Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.

Hello everyone. I could say “Welcome back to Deeper Waters,” but in reality you’re the ones who are welcoming me back. I hope everyone had as good a weekend as I did. Now I know that we’ve been going through the Summa Theologica, but readers also know that whenever I see a movie, I always like to blog about it. Well this weekend I saw “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief.” Be prepared everyone. There are spoilers in this so if you want to see the movie, don’t go forward. Wait until you come back.

When I was younger, my sister gave me a book she had of Greek mythology. I loved that book. I wish I’d really had the mindset of examining ideas back then. I didn’t, but I was able to absorb many of the stories and learned them well. A personal favorite of mine was reading about the labors of Hercules. On the other light note, I did love Kid Icarus on the Nintendo. Is it any wonder I love Pit on Smash Brothers Brawl? Greek mythology has just been an interest of mine.

Naturally then, a film like this had my attention.

Apparently in 2,000 years, much hadn’t changed. The Greek gods were still going around cavorting with humans and having children. Now however, Poseidon and Zeus are getting into it. Zeus has had his lightning bolt stolen from him, the most powerful weapon ever, and he thinks one of Poseidon’s kids did it, particularly Percy Jackson, who has no idea he’s a demigod. Zeus gives Poseidon a two-week deadline to recover the bolt or there will be war. Sadly, the movie never addresses the philosophical problems with calling Zeus omnipotent and him needing at the same time something external to himself like a bolt and being unable to find the bolt on his own.

Which was the problem in many ways with the Greek gods. They couldn’t really be seen as gods unless by god you meant a superhuman. In the biblical worldview, man is created in the image of God, but in the Greek system, it seems the gods are created in the image of men. Ravi Zacharias has said it wasn’t that the Greek gods abandoned the Greeks because the Greeks were depraved. Quite the reverse. They abandoned the gods because the gods were depraved. The tales of the gods of Olympus could make a modern day soap opera pale in comparison.

Percy Jackson lives with his Mom and a step-father figure who he can’t stand. He also has his best friend Grover. One day however, he is at a Greek museum and has a teacher take him to a room alone only to have her ask “Where’s the bolt?” and she turns into a fury and attacks him. In comes another teacher in a wheelchair, Mr. Brunner, who tells the fury to let him go or he’ll tear her to shreds, along with Grover, who happens to be on crutches.

Mr. Brunner tells Grover to get Percy’s mother and get them on the run. When they’re all together and on the run, they get attacked by a minotaur. Percy’s Mom is in the minotaur’s hand and vanishes. Percy manages to defeat the minotaur however before entering camp half blood where children of demigods go. He learns that Grover, is actually a satyr who has been assigned to be his protector, and that Mr. Brunner is actually the centaur Chiron. While there, he also forms a relationship with the daughter of Athena named Annabeth and a son of Hermes named Luke.

The camp gets visited by Hades demanding to see Percy Jackson. Hades says he has Percy’s mother and wants the lightning bolt. Percy decides then he’s going to go to the underworld, find his mother and explain the situation to Hades, and then take his mother back. Annabeth and Grover join him and Luke gives them some equipment to help.

Before doing that, they have to get three pearls so each of them can escape the underworld. The journey involves them encountering figures from Greek mythology to fight like the medusa and the hydra. Very interesting is how the entrance to the underworld is located in Hollywood, which I found quite appropriate. When we finally see Olympus, the gods squabble just like everyone else. Hardly the idea of deity.

However, for action and adventure, this is a great film and if you’re  a fan of Greek mythology, you’ll love it. Christians can use this to see how different theistic concepts work and explain the problems of a polytheistic concept. For instance, how could Zeus be omnipotent if he does not have all power over what goes on in the world? Can you have all power and at the same time not be sovereign? (For Calvinists and Arminians, again, work out the details of what that means on your own.) Also, what does it mean for creatures to shift forms. Can a man really be part horse? What does that say about the nature of both?

My final conclusion is I don’t agree with the worldview, but this movie did have action and adventure that kept me hooked the whole time. It is one I definitely plan to get when it comes out on DVD.


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