Who's In It: Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Steve Coogan, Rosario Dawson, Melina Kanakaredes, Catherine Keener, Kevin McKidd, Joe Pantoliano, Uma Thurman
The Basics: Percy is the half-human demigod son of the god Poseidon (actual name Perseus, shortened to insure maximum swirlies, wedgies, and head-shoves into high school lockers) but he lives unhappily at home with his abused mom (Mom once hooked up with the luxury-liner-capsizing god of the sea but instead, for plot-propelling reasons, had to marry Joey Pants from The Sopranos, a man with terrible, confounding body odor). Percy doesn't quite understand why he only feels good about himself when he's submerged for long stretches of time in the school swimming pool, but soon learns the story of his true identity when someone goes and steals Zeus's lightning. He also learns that he's the chosen one destined to right the imbalance in a strife-torn underworld, kind of like that other kid in that other book series.
What's The Deal: It'd be nice to say that this copycat Boy Hero story felt fresh and new, and that it was more than a series of scenes where that Boy Hero--and his special weapon, alongside his male friend and his female friend--has to battle various monsters or evildoers before righting the disruption that threatens the entire world. But I can't say that. It kind of just builds up to a lot of Not Much.
Best Part: The kids stumble into a casino in Las Vegas on their way to Hades (which is in Hollywood, of course) but it's really the Lair of the Lotus Eaters. They go on a five-day flower-devouring bender and dance to Ke$ha and stuff turns all swirly and a choreographed dance number breaks out. It's the most fun anyone has in the whole movie. Naturally they're upset when they find out they've been stuck in a casino for nearly a week, but as they drive off in a getaway car and zoom past another gambling palace where the Bette Midler show is playing, you realize it could have gone a lot worse for them.
Featuring The Wasted Talents Of: Catherine Keener, who's great at being a loving Mom (kind of like her few moments in Where The Wild Things Are) but whose character is allowed not much more action than being kidnapped and turned into a decorative wicker ball. Meanwhile Uma Thurman gets all Batman & Robin as a laughable Medusa-gone-NYC-art-dealer-meets-sunglasses-wearing-fashionista. Only Rosario Dawson and Steve Coogan seem to be having actual fun with their too-short roles.
Blame: The anti-momentum-filled script, the hacky dull direction of Chris Columbus and the ongoing obsession of movie studios to milk billion-dollar-generating franchises out of also-ran material.
The Bright Side: It might teach some kids about Greek mythology, but be warned: the monsters are going to be way too scary for those very little ones.