Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
June 26, 2019
(The Channel Awesome logo and opening titles play. Open on NC sitting at his desk, looking quizzically at a binder. Malcolm enters the room)
Malcolm: (gesturing out with his thumb) Could you tell me what's with the sign on our front door?
NC: What sign?
(Malcolm holds up a sign reading "NC's School For Wowed Youngsters")
NC: What sign?
(Getting frustrated, Malcolm points to the sign)
NC: You mean the one at the end of your finger?
Malcolm: Yes, the one at the end of my finger.
NC: Well, tell me, Mr. Malcolm, why do people watch sci-fi and fantasy films?
Malcolm: To experience new worlds, creatures and ideas?
NC: Exactly, and what's the best way to make people feel like they're experiencing that?
Malcolm: Write interesting characters to draw them in?
NC: Nope, write boring, blank slates who go "Wow!" to everything.
Malcolm: That... doesn't sound right.
NC: (getting up from his seat and walking up to Malcolm) Malcolm, of course that doesn't sound right, but for some reason, young people never get tired of it.
(He puts his arm around Malcolm's shoulder and walks out of the room with him and down the hall)
NC: You see, there's a very distinct formula to this: young person feels like outcast; supernatural threat comes along; supernatural hero comes along to help save and teach the young person that...
Malcolm: Let me guess: that what makes them an outcast is what ultimately will help them save the day?
NC: Exactly! You know the drill.
Malcolm: But don't you think people are sick to death of that by now?
Malcolm: But why can't the young person be a little more deep or complex?
NC: Because then the viewer can't imagine themselves as that young person.
Malcolm: I don't think I follow this at all.
NC: Watch and learn, my friend. (turns, walks toward the main office, then speaks in the style of a drill sergeant) New recruits! Ho!
(In the main room, four people are seen: Harry Potter (Tamara), Eragon (Jim), Jubilee (Aiyanna) and Neo (Walter). They were all talking among themselves, but when NC addresses them, they all stand at attention in military drill fashion)
NC: Name, franchise!
Neo: Neo, The Matrix!
Jubilee: Jubilee, X-Men!
Eragon: Eragon, "Inheritance Cycle"!
Harry: Harry Potter, "Harry... (hesitates slightly) Potter"...
NC: Oh, we like saying our names twice, Stutter Potter?!
Harry: No, sir!
NC: Right! (walks up to them and paces in front of them in military fashion) Now, I know some people who think you should be written deep and complex, (Malcolm rolls his eyes at this) but that's not how we do things here, is it?
Everyone: Sir, no, sir!
NC: No, you are to be average, common, so when the actual cool things arrive, you'll look a lot more cool by comparison.
Neo: But how can we do that when we're such outcasts?
Eragon: Yeah, we're just beautiful people with incredible unique talents. We'll never fit in!
NC: (pointing) That's the kind of angst audiences want to tap into! (Malcolm stares, wide-eyed) Anywhere else, you'd be the coolest person around! But you still have to be misunderstood (Jubilee nods with a suggestive smile) to tap into the viewers' insecurities. (turns to Harry Potter) Stutter Potter, what's your catchphrase?
Harry: (startled) I don't have one!
NC: (mockingly) "I don't have one! I don't have one! I don't have one!" How can you expect to reflect the audience when you have nothing kind of cool to say?!
Harry: Oh, I'm so sorry! I'll try to come up with something really cool!
(NC leans in and gently slaps Harry's face around)
NC: I didn't say "really cool", I said "kind of cool!" The really cool stuff is gonna be the weird things you come across later, and you do not want to upstage them! (looks toward Neo) Neo, what's your catchphrase?
Neo: (clears throat) Whoa...
NC: (back to Harry) You see, any impressionable high schooler can remember that. (Neo smiles) And sometimes, we really want to show our cards as to how hard we want to hit a demographic! (looks toward Jubilee) Jubilee, show them how it's done!
Jubilee: Does a mall babe eat chili fries?
NC: "Does a mall babe eat chili fries?" "Does a mall babe eat chili fries?" That's the kind of pandering we're looking to utilize here! Learn from Jubilee! With that kind of bland dialogue, she's sure to be nobody's favorite character!
(Jubilee nods towards an embarrassed Harry)
NC: Now, you will be the most lazy, run-of-the-mill protagonists so you can make your lazy, run-of-the-mill fantasy world seem all the more whimsical!
Harry: (nervously) H-How?
NC: Give me twenty laps, Potter!
NC: (sharply leaning right in Harry's face, roaring) TWENTY LAAAAAAAAAPS!!!
(Terrified, Harry runs off as NC turns back to everyone else)
NC: ...by watching Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief.
(The title for this movie is shown, followed by footage)
NC (vo): The 2010 film based on the young adult series was not a huge hit domestically, but in the foreign market, it brought in a pretty penny. While I can't speak for the book series, it is very clear that the movie was trying to cash in on the wide-eyed youth being tossed into a whimsical world of both wonder and threat. The downside is, while many movies have used this formula to death, they often add something to make it more enjoyably unique. This, even despite having Sorcerer's Stone director Chris Columbus, feels like...
(A shot of a generic coloring book about fairies and princesses is shown)
NC (vo): ...a dollar store coloring book...
(The image changes to that of another coloring book, this one showing the Disney Princesses)
NC (vo): ...trying to be a popular thing...
(The image disappears)
NC (vo): ...but is flat as the toilet paper it's printed on. It uses the same formula a lot of movies of its kind do, with little charm or variation added to it. Thus, we're gonna break down this formula, because if they can make a profit with such tired storytelling cliches, why can't we?
(NC sits down on his black couch in the newer location)
NC: So, I trust you're taking notes on how to bang these movies out as quickly as possible?
(Neo, Eragon and Jubilee are all seated on another couch, taking notes in notebooks; Eragon looks over briefly into Neo's notebook)
NC: (smiles) This is–
(He is then interrupted as Harry Potter returns, gasping for breath)
Harry: I just did twenty laps around the building.
