I have a problem with critics that see a movie and all of a sudden feel the need to compare it to a prior film.
It’s not right.
There is no reason why critics feel the need to compare the character of Percy Jackson to that of Harry Potter. It just isn’t right. The review published in today’s USA Today did exactly that.
If this dilemma sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Percy is a lot like a certain bespectacled young wizard — sans the lightning-shaped scar. It’s too bad his adventures don’t have the same enchanting quality.
Granted the first film in the series was based on the book The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan that was released on June 28, 2005.
Riordan comments about the comparisons on an interview on his website.
First, recognize that Percy Jackson and Harry Potter are similar because they draw on the same sources in folklore and mythology. The idea of a young boy finding out he is special, training to use his abilities, and defeating an evil villain to take his rightful place in the world — this is the story of both Harry and Percy. It’s also the story of Perseus, Theseus and Hercules — narratives that are over three thousand years old. Most of the elements people point out as similarities between the two series come straight from mythology. The Harry Potter series uses folklore and mythology to beautiful effect, but J.K. Rowling did not invent these elements.
Riordan comments further that they are “very different kids” living in “very different worlds.” He comments further saying that “Camp Half-Blood is full of magic and mystery, yes, but it has a unique flavor that is totally unlike Hogwart’s.”
When one goes to see the film, see it for what it is rather than seeing it with the plan to compare it to a different film.