I went this morning to see Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief with a friend and her daughter. I had just finished reading the book and my friend had read it a couple of years ago. My friend's daughter has not read the book. We all enjoyed the movie.
I liked the visuals and the special effects. I missed the character development that is possible in a book but not in a two hour movie. I didn't really feel that I got to know Percy's mother's motives. She just seemed to be there as someone Percy loved and would do anything for. He didn't seem resentful that she had kept the knowledge of who his father was from him. I think I would be very resentful in the same situation. Especially considering Percy's relationship with his stepfather. The whole dynamic at the camp was different too without the rivalry between the houses and Percy's uncertainty of who his father is. Also, making Luke the villain stripped some of the mythology from the story as we lose the connection with Ares and Kronos.
I thought that it was interesting that the Parthenon in Atlanta took the place of the Arch in St. Louis. There must have been a movie-making reason for the switch. I also wondered at the change of the location to the entrance to Hades and missed the character of the fashion conscious gate keeper that was in the book. I suppose the Hollywood sign is a more iconic representation of Hollywood though.
I did like the relationship between Annabeth, Grover and Percy. I think it worked better with them as teenagers rather than pre-teens in the book. Of course, upping their ages also assisted in the logistics of them travelling the country. Except, how did they get in a casino? Last I knew you had to be 21 in Nevada.
All in all, I thought it was an entertaining movie with a good story and great visual effects. I don't think it did the book too much of a disservice and may entice people into reading the books to find out more of the story. The book was better but the movie wasn't bad.