What do you think of the PJO films?
Okay, but seriously- if you went in with absolutely zero knowledge of the books, the first one would be pretty okay. Decent enough to keep you entertained but ultimately a very forgettable fantasy adventure that came in the wake of Harry Potter Is Ending Soon So Let’s Try To Be Cool. The second one though??? Very Bad.
I once compiled a list of everything Wrong™ with the movies…Haven’t gone over it in a while but I’m pretty sure it was close to like fourteen pages?
What happened with the first one was they essentially went ‘Greek gods. Stolen lightning. Character names. Cool.’ and then created their own mess? Percy’s like, a junior in high school, and Annabeth and Grover and Luke were all played by 30 year olds. None of the characters matched their descriptions- from small things like eye color, to big things like Luke’s scar and, like, personality traits. They cast Pierce Brosnan as Chiron solely because someone was dicking around instead of writing the script and like, just drew Pierce Brosnan as a centaur. Mr. D was missing in action, as were all the other campers with names, as were??? The cabins??? Everyone was living in single tents except for like Percy and Luke, who had a bunch of stolen electronics, it was weird. Instead of going to the Oracle and receiving a quest, the trio just kind of sneak out with literally no plan? Luke told them they had to find “Persephone’s Pearl’s” that were hidden across America because that was the only way they’d be able to leave the Underworld (Instead of, you know, Percy’s Literal Father Giving Them To Him So He Can Save His Son okay). They kept in the Medusa scene, but there was no spell cast on them, they just wandered in like dumbasses. The fought a hydra in Athens, Georgia??? It was very bizarrely handled??? Percy and Annabeth had too much sexual tension, with Annabeth knowing him for literally less than an hour, and only having one conversation with him, during which she said ‘I definitely have strong feelings for you’ like what??? They made this whole subplot where the gods didn’t use to abandon their children, no, it’s all Poseidon’s fault because he loved Percy So Much that he forgot to be the god of the sea so Zeus banned the gods from seeing their kids??? There was no big three oath. Hades??? Dressed??? Like a poorly aging rock star???? Persephone was not only in the underworld for some reason (It!! Was!! Summer!! She’s!! Above!! Ground!!), but she complained that Hades was crazy mean and abusive to her??? Literally no one who worked on this movie ever read a single mythology book I swear. Grover sacrificed himself and like, implied banged Persephone, and Luke stole the lightning bolt for no reasons mentioned. They had a fight on the empire state building, during which both Percy and Luke actually FIRED the master bolt (which…shouldn’t be possible), and then Percy literally…stabbed Luke through the neck with a trident and tossed him into a river. I’m still???? I’m still.
There were a few funny moments that redeemed it- while he didn’t play a very good Book Grover, Brandon T. Jackson was funny enough and kept things moving. The Lotus Casino scene was probably the best part of the movie, because since they aged the characters up, they didn’t feel the need to make it PG, so they literally just got high it was great. The marketing was a mess, though, I remember- a bunch of dramatic Harry Potter-pandering trailers, long slow shots up the Empire state building, interviewers trying to sexualize the end scene between Poseidon and Percy while Kevin McKidd was visibly dying inside as he desperately pointed out he was playing the child’s father…A Mess. A forgettable mess.
But then…the second one. Oh God.
So they like. Somewhat listened to fan complaints about the first movie? And they attempted to fix what they could…but sloppily, in ways that kind of made them worse. Annabeth’s randomly blonde now, don’t question it. Clarisse has always been here and she and Percy have always been rivals, don’t question it. Luke is somehow still alive and somehow got a scar on his face, don’t question it. Mr. D is here, don’t question it. Stuff like that. It could’ve been handled a lot better, but when you saw that going in it was like, ‘oh! They’re listening! Maybe this one will be better!’ but HA. The plot was once again, baseline- the have to find the golden fleece. They somehow invented, like, Ancient Greek transportation devices??? Like, beam me up scotty, but as a portable disc. Wild. Tyson was handled so…so bad, from his casting to the fact they didn’t want to spend cgi on a cyclopes so they made ‘spray-able Mist in a can’ to give him two eyes. The movie was doing that thing where they kept throwing in future references that had nothing to do with the plot but solely for the audience, but it wasn’t well thought out- like, it came out during the gap between Mark of Athena and House of Hades, so they had Luke throw out a line like “I crawled through Tartarus!!” thinking it was a fun line for the fans, but it just made people Very Upset. Nathan Fillion appeared, made a Firefly joke, and then gave a very unconvincing plea about him wanting Luke to be saved. The Princess Andromeda was a tiny ass yacht instead of a gigantic luxury cruise ship that can hold an army, and they had camp demigods on board that like…weren’t supposed to be there. Percy’s entire character went out the window, he spent the entire film moping about ‘maybe I’m not a Real Hero’, and Annabeth spent the entire movie waiting for him to act first. Grover didn’t get kidnapped until half way thru, and he only spent a few hours with the Cyclopes. They cut out basically everything else and invented an abandoned amusement park for the cyclopes to live on. They….this gets me so mad still, they literally RE-WROTE Greek Mythology just so Percy can have an ‘I’m-like-my-daddy’ moment. They also rewrote the Great Prophecy, which like, okay, with the cast I could understand changing the ages- but then they changed ‘the hero’s soul’ to ‘the evil’s soul‘ and the person sitting behind me in the theater actually yelled out in protest. The Golden Fleece Was Not Golden. And there was this whole scene with Kronos and Percy and Luke near the end….A Mess.
The only good parts I can remember are Stanley Tucci’s like, five minutes of screen time as Dionysus, and for some inexplicable reason, Luke yelling ‘Get off my roof!’…literally nothing else comes to mind. It’s like, where they tried to make up for the first movie, they let everything else drop? So while the first movie was a Bad Adaptation but a relatively average children’s fantasy film, this one was just. Not even good as a standalone movie. There was no good storytelling flow at all, and things were very poorly explained or ignored.
You probably didn’t want this long ass thing filled with arguable spoilers, but, sorry. I Am Very Salty About These Films. They had so much potential and just. ugh.