PERCY Jackson & The Lightning Thief juxtaposes a battle of the Gods on Mount Olympus, and the exploits of a teenage boy destined for greatness, based on the first of five books by Rick Riordan.
Chris Columbus, who directed the first two Harry Potter films, is a safe pair of hands behind the camera of this big budget extravaganza, seamlessly melding live action and computer trickery.
During a visit to a museum, troubled teenager Percy learns he is the son of Poseidon, god of the sea, and a war is brewing because Zeus believes – wrongly – that Percy has stolen his lightning bolt.
Moreover, best friend Grover (Jackson) is a weird man-goat hybrid – “the politically correct term is Satyr,” retorts Grover – charged with protecting Percy from evil.
Columbus doesn’t let the effects overwhelm the storytelling, although it’s more of a stretch than a squeeze to fill the rollicking two hours.