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Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief


Stars: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan, Rosario Dawson, Melina Kanakaredes, Catherine Keener, Kevin McKidd, Joe Pantoliano, Uma Thurman, Julian Richings

Director: Chris Columbus

Since so many minor celebrities consider themselves to be demi-gods, it is a real pleasure to meet someone who really is. He’s all-American high school age youngster Lerman who is pitched into a series of fantastic adventures after he learns to his considerable surprise that his father is the ancient Greek god Poseidon who emerges from the water to inform him that “Everything is about to change”.

Which it does. Lerman finds himself racing against time and bizarre fantastical creatures to recover Zeus’ stolen lightning bolt and prevent an all-out war between the gods of Olympus. Training at a boot camp for demi-gods he also finds an ally and romance in the shapely shape of fellow trainee and demi-god Daddario. Others involved in the heady stew of action and fantasy include trainee satyr Jackson, smooth centaur Brosnan and, over-the-top as usual, Coogan as Hades, giving a hell of a poor performance.

The magical escapade is based on the first of a series of best-selling American novels which Columbus, who directed the first two Harry Potter money spinners, transforms into thoroughly enjoyable magical escapades decorated with first-class special effects and showcasing a young hero who is as resourceful as Harry - and a good deal taller, too. And how could you resist seeing Thurman sporting a headful of snakes?

Alan Frank

USA 2010. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour by deluxe.
110 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 22 Feb 2010