Percy Jackson and the Olympians is an unadventurous and immature fantasy | Film and television

Rating: 2.5/5.0

Premiering December 19, 2023, Percy Jackson and the Olympians tells the story of three demigods—Percy Jackson (Walker Scobell), Annabeth Chase (Leah Jeffries) and Grover Underwood (Aryan Simhadri)—as they compete against each other. It’s time to save Olympus amid the growing power of the Titans.

The show is based on a series of five books by author Rick Riordan, who published the first part of the series two decades ago, in 2005. This new adaptation is the second attempt to bring the series to the screen after its film counterparts received mixed reviews. .

While the new adaptation generally sticks to the plot of the original series and even depicts more minor storylines (such as Grover’s journey to find Pan), has an exciting set and a thrilling soundtrack, the series falls short in many aspects.

Unlike previous films, which starred actors in their 20s, the new adaptation casts teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17. Even though they more closely match the ages of the original characters, the glaring youth of the actors makes it difficult for audiences to take their struggles seriously. Their journey into the underworld is more like a children’s game than an exciting adventure. Viewers are left with the impression that the stakes are low—they might as well be watching a light-hearted film like The Beach Movie rather than an adventure from Greek mythology where the entire fate of Olympus depends on the success of three people. heroes. It’s interesting that this could be intentional, considering that this series was created and produced by Disney+, a platform known for producing content for children.

The series’ dialogue is also disappointing. The scattering of tawdry inspirational quotes (“You are not broken. You are unique”) throughout the show made the writing feel stilted and clunky. Perhaps if the quotes were better integrated or more relevant to how people In fact say, they would be more appropriate in the dialogue. Emphasis on “maybe”. The show’s tone and language were also inconsistent, sometimes casually incorporating modern references (such as when Percy painfully and bizarrely danced with a thread while guarding the team’s base to capture the flag) and sometimes choosing to use more formal language with words like “valiantly”.

Poor acting was another problem that didn’t improve the already poor series. The dialogue felt too purposeful and forceful, creating another barrier between the screen and the viewer when it was already difficult to become immersed in the series. Unfortunately, this applied to both teenage and adult actors. The actors seemed to be reciting lines mechanically rather than effectively conveying the emotions of the characters they were aiming to portray.

Unfortunately, any attempt by the actors to take on the characters’ personalities also felt forced and unconvincing. For example, Annabeth Chase, played by Alexandra Daddario from 2010–2013, was smart and witty, which was reflected in the character’s archery skills. In comparison, Leah Jeffries fails to truly embody Annabeth’s grit, coming across as more youthful than strong.

While the series improved greatly as the adventure spanned eight episodes, released weekly from December to January, it never quite captured the thrilling adventure that readers experienced in the books. It’s a disappointing disappointment for audiences who were yearning for a precise and transformative adventure that could take them back to reading books as teenagers.

It’s always difficult for a film adaptation to surpass a book series, and in this case the situation is no exception. Despite the added pressure of outperforming the first adaptation and its older, more experienced cast, it remains impressive that Percy Jackson & the Olympians managed to capture the interest of a younger generation that was not part of the series’ original audience.

The first season remains a children’s show that is difficult for adult viewers – already adult fans of the original series – to fully appreciate. Hopefully, if The Sea of ​​Monsters, the second book in the five-part series, is adapted, the result will be different.

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