Jubilee: He means twenty laps around the neighborhood property line.
Harry: (gasping) What?! He didn't make me do that before!
Jubilee: No, I just know what he means.
NC: Good instincts, Jubilee.
(He turns sharply to Harry, who groans and leaves)
NC: (turning back to camera) This is Percy Jackson.
(The film opens with Poseidon, played by Kevin McKidd, climbing out of the water in New York City)
NC (vo): We open with the Jolly Green Aquaman coming out of the sea and taking to the streets. I can already see how the gods have kept themselves a secret for so long.
(Poseidon transforms from his godlike appearance into the appearance of an normal man, clothes included)
NC: (pointing) Hey, cool!
NC (vo): Poseidon's powers include windbreaker manufacturing.
NC: That'll be fun to explore!
(Poseidon meets Zeus, played by Sean Bean)
NC (vo): He talks with Zeus, though seeing how he's played by Sean Bean, he should probably be the God of Death, (The famous picture of Boromir from Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is shown with the meme caption: "Sean Bean Does Not Simply Survive in a Movie") as we partake in the first of our Wowed Youngsters cliches: (whispers as the shots from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, X-Men (2000) and Jupiter Ascending appear) secret important talks before the main character's introduced!
Zeus: No lightning. Stolen.
NC (vo): Apparently, Zeus' lightning has been stolen, and he thinks Poseidon's son is the culprit
Zeus: If your son is the thief...I will send him to the depths of Tartarus. (Poseidon angrily grabs Zeus by the chest)
NC: You know, it's a shame the gods decided not to be a part of our world for no reason. We could have shown them...
NC (vo): ...security cameras, alarm systems, things that could prove who really committed a crime instead just flat-out guessing.
Eragon: But wouldn't the reveal of their secret world would be less...wow-ish?
Neo: Whoa-ish, even.
NC: Yes, indeed, Eragon. Logic can be cast aside if tropes we've seen a million times can be exploited.
Neo: (cheerfully pats Eragon on the shoulder) Nice one, bro.
(Both nod, smiling, but then get startled upon seeing that Jubilee is giving them a stare)
NC (vo): Zeus says Poseidon has 14 days to return what he's stolen, or there will be war.
NC: Hey, remember when Earth went two weeks without lightning and nobody noticed? Fun times.
(We cut to the 16-year-old Percy Jackson holding his breath inside a pool at the gym class. He's accompanied by his best friend Grover Underwood, who has to move using crutches)
NC (vo): As the credits roll, we see Percy Jackson, played by Logan Lerman, holding his breath for seven minutes, while his best friend Grover, played by Brandon T. Jackson, cheers him on.
(Percy and Grover walk to another class)
Percy: I wish I could spend all day on the water instead of this place.
Grover: Right. It's like high school without the musical.
NC: (smiles) That's our kids' talk.
Grover: It's like high school without the musical.
NC: So...high school. Which it's not...like, it is...no part of that analogy adds up!
(At the English lesson, Percy starts suffering from dyslexia, as the letters of a quote written on a board change their positions)
NC (vo): Percy has trouble reading in class, so his doctor diagnoses him with dyslexia. (Beat) It's funny. I have slight dyslexia, which means I see words and sentences in the wrong place. I've yet to hear one where the letters do a chorus line like (clip of...) Dick Van Dyke's credit at the end of Mary Poppins.
NC: An eye doctor might ask a few follow-up questions hearing that.
(Percy's house is shown, with the camera pulling up to the third floor)
Percy: (heard from inside) Hey, Mom, I've home.
Sally (Catherine Keener): (heard from inside) I'm up here, honey.
NC: (confused) Does she own that whole building?
NC (vo): In New York, a box is a million dollars rent. How is she "up here, honey" in this building? Were the hallway doors open so he could hear her on the third floor? And why wouldn't she be up there if they didn't live on that floor? (As Sally is first shown, a photo of a rich man appears on the right) Damn, I don't know what prince you're ironing clothes for, but he gives you good tips!
Sally: But someday, it'll all make sense.
Percy: Really? When? Tonight, tomorrow? When?
NC (vo): So Percy says both his dyslexia and ADHD seem to be getting worse.
Percy: You know, I thought this school was supposed to make things better.
NC: I mean, point to one other kid, any other kid in this day and age who has ADHD, dyslexia, or both!
(The screenshot of Google search results is shown, showing a snippet of an article "The ADHD-Dyslexia Connection: Dealing with Dual Diagnoses")
NC: I can't focus enough to read that!
(Percy's deadbeat stepfather, Gabe Ugliano, comes in)
NC (vo): Need an underdeveloped Italian asshole archetype? Typecast Joe Pantoliano before you even finish that sentence.
Gabe: Where's my beer?
Percy: (to Sally) Yeah, real charmer you got there.
Gabe: (comes close to Percy, speaking threateningly) This is my house. You show some respect.
NC: (as Sally) Oh, if only his literal godfather could see how well I'm raising him. (The image of Mary, Mother of Jesus, is shown on the right) Stand back, Mary! I'm the big deal around here.
Percy: He sleeps till noon every day, and he can't even hold a job. Why do you stay with him?
NC (vo; as Sally): I told you, sex! What, do I have to spell it out for you...? Oh, that's right, I can't. Sorry.
(The next day, on his way to the museum, Percy notices Poseidon calmly watching him on the sidewalk as the cars pass in front of him)
Jubilee: Oh! Is this the part...
(A short clip of Percy's substitute teacher, Miss Dodds, is played)
Jubilee (vo): ...where the good guy looks like the bad guy, and the bad guy looks like the good guy?
NC: Well, let's see if this movie's hackneyed enough to do the "disappearing behind the car" trick.
(Eragon crosses his fingers as Jubilee and Neo are eagerly waiting for Poseidon to disappear)
Jubilee: (overlapping) Come on, come on! Disappear behind the car! Come on, come on, now! Do it, do it, do it, do it, do it, do it...!
