Over the weekend, I took the family to see the Percy Jackson movie. For the most part, I really enjoyed the modern take on Greek mythology. I have a question though, regarding a disclosure toward the end of the movie:
When Percy’s mother explains why she was with Gabe (the stepfather), she says that his strong odor masked Percy making him harder to find. That implies they were in hiding. Also, Percy has the satyr protector. That implies Percy needed protection. From who? Who is Percy hiding from? From what I gathered from the film, he was in no danger until the lighting bolt was stolen.
One more minor question. This may be a nit-pick, but since in this world Greek gods and goddesses exist, and by extension Greek myths are true, than why:
is Medusa alive? She should have been killed by Perseus way back in the day. Shouldn’t it have been a generic gorgon at the garden store?
It might be worth noting that the story in the movie has a number of major changes from Rick Riordan’s books (BTW, the books are great reading for early teens.)
[spoiler]In the books, demigods are constantly being hunted by monsters, partly because of their use to the gods as pawns. Monsters travel the earth, searching for demigods. In turn the campers at Camp Half Blood go on quests to bring demigods to the camp, where a spell keeps all monsters at bay.
Grover seems to be a special case. Like other satyrs, he dreams of being licensed to search for the god Pan, who went missing centuries before.
Sally Jackson married Gabe Ugliano out of a desire to stay close to her son. She was well aware that her son was in danger outside of the camp and that she wouldn’t be allowed inside. As a solution, she married the most disgustingly mortal man that she could find. He stinks to the monsters, providing a safe haven for Percy.
Grover and Gabe Ugliano seem to be part of an arrangement to protect Percy which was set up before the story begins. The first book begins with Mrs. Dodds attacking Percy (none of this Zeus-Poseidon chatting stuff), making it clear that the now adolescent Percy is no longer safe. Sally takes Percy to a beachhouse for a weekend to get away, where they are attacked by the Minotaur, who chases them to Camp Half Blood.[/spoiler]
Regarding the Medusa…
[spoiler]In Riordan’s world, the monsters never die. Instead, they turn into mist and are regenerated at an unpredictable time in the future, sometimes days later, sometimes centuries later. This mist is also what makes it impossible for mortals to see the immortals, or more accurately, to misinterpret what they see as more ordinary people and events.
A better question (based on the books) might be, why didn’t the Medusa disappear like the Minotaur?[/spoiler]
Don’t think the following is spoiling anything.
Well Medusa was a mortal cursed by Athena so she’s not exactly a “pure” monster. That may explain any weirdness.
In the book’s world, monsters represent the ceaseless chaos that bubbles under civilization and so they are forever reborn to challenge the God’s agents.
Another major change from the book to the film: they deliberatly went out of their way to make Poseiden seem like less of a deadbeat dad!
I, being a Ivy-league educated professional and former English teacher, and am supposed to be all snooty and above all this, but:
I love the Percy Jackson books, they ar a lot of fun and worth the (quick) read.
However, the movie is the stupider, ugly cousin of the books. There is a resemblance, but the movie seems to have started out with the book, then dropped and added major elements until it was a mess. They got rid of Percy’s backstory, making his motivations strange or non-existant, they changed things to make the “good guys” less conflicted, and they even dropped the main villain of the books, leaving the sequels difficult at best. The old saw that the book is better than the movie has never been more true.
On the bright side, you can see and enjoy the movie, then read the book and be pleasantly surprised without having the movie spoil the book.
Reloy3, it’s not just you. A lot of elementary to middle school kids (and their parents) agree. Me, I used to think that only Spielberg could weaken a storyline as much as was done here.