review it on Read Street, -- UPDATE: SHE LIKED IT! (You can read more reviews of book adaptations here.) Meanwhile, here are excerpts from other reviews:

Chicago Tribune -- Percy, who has dyslexia and attention-deficit challenges, has been bumped up in age from 12 to 17. That's too bad, I think: This is an adolescent's odyssey. The movie, which of course owes a lot to Harry Potter and company, won't ruin anybody's life. But even with all its computer-generated fireballs, it's lukewarm medium-budget blockbustering.

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Los Angeles Times -- The problem, though 10-year-old boys might disagree, is not so much that the "Lightning Thief" team has eliminated or changed numerous key plot points and scenes, but that it has done it without any particular grace or skill. This is generic filmmaking at its most banal, a simple-minded simplification of a not overwhelmingly complex book.

New York Times -- The movie, in which virginal teenagers do battle with fire-belching monsters, belongs to the same family-friendly genre as the "National Treasure" films. Although the standard allegorical bases for mythical-quest movies are dutifully covered, the obvious similarity of "Percy Jackson" to the Harry Potter movies inevitably makes it feel somewhat secondhand.

Washington Post -- Percy's sense of humor, as realized by Riordan, was a sardonic delight. And Percy's literary adventures, while they could at times be violent, were always tempered with narrative wit. ... But the movie suffers by taking itself a little too seriously. It's not just that it's a lot less funny than the book. It's also a lot less fun.

Variety -- In the book, Riordan went to great lengths to imagine contempo roles for key figures of Greek mythology, though screenwriter Craig Titley largely avoids the notion that clues to the gods' ongoing presence exist right under our noses. ... Action movies of this scale often start off strong and wind down to forgettable finales, but "Percy Jackson" is the opposite, overcoming a clunky setup to deliver nearly all its thrills in the last half-hour.

Arizona Republic -- "Percy Jackson" isn't a great movie, but it's a good one, trotting out kernels of Greek mythology like so many Disney Channel references. For the most part, it works. And [Logan] Lerman's a likable-enough fellow as he goes from high-school nobody to world-saving demigod hero.

Associated Press -- The trouble with this return to youth fantasy by director Chris Columbus, who made the first two "Harry Potter" flicks, is that it's more a list of ingredients than a movie-magic potion to enjoy from start to finish. ... For every worthwhile moment in this adventure about modern teen heroes bred by the Olympian gods, there's a clunker that merely fills up time, or worse, wastes it.

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