Neo: (overlapping) Ohh! Come on, come on! Do it! Do it! Do it! Oohhh...
(After the bus covers Poseidon and drives away, he is nowhere to be seen)
Jubilee, Neo and Eragon: YEAAAHH! (Neo and Eragon actually play the air guitar like Bill and Ted)
Jubilee: Oh, my God, it happened! (high-fives Eragon) All right!
NC: (looking proud) Well done.
Malcolm: (appears in the door, dragging a distraught and tired Harry) Critic, I found a sad kid outside having an asthma attack.
NC: (sternly) Potter, you're behind. Look off Neo's notes.
(Malcolm lets go of Harry, who slowly walks towards the couch, barely catching his breath)
Malcolm: Don't you see this as cruel and unusual punishment?
NC: Actually, for me, it's cruel and quite common punishment.
(As Harry approaches the others, Jubilee, grinning haughtily, pulls up her leg, and Harry trips and falls on the floor. She then puts the leg back nonchalantly, not even looking down. Back to the film. The class meets Mr. Brunner, Latin teacher who moves using wheelchair)
NC (vo): The kids go to a field trip to a museum, where they're studying...what else?...Greek mythology, taught by Pierce Brosnan dressed as...
NC: I don't know.
NC (vo): Most actors trying to get an Oscar. (Five screenshots from movies that feature disabled people are shown)
Brunner: Over here, we have a depiction of Hercules defeating the Nemean lion. Hercules killed the beast and took the skin as a trophy.
NC: Hey, I know my Disney films. (A shot from Hercules, showing the titular character posing for a picture and wearing a skin of Scar the lion, is shown) That was Scar, and it beautifully traumatized a lot of three-year-olds!
(Miss Dodds and Percy leave to a warehouse, and immediately, Dodds transforms into Alecto, a Fury, who starts attacking Percy)
NC (vo): The substitute teacher asks to speak with Percy, and...that escalated quickly!
Aleco: You stole my lightning bolt!
Percy: I don't know what you're talking about!
Aleco: Give it to me! (grabs Percy by the head)
NC: (finger resting on cheek) You see, if school was like this, I'd pay attention more.
(Brunner and Grover arrive to see Alecto fleeing through the window)
NC (vo): This looks like a job for crutches and a wheelchair!
Brunner: (handing a small pipe to Percy) Take this to defend yourself. It's a powerful weapon.
Percy: ...This is a pen.
NC: (as Grover) A vape pen, so people will think you're pretentious and stay away from you.
(As Percy comes back home with Grover, he sees Gabe playing cards with his mates)
Gabe: Sally! More beer!
NC (vo; as Gabe): That's my thing: beer! My whole role on Sopranos was shit compared to this complexity!
Gabe: You bald-headed freak.
(Gabe lashes out at Percy, but Grover puts his crutch in Gabe's foot, which makes a chance for him, Percy and Sally to drive away)
NC (vo): So SUPER-Grover steps into action and tells his (Percy's) mother that they need to go.
Percy: What is happening? I didn't steal anything. Where are you taking me? What is this camp?
NC: Is it me, or is this little shit always pissed off?
Percy: What are you talking about? / Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom... / Why did he have to go? / Are you kidding? / "Special people"? What? / Hey, hey! / Maybe you're not seeing what I'm seeing. / We gotta talk, okay? / Where are you taking me? What is this camp?
NC: (as Percy) What is this, a car? We're in a car? Cars are dumb!
(At night, the three pass by a herd of cows and a mysterious horned figure)
NC (vo): But others have a beef with Percy.
(A cow suddenly falls in front of the car, making it crash. Cut to a clip from Twister)
Melissa: (on the phone) I gotta go, Julia! We got cows!
(After recovering, Percy sees that Grover has the goat legs and can perfectly walk on them, which implies that he's a Satyr. Percy, Grover and Sally run into the woods)
NC (vo): Grover reveals he's half-goat, and he gets Percy to the camp where he can actually read the lettering.
(The various letters on the camp's sign change in Percy's viewpoint to the correct places, forming to "Camp Blue Blood". Percy is astonished)
NC: There! Duplicate that "wow" face!
NC (vo): Duplicate that "wow" face!
Jubilee and Eragon: (imitating astonishment) Wow!
Neo: (overlapping) Whoa!
Jubilee, Eragon and Neo: Whoa!
Jubile, Eragon and Neo: Whoa...
(Harry is hit by a comic book)
NC: (offscreen, angrily) More whimsy, Potter!
(Harry sadly complies and continues "wowing", while Eragon starts to flip the comic's pages. Back to the movie, Sally can't enter the camp with Percy and Grover)
NC (vo): But the mother can't cross, because it's half-bloods only.
(Sally is grabbed by a Minotaur)
Percy: What can I do?!
Grover: Use the pen!
Grover: Use Brunner's pen and click it!
NC: Ah, yes. The pen is mightier that the sword–
(Percy takes out the "pen", clicks it and it turns into a sword)
NC (vo): –is the sword.
NC: (nods) That also works.
(Sally is vaporized, and the furious Percy charges towards the Minotaur, killing it with his horn. He loses his consciousness shortly after)
NC (vo): Percy's mother is killed, but Percy does manage to kill the monster with his own horn before passing out.
(Cut to a sick room on the campsite, where Percy is recovering)
NC: Ah, now, (turns to the others) let's see your "waking-up-with-your-wounds-mended-in-a-mysterious-place-of-help" face.
(As he speaks the aforementioned line above, shots of such scenes from other movies appear on the screen: The Neverending Story, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, and Alien 3. Meanwhile, Jubilee, Eragon, Neo and Harry all comply with him and look over their hands and/or rubbing their necks while exclaiming softly)
Harry: Okay, I may need a hospital.
NC: Here's some Band-Aids! (aggressively throws a bunch of Band-Aids at Harry's head)
Harry: Oh, mother...
