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The Lightning Thief: Exposed!

July 7, 2010

This weekend I watched The Lightning Thief; just your typical myth-based action-adventure hoo-hah, the type of movie which I can say with unreserved geekosity I honestly love.  Except for the fact that, you know, they usually suck.  Like, not just usually, but with a percentage approaching one hundred.  The Lightening Thief, and with that build up this should come as no surprise, sucked absolutely.  Even more than your standard myth-based action-adventure hoo-hah kids flick, not because the story line was unimaginative, predictable, and contrived, but on top of all this, it was morally objectionable on several levels.  And I didn't even watch the whole thing!  It managed to be boring, offensive, and down-right stupid within the first half hour.

First of all, the premise is that there are all these kids running around who are the bastard offspring of greek gods, against whom a good old fashioned battle axe is still more effective than, say, the mythical, very up to date, and magically enhanced AK-47.  Jerry, or Jeremiah, or what the fuck ever, is the half son of Neptune, which means he can hold his breath for a really long time, yet for reasons unknown he holds no world records and, even though he probably could, has not joined the olympic swim team, or even the high school swim team.  Because he is an outcast.  More on this later. 

After the birth of his bouncing baby boy, Neptune did a runner, leaving Jerry, or, as Wikipedia reveals, Percy, and his mom to fend for themselves in this mean old world, where jealous gods might try to kill them both.  So Percy's mom, unable to support herself and her child, must attach herself to the nearest and most readily available man,  the beer-swigging, unemployable, verbally abusive Uggo McSucksalot.  From God of the Sea to Scum of the Earth, Mrs. Percy's Mom is reduced by her masculine oppressors to Ironer of Sweat Stained Shirts, Folder of Old Underwear, Fetcher of the Pabst Blue Ribbon.  And there was all a very good reason for this, I assure you!  But first, a word on Percy vs. School.

Tragically, Percy has been diagnosed with ADHD and dyslexia.  Rather than be subjected to the remedial classes forced upon those lesser mortals (that's you and me, folks) Percy has been expelled from several schools for undisclosed reasons, which we apparently are supposed to chalk up to him being a dyslexic outcast.  An OUTCAST, in case you missed that.  His only friend is a gimpy black kid with crutches, a DOUBLE MINORITY, because Percy is an OUTCAST.  An OUTCAST with a heart of gold.  Because who else would hang out with a black cripple, seriously?

PERCY:  Even if I wasn't dyslexic, I would still be your friend!

PERCY'S FRIEND:  Shazam!

Fortunately our honorable hero is true to his word, as it is shortly thereafter revealed that, far from being actually dyslexic, Percy's brain is somehow hardwired to read only ancient Greek!  This fantastic ability is the result of his Noble Heritage, a super power, if you will.  It is not at all debilitating in any way, nor could such a power be duplicated by mere mortals (you and me!) through plebian studies.  Any dyslexics here who believed your disadvantage could be overcome through perseverance, you can go back to your remedial classes now.  Likewise, any readers who suffer a physical disability but believe their prowess in other fields might be of value, you can sink back into the obscurity of your demographic, because you will find no further representation in this film.  Percy's Friend's disability was merely a ruse to conceal the fact that he's part goat.  Percy's paraplegic history teacher is revealed to have not only two functioning legs, but four altogether, as well as two arms, two hearts, two stomachs, various kidneys, (can anyone think of a stupider creature than a centaur?  Well, better that than a handicapped human!)

Also, anyone who believes that the black men as over-sexed party animals stereotype is inaccurate and crass, Percy has four letters for you.

PERCY:  STFU!

PERCY'S FRIEND:  Fo' rizzle! 

Percy is then lured into an abandoned museum or something by his smokin' hot english teacher who wants a word with him in private (after he totally nailed that 'who here reads ancient greek?' question, natch!) where she morphs into a six foot vampire-roach-bat and accuses him of stealing all the lightening, much as the title of this film might suggest.  Percy's fake crippled groupies show up, she…freaks out and flies through a window or something, I think I was picking a splinter or something at this point, and Percy's mom gets eaten by a minotaur because she's not allowed into Half-Blood Boot Camp which is in the middle of the woods somewhere, and I'm not sure how they got there from the museum, probably magic.

Once inside Half-Blood Boot Camp, Percy takes the gruesome death of his mother in magnanimous stride, and his Not Paraplegic History Teacher informs him of his mother's greater sacrifice.  Her true reasons for suffering the chauvinistic brutalities of Uggo McSucksalot were of the noblest sort: the malodorous living conditions masked from their foe the sweet succulent scent of the young Demi-God, Percy.

Uggo McSucksalot: 1 
Yankee Candle Company: 0

Learning the full extent of his mother's tragic sacrifice, Percy sinks into impenetrable despair for about one second.  Then it's off to training camp where Percy will first lay eyes on the kick-ass, bitchin' daughter of Athena, Ginny Weasley.  Or rather…oops, I closed my wikipedia window, so we'll just call her Hob-nob McGlob.  Undisputed Champion and Master of Outdated Weaponry, Hob-nob Mcglob's fiery red hair flares behind her like a molten flare of…fire, while she totally owns in mortal combat, and Percy, who has never held a weapon in his entire life, naturally kicks her ass on the first day because he's the hero and the son of Poseidon and can hold his breath for seven minutes, and you can step off, bitch, and make me a sammich.

PERCY'S FRIEND:  Shazam!

Anyway, at this point I remembered that I had to do the dishes, and in the meantime, Percy, Percy's Friend, and Hob-nob McGlob visit the local statue depot, where some blithering idiot runs on-screen, grabs Hob-nob, and drags her off to meet Medusa.

PERCY: No mere sculpture garden is this!

PERCY'S FRIEND:  Word, yo.

The blithering idiot gets turned into a statue, still clutching Hob-nob and locking her into place.  Medusa plays made-ya-look for fifteen minutes trying to turn her into a statue rather than just eviscerating her while she's trapped and helpless, thus giving our intrepid hero time to whack off her head.  Percy's Friend frees Hob-nob from the hapless blithering idiot's stone clutches by mightily smashing the offending stone appendage, as though the force of this wouldn't snap Hob-nob's wrist, and as though the blithering statue had not been someone's mother.  Sparing nary a thought for any of these things the Triumphant Trio continue on their quest for god knows what, and I skip to the end of the movie, where Percy has found the lightening in an old footlocker at the bottom of the sea, and he gives it to a giant and saves the world, or something like that.  Percy's mom is magically alive, all is well, the end.

Or is it?  (don don donnnnnnn)

Uggo McSucksalot comes home from a long hard day of drinking and denigrating women.  All he wants is a nice cold Pabst to take the edge off but lo! for there is a note taped to the refrigerator.

Uggo –
You suck!  Never open this refrigerator again! 
No love,
Percy

So Uggo McSucksalot goes out and buys a new refrigerator, punches Glenn Beck in the face, and joins the women's lib- wait.  No.  He says, 'Fuck you, Percy, you suck,' and opens up his own refrigerator in his own house where Percy and Friends have hilariously stowed the severed but still potent head of Medusa, which turns Uggo McSucksalot into a smelly statue of his dumb self.

And the moral of this story is: Its Okay to Kill the People You Don't Like, If You Are the Chosen One.  The end.

Iris rates this movie:

Really Freaking Horrible!

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