(Grover shows up next to Percy, soothing him)
Percy: (to Grover) All of it was real. My mom's gone. (pats Grover on the shoulder)
NC: Wow. That was quite the underplayed reaction to his mother being dead.
Percy: All of it was real. My mom's gone.
NC: (as Percy) Aw, man, she had my Switch! Dumb!
(Percy and Grover walk out of the tent and wander around the camp)
Grover: Yep, you're a demigod! (leaps in the air) Two points for Percy Jackson! (laughs)
NC: (as Grover) I have to act excited, because clearly the rest of this movie isn't!
Percy: I think you have the wrong guy. I'm not a hero, I'm a loser. I have dyslexia, ADHD...
NC: (as Grover) You what?! Aw, man, I didn't know that! Christ! I was gonna go with the kid...
(A picture of a redheaded boy in glasses and a white sweater is shown)
NC (vo, as Grover): ...ate his own dandruff when looking at girls!
NC: (as Grover) Or the one who...
(A picture of a boy with squinting eyes, wild hair and his tongue sticking out is shown)
NC (vo; as Grover): ...fights people on Twitter if you don't say Star Wars is a real religion!
NC: (as Grover) Or the one who hears...
(A picture of a girl wearing spider-themed clothing, covering her ears while shutting her eyes and opening her mouth is followed)
NC (vo; as Grover): ...the devil screaming "Burn anything with lips!" seven times a day!
NC: (as Grover, pointing at camera) But you have dyslexia and ADHD?! Get your loser ass away from me, you disgusting piece of shit! Piece of shit!
NC (vo): So even with his (mockingly) "incredible handicap", Percy is convinced by Grover that he can train with the other demigods.
(Percy encounters a swordfighting girl named Annabeth Chase, who's played by Alexandra Daddario)
Percy: What's her name?
(Grover loudly scoffs, making a "Ha!"-like sound)
NC: (as Percy, shakes head) What a beautiful name.
(Grover introduces Percy to Chiron, the Centaur who was under the identity of Mr. Brunner in the human world)
NC (vo): He also discovers Pierce Brosnan is a Centaur, and I dare say, he looks weirdly the most comfortable in this role since he played James Bond.
Chiron: In my world, I'm known as Chiron.
Percy: You have...
Chiron: A real horse's ass.
NC: (massaging his forehead) Okay, so, the crutches...
(Footage of Grover hiding his goat legs with crutches is shown again)
NC (vo): ...hiding the goat legs is actually pretty clever, because you can go back and see that his bent legs are still there. You can buy it.
(Now cut to Mr. Brunner/Chiron in a wheelchair in the real world)
NC (vo): How the hell did he hide horse legs in a goddamn wheelchair?!
(As NC speaks below, the clip from earlier of Poseidon walking on land in normal clothes is displayed in the corner)
NC (vo): Maybe Poseidon's clothes-making powers put together a magic blanket that could conceal his legs.
(Now cut back to the movie currently in progress, with Percy and Chiron at the camp)
NC (vo): Or it's just dumb, it's dumb.
Percy: Why didn't anybody tell me?
Chiron: It was for your own safety.
NC: Yeah, demigods can rarely protect themselves.
Chiron: You are very powerful. That's right.
NC (vo; as Chiron): Once again, why you needed to be protected. It made more sense if you didn't know how to use your amazing powers to defend yourself, 'cause...you know, Goat-Boy was there. T-t-that was good, that was enough.
Chiron: That's why your mother married your stepfather. His pungent odor masked the smell of your blood.
NC: (stumped by what he heard) There's no sewage factories you couldn't move near?
(The clip of Percy's stepfather violently lashing out at Percy and pinning him to the wall is shown again)
NC (vo): You had to be in an abusive relationship for that?!
(Cut back to Chiron and Percy)
NC (vo): How do you dummy-gods not stab yourselves when you get up in the morning?
Percy: My mother put up with that creep to protect me?
NC: (as Chiron) She was pretty stupid, yes.
Percy: She sacrificed so much for me. (Chiron nods) Now she's gone. (walks off)
NC: You know, I can't tell if every take in this is the first or the last, but it's definitely one of them.
NC (vo): He either doesn't have the emotion figured, so he's still feeling it out, or he's just done doing so many takes that he just bitterly gives up on the last one.
Percy: Look, I didn't steal it. (points at Chiron) This is your problem, all right? Not mine. (points again) This is about your world, not mine.
NC: (as Percy) This is, like, take 80; are you really gonna do take 81? (Beat) Dumb!
NC (vo): Not that Brosnan is doing much better selling the end of the world.
Chiron: (not showing much investment in what he's saying) Olympians would be forced to choose sides. Earth would become a battleground. Mountains erupted, earthquakes, raging fires.
NC: (as Chiron, deadpan tone) No, really, it's, like, super bad and stuff. The last time me and Greece were involved in such terror, I was singing in Mamma Mia.
(Percy goes to another site of the camp where the other demigod teens prepare for the game "capture the flag")
NC (vo): So they try to train Percy before taking him to Zeus to prove his innocence.
Chiron: This is Percy Jackson. (The male teens in the crowd from the red group are shown snickering, yet Annabeth is just staring tensely) And he's gonna need a team.
NC: Jesus, her eyes are gonna pop out and bite me!
(The picture of Susanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren from Orange is the New Black is shown)
NC (vo): Crazy Eyes has less crazy eyes!
(Luke Castellan (Jake Abel) steps out of his group that is marked blue)
Luke: We'll take him. I'm Luke, son of Hermes and camp leader.
Chiron: Everyone in position for "capture the flag"!
NC: Why do I feel like this will be Red vs. Blue, but unintentionally funny?
(The game starts, as everybody tries to outrun each other. Luke and Percy are in a pair)
Luke: I'm coming, buddy, I'm coming. Sons of Ares. Watch out. (One of the red team members points a sword at him) Whoa, that's a sword, that's a sword.
NC: (as Luke) I figure if I just say things I see that counts as comedy.
(Two corresponding clips play out as NC continues imitating Luke and pointing in different directions)
NC: (as Luke) That's a sword, that's a sword! That's a tree, that's a tree!
NC (vo): That's another "young adult" movie I'm not putting on my resume! (The poster for I Am Number Four appears)
(Percy and Luke are surrounded by the red team)
Percy: Oh, you guys take camp way too seriously.
(The camera moves close to Luke)
NC: (taken aback in surprise) Christ, that's just "capture the flag"!
NC (vo): What, was Eddie Redmayne your coach?!
Luke: GO! (At the same time, the clip of Balem (Redmayne) shouting "GO!!" from Jupiter Ascending plays out in the corner)
(The blue and red team sword-fight, and Percy manages to knock out one of the red team members with his sword)
NC: (to his students) Now, this is a good time to talk about your training faces.
Eragon: Oh, is that when we're all like, "Wow, I'm having so much fun..."
Neo: "But this is a lot harder than I thought it would be".
NC: Exactly. You've all done this a million times, so let's see those phoned-in faces.
(All the four students pretend they're enjoying something and laughing, then frowning in pain and frustration, and laughing again)
Harry: (laughing along with everybody, then frowning) Oh, that's different... (laughs and frowns again) Oh, no...
NC: Potter, you cheating off Neo's face?
Harry: No, sir, I wasn't!
Jubilee: (grins) Yes, he was, I saw him!
(Harry is immediately hit by a couch pillow. Neo removes his sunglasses in surprise, apparently thinking even that's too harsh for the kid)
NC: (whispers) I hate you.
(Back to the film, Percy approaches the flag, but encounters Annabeth next to him and the flag)
NC (vo): Percy finds the flag the same time... (The sound clip of Grover's "Ha!" is played, indicating that's how the character is dubbed from now on) ...does.
Annabeth: My mother is goddess of wisdom and battle strategy. I always win.
NC: Okay, you are always somewhere in-between...
(Pazuzu from The Exorcist (1973) is shown as we cut back to a clip of Annabeth staring in the crowd)
NC (vo): ...Regan and Pazuzu from The Exorcist!
(Annabeth attacks Percy with her sword, damaging his hand and face. She kicks him over to the river and joins her team, who cheers her on)
NC (vo): She whoops his ass, but the voice of his father gives him advice.
Poseidon (voice echoing) Go to the water.
NC (vo; as Poseidon): Drown yourself. You're pathetic.
(Percy puts his face and hand into the river, and his wounds heal. He also feels much stronger, so he uses this to his advantage and fights off the red team)
NC (vo): He finds the water heals him and gives him super strength.
(Percy takes hold of the flag and puts it in the air in victory. The blue team cheers for him)
NC (vo; as Percy): Yay, I learned nothing, cheated my way to victory and got rewarded for it! Now this is a hero's journey we can learn from!
(As the night falls, the blue team continues to celebrate in the forest. Two teens are shown roasting a pig)
NC: Yep, that's what happens to the loser team. Grab a plate.
(A giant fiery creature shows up, revealed to be the apparition of Hades)
NC (vo): But a Night on Dull Mountain appears, interrupting their celebration.
Hades: Percy Jackson, show yourself!
(Percy and Annabeth exchange glances)
NC (vo; as Percy): She's right here!
Hades: Percy Jackson, bring me the bolt!
NC (vo): It turns out this is Hades, who's demanding the lightning bolt be handed over to him in exchange for his mother being released from the underworld.
(Percy walks away from the camp. Grover and Annabeth follow him)
Percy: This is something I have to do on my own.
Annabeth: Yeah? Well, we weren't asking for your permission.
Percy: Come on. Today, you tried to kill me. Now, you want to defend me?
(Cut to a clip from Army of Darkness, showing Ash Williams' answer to Sheila apologizing)
(The three go to the tent of Luke, who is shown playing a first-person shooter video game on PlayStation 3)
NC (vo): They decide they need help, though, so they go to Luke, who helped him (Percy) out earlier.
Luke: (saying that he knew they would come) ...to get away from all that...Renaissance Fair stuff out there, you know.
NC: Funny how they're aware of games with guns, but no actual guns are ever utilized in this universe!
(Cut back to a scene of Percy fighting off the red team with his sword)
NC (vo): No, no. Swords and shields! That's what's needed for the dangers of the real world! Hey, kid! Nice armor that doesn't cover everything! (The gunshots firing into Percy's head are edited in)
Luke: Welcome to the modern world. What are you guys up to?
Percy: We're going to get my mom back.
NC: (as Luke, smirks) You like my obvious "bad guy going to betray you" demeanor?
NC (vo): How about this painfully unsubtle foreshadowing as to why?
Luke: My dad's a jerk. I've never met him. Guess we all got daddy issues, huh? That's because all gods are the same: selfish. They only care about themselves.
NC: (as a photo of people on the reenacting of the crime scene is shown) People on Murder Mystery Weekends reveal less about themselves than you!
(Luke gives Percy his sneakers with wings on them)
NC (vo): But he's giving him P-Wing shoes! He can't possibly be the villain, right?
Luke: If you see my dad on the highway to Hell, kick his ass for me.
NC: Now, this is especially interesting, because...
(He turns to see the couch completely empty)
Malcolm: (heard from the other room) Critic?!
(NC stands up to leave. Cut to Malcolm in the prop room, standing in front of Jubilee, Neo, Eragon and Harry and blocking the door. The four overlap each other, demanding Malcolm to go away. NC shows up, and everybody stops)
NC: Oh, no. Were you looking to go on an adventure, even though you'd get in trouble for it?
Jubilee, Neo and Eragon: (lowering heads in shame) Yeah...
Harry: (overlapping) Yes...
NC: Well, then you're following the exact protocol of the wild youngsters!
(The four's frowns turn into smiles, while Malcolm is looking confused)
NC: Were you planning to screw up along the way?
Jubilee, Neo and Eragon: Yeah.
Harry: (overlapping) Yes.
NC: Was there going to be a very obvious betrayal that, for some reason, still surprised you?
Jubilee and Eragon: Yeah!
Harry: (overlapping) Yes!
NC: Was there gonna be a moment when all hope looked gone, but suddenly, your confidence saved the day?
Jubilee, Neo and Eragon: Yeah!
Harry: (overlapping) Yes!
NC: (smiles) Then, much like Percy Jackson, you're on your way to be the most wowed youngsters who ever lived!
(The four laugh and chuckle in joy)
Malcolm: (looking dissatisfied) You're all insane.
NC: Come here, you! Come here, come here!
(NC joins the group and embraces them...minus Harry, who's pushed back by Jubilee. In the background, Malcolm stands there with a deadpan expression on his face)
NC: Oh! I love you guys, I love you guys! First class, first class! We're just amazing! All amazing! Ha-ha-ha-ha! Just so amazing, come here, now! (turns to Malcolm for a bit) Right? This is so amazing, just...I love you guys so much! Ha-ha-ha-ha! Ha-ha-ha-ha! (points to Harry) Keep it at a distance, keep it at a distance, really. Ha-ha-ha-ha! Oh, I love it. I love it, yeah.
(As the group continues to joyfully laugh, we fade to a commercial. After returning, we're shown Percy, Annabeth and Grover driving to Auntie Em's Garden Emporium in Leeds Point, where, according to the map that Luke gave them, the first of three pearls is located)
NC (vo): So they're searching for three pearls spread around the United States, which will allow them to leave the Underworld after they save Percy's mom. The first seems to be at a garden emporium.
Annabeth: Look at this. (takes some coins out of a small fountain)
NC: (faux horrific) Monster! Now people will lose their wishes!
(They find the stone statues of people looking scared. One woman, who seems to be fleeing from something, begs for Annabeth's help)
NC (vo): They notice a bunch of statues in the style of scared shitless and a woman running away from something evil.
NC: You can guess where this is going: Medusa.
(A shot of one movie depiction of Medusa is shown)
NC (vo): A monstrous hell-piece whose terrifying stare turns people to stone.
(This depiction of Medusa, played by Uma Thurman, is wearing sunglasses and a black cloth on her head)
Medusa: Well, this is a fabulous surprise.
NC (vo): ...or Uma Thurman unable to shower Batman & Robin off of her.
Medusa: (curls Annabeth's hair around) I was courted, desired by many suitors.
NC: Yeah, how big of a letdown is that? Not that it's Uma Thurman, but that it's...just her!
(Medusa removes her cloth, revealing the computed-animated snake hair. What follows is a montage of several depictions of Medusa in fan arts)
NC (vo): She has the snake hair. Okay. Standard. But look at all these designs that people have done over the years. You could really have fun with a modern-day Medusa with modern-day technology, and nd it's just a normal person with snake hair. Look at this dumb idiot. She knows not to look, but, for some reason, she does!
Medusa: (with her sunglasses taken off) So rude, not looking people in the eyes.
(The woman slowly removes her hand from her eyes and opens them, thus turning into stone)
NC (vo; as a woman): Well, she makes a good argument. I mean, the snakes do sound comforting...oh, you got me! Tell my husband I died from idiocy.
Medusa: (tilting her head slightly as her snakes sense something) Who's that? Another demigod? (quickly runs off)
NC: (slightly baffled, trying not to laugh) ...What do you think the direction was for that?
(The scene is repeated)
NC (vo; as the director): Now, Uma, act like you've been drunk for hours, and then suddenly, you realize you have to pee.
NC: (grinning) The Olympians come to life!
(Because the woman turned to stone was holding Annabeth's hand, the latter can't get it free. Grover cuts it off with the sword, yet the arm remains on Annabeth's hand. Meanwhile, Medusa finds and catches Percy, but Grover bursts in riding a truck)
NC (vo): So it looks like... (Grover's "Ha!" is replayed again) ...can't get her hand free, but Grover cuts off the arm, and...that shouldn't have loosened her grip, but movie needs to movie, so off we go. How do they take out one of the most famous mythical villains of all time? Like a bitch.
(The confused Medusa looks in her small mirror to check the damage and sees Percy charging at her and cutting her head off)
NC: She was so pathetic, it almost seemed mean to cut her head off!
NC (vo): Now, writers, millions of dollars are being put into this movie. I really want you to take your time and think of a good line he can say after killing her.
Percy: Heads up.
NC: Or...go with something your two-year-old would say. That works, too.
(The trio take Medusa's head and a fistful of gold drachmas along with them for later use, along with the pearl, which had been attached to her bracelet. On the way to the next location, they stop at the hotel and turn on the TV that shows Fox 8 News reporting about the incident at Percy's house)
NC (vo): They find the location of the next pearl, as well as discovering they're on the news.
Gabe: When I woke up, Sally was gone. She was kidnapped by Percy. She would never look up...
Percy: Oh, shut up, Gabe. (turns the TV off)
NC: Yeah, we don't need information about how close they are to finding us.
(A woman at the window of a house next door screams when seeing Medusa's decapitated head that Grover is holding)
NC (vo): Or close curtains when there's a decapitated head in our room.
NC: (as an image of a book labeled "Dumbass Studies" is shown) Did none of them attend Dumbass Studies when they were training all those years?!
(Secretly entering Parthenon in Nashville to retrieve the second pearl from the crown of the statue of Athena, the trio notice five janitors around it)
NC (vo): The next pearl seems to be in the crown of a statue. But they need to get past the cleaning crew first.
(Using a crossbow, Annabeth injects the tranquilizer darts into janitors. One of them falls off a ladder after being shot)
Annabeth: (to Percy and Grover) They're not dead, they're unconscious.
NC (vo): That dude is dead or all kinds of broken!
NC: Bottom line: he's never having children.
(Percy uses the flying sneakers to retrieve the second pearl. The group of janitors wakes up and forms a straight line)
NC (vo): They use the flying shoes to get the pearl, but they're suddenly ambushed.
Janitors: (speaking in unison) We've been expecting you, Mr. Jackson.
Percy: (rolls eyes) Not again.
NC: (frowns) Was there another instance where a gang of janitors threatened you in unison?
(The janitors transform into the Hydra and attack the trio)
NC (vo): They morph into a Hydra and start attacking our heroes by, I guess, intimidating means.
(Percy puts out the small fire on his wrist by patting on it)
NC: So fire is now a mosquito bite. (shows his wrist with an edited fire erupting on it) Oh, look. (slaps on it two times, and it's gone) Good.
(Grover takes out Medusa's head, its eyes still active, and turns the Hydra into stone, starting with the fire)
NC (vo): They use Medusa's head to turn...fire into stone?..
NC: Movie, if you don't know why that's stupid, I'm not gonna tell you.
(The trio arrives at the Lotus Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas to obtain the third and final pearl)
NC (vo): ...as they discover the location to the next and final pearl is in Vegas.
Grover: We got poker, we got blackjack...
Annabeth: Grover, we're not here to have fun.
NC: That was the catchphrase they put on every poster.
(The movie's poster with the line "We're Not Here to Have Fun" edited on its top is shown. In the casino, the trio is greeted by cocktail waitresses wearing green dresses)
NC (vo): Why, hello, siren-looking sirens. Thank God we know nothing about sirens.
(The three taste the casino's signature dish, lotus flowers, and immediately forget everything)
Annabeth: (smiles) Guys, why don't we stay here for a while?
NC: Okay, so...this is actually a very clever part of the movie.
NC (vo): Finding the lotus alters their mind, so they want to stay in the casino and party forever. There's even a guy who admits to being there since the 70s.
70s Kid (Max Van Ville): (standing at the bar) This year, 1971.
NC (vo): This is not only a great update to the Lotus-eaters threat in Greek mythology, but it's a great commentary on gambling addiction, drug addiction, honestly, just addiction in general. They're even shocked to discover they've been there for days, even though it just feels like three hours.
(Cut to a later part of the scene, with the trio driving out of the casino and seeing the date on a skyscraper)
Percy: Today is 15th.
Annabeth: No. Tomorrow is the 21st. We were in there for five days.
NC: Have the rest of the movie been this clever, it honestly would have turned out pretty awesome.
NC (vo): But instead, we're given a bunch of shit that doesn't make sense, like the pearl is one of the marbles on the spinning wheel. Who the hell put that there?!? It's like having the deed to your house be what you wipe your ass with in the bathroom! It just doesn't seem like a good spot for it! Percy doesn't even wise up to the spell. He has to be told again by his father not to eat the lotus. So, once again, his dad bails him out.
(Retrieving the pearl from the spinning wheel by winning, Percy goes to eat the lotus flower once again)
Poseidon: (voice echoing) No, Percy. Don't eat the flower. (Percy hesitates and puts it back)
NC: This film should be called Training Wheels: The Movie!
(Percy comes to his senses and snaps Annabeth and Grover out of it. They hijack a car on the stand and drive away from the casino)
NC (vo): Thank God management knows to always keep the keys to their show cars in the vehicle, because you can't shoot yourself in the foot without bullets.
(The car crashes through the entrance. The trio realize they only have one day to prevent the gods' war. With all three pearls, Percy, Grover, and Annabeth enter the portal to the Underworld behind the Hollywood Sign)
NC (vo): They escape and drive to where the entrance to the Underworld is, Hollywood.
NC: Of course! Hades probably greenlit this film!
(The gang encounters Charon (Julian Richings), ferryman of the River Styx and Hades' servant)
NC (vo): They go to cross the River Styx, but the rower is not cooperative, leading to probably the funniest line in the movie.
Percy: We need to see Hades.
Charon: The living are not permitted here. Die and come back.
NC: (shakes head) Trust me, this film makes it tempting.
NC (vo): Grover tries paying him off.
(Grover takes out several dollars and places them on Charon's hand. A fire instantly erupts on his hand and burns the money. Grover gasps in shock)
NC: It's how everyone felt when they paid money to see this flick.
NC (vo): They finally find some currency he'll accept, and he takes them to Hades.
(The trio pay Charon with drachmas and ride with him on a ferry through Styx)
NC (vo; as Charon): Please give me five stars on your app. I'll try to talk less politics next time.
(Hades and Persephone, the husband and wife, approach the trio in the Underworld)
NC (vo): They're approached by Persephone, played by Rosario Dawson, presumably doing time for Clerks II. Hades is played by Steve Coogan, who I guess is kind of like James Woods' Hades if he was a street magician.
Hades: (to Percy) Why did you come here, then?
Percy: When you saw that I wasn't the thief, you'd let my mother go.
Hades: What, do you think I'm an idiot?! I'm Hades!
(Hades finds the lightning bolt hidden inside Luke's shield, revealing that Luke was the thief. Sally is released from the Underworld and reunites with Percy. However, Hades still tries feeding the group to a gate of souls)
NC (vo): They discover the lightning is in the shield, as his mother is handed over, figuring out it was Luke who used them. What, that bundle of no motives?
(Persephone tases Hades in retaliation for imprisoning her and gives the bolt to Percy)
NC (vo): Persephone betrays Hades, though, and says she'll let them go with the pearls. But they only have three, and there's four of them. Math was also not taught in demigod training.
Grover: I'm staying because I'm the protector.
Percy: Grover, come on.
Grover: Just go. It is my duty.
Percy: We'll come back for you.
NC: Wow. That took, like, no convincing.
NC (vo; as Grover): No. I... (as Percy) All right, let's go.
(Percy, Sally and Annabeth teleport to the fourth location with the final pearl)
NC: (puts his hand on heart) It's the friendships that keep me invested.
NC (vo): On second thought, what's even the downside? He has an eternity bonking Rosario Dawson! Boo-frickety-hoo!
(Persephone flirtingly moves a finger towards herself. Grover nervously bleats and covers his mouth)
NC: If she doesn't get your go face, nothing will.
(Percy, Sally and Annabeth teleport to the Empire State Building, the entrance to Mount Olympus. However, before they can enter, they are ambushed by Luke)
NC (vo): They beam to the Empire State Building, where Luke is there, ready to finish them off. But they sadly don't go out so easily.
(Annabeth fights Luke, damaging his shoulder and kicking him in the sky)
Percy: You all right?
NC: She just kicked his ass. Why wouldn't she be okay?
(Now, it's Percy's turn to battle Luke, but the latter's powers are stronger, and he gets the upper hand)
NC (vo): Of course, it comes down to one-on-one, as Percy seems to be beaten. A shame he can't control water on this stormy night. If only Manhattan was surrounded by the clear liquid. Or most of the human body is made up of water-- EVERYONE'S DUMB IN THIS!
(Percy eventually takes control of the water kept in water towers, as Luke is astonished by that)
NC (vo): Percy uses the water towers around him to surround Luke... who just stands there, letting him do it.
(Percy turns the huge wave towards Luke and splashes it on him. Luke is later seen coughing)
NC (vo): He smashes the water into him, presumably electrocuting him, seeing how water and lightning don't mix...oh, he's fine.
NC: (as two clips, one from this scene and the other of Percy putting out the fire on his wrist, are shown) Electricity and fire are playful sunburns in this world!
(Percy returns to Olympus and returns the lightning bolt to Zeus in front of all the gods)
NC (vo): Percy grabs the bolt and returns it to Olympus to stop the gods from going to war. All seems well, but Percy, still feeling inadequate, talks with his father for the first time.
Poseidon: (lowering in size, stopping the leaving Percy with his water arm) Please. We don't have much time.
Percy: How old was I...when you left?
NC: (as Poseidon) You were just "saw the plus sign on the pregnancy test" old.
Poseidon: (speaking about Zeus) That's why he passed the law preventing gods from ever having contact with their children. But I was always watching over you.
NC: Oh, that reminds me. Malcolm, get in here.
(He gets up as Malcolm comes over to him)
Malcolm: What now?
NC: (opens the binder) Well, we're at the part where the wowed youngsters are feeling hopeless, so we gotta give them a motivational speech.
(NC's students are shown feeling down)
Malcolm: But they've barely done anything. How do you know they need to be motivated?
NC: (speaking up to his students) Hands up, those who don't have their real parents!
(All raise their hands)
NC: (gives another binder to Malcolm) Yeah, see?
Malcolm: All right.
NC: Now, we're running short on time, so I'll give the speech to these two, and you give the speech to those two.
Malcolm: Wait. Won't it vary because of the different things they've been through?
(They both proceed to slowly read from their binders)
NC and Malcolm: I know you always saw yourself as a loser. But you are more than you think. There's a whole world you didn't know existed. It's about to turn to chaos, and you're the key to bring back balance.
Students: (in unison) But how? I'm just a nobody. There's nothing special about me.
NC and Malcolm: Don't you know...
NC: (overlapping) ...Jubilee and Eragon?
Malcolm: (overlapping) ...Neo and Harry?
NC and Malcolm: You're not just special like us. You're the most special one of all.
Malcolm: You're a wizard, Harry.
Harry: (astonished) Wow!
NC: You're a dragon rider, Eragon.
Eragon: (astonished) Wow!
Malcolm: You're the One, Neo.
Neo: (rubs his chin) Interesting.
NC: And you're... (Jubilee is smiling, waiting for an answer) ...gonna be standing to the coolest X-Man a lot, Jubilee! (As he says this, a shot from the animated series with Jubilee and Wolverine is shown)
Jubilee: (frowns) What?
NC: Well, yeah, they can't all be homeruns. Just feel thankful that you got cameos in the Singer films and go out there and win!
Harry: Well, that's all the motivation I need.
Jubilee: (shows a middle finger to Harry) Hey, Potter, is there something on my finger?
Harry: (leans close to Jubilee) No... (is shocked by a small blast by Jubilee)
(Back to the film, Percy reunites with Grover (with a new pair of horns, meaning he is now a senior protector) and Chiron in Camp Half-Blood)
NC (vo): So Percy discovers it was forbidden for Poseidon to communicate with him over the years...apart from the constant mental phone calls in his head, explain that one... and Percy goes back a hero, despite the fact that he honestly didn't do that much. He even gets Grover released from constant sex with Persephone. Thanks a lot, asshole!
Chiron: You left the camp, disobeyed my orders.
NC: (as Chiron) But it was damn good flying.
Chiron: You are my favorite student.
NC: Same song, different course.
(Percy goes up to Annabeth, and they lean for a kiss)
NC (vo): Percy comes across... (Grover's "Ha!" is played once again) ...who still refuses to tie up her heroine fighting, and it looks like they're gonna live romantic...ish together?
(Annabeth then takes Percy's sword and points it at him)
Perry: Whoa, whoa. Wait.
Annabeth: First rule of battle strategy: don't ever let your opponent distract you.
NC: First rule of dating: always grab a man's sword and use it against him. At least somebody's learning something!
(The film ends, and its clips play out for the last time as NC starts to give his closing thoughts)
NC (vo): And that was Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. And after so much emotional turmoil, I think it only figures to make one big change.
(NC nods his head, thinking it's time, and he stands up and goes to another door, putting a sign on it. The four students and Malcolm come over to him. NC moves away to reveal that the sign is reading "Jean Grey's School for Wowed Youngsters")
Eragon: What's this?
NC: Oh, Christ. Did none of you see Dark Phoenix?
Jubilee: I'm in the X-Men! (NC gives her a look) No.
NC: Basically, it means everything has come full circle. (Beat) In that, it absolutely...hasn't at all.
NC (vo): Percy Jackson is as phoned in a "wowed youngsters" movie as you can get. While I have my issues with other films that did something similar, there was at least a passion to them that indicated people wanted to make this because they had an interesting story to tell. This just feels like they're trying to score big with a formula that's popular. It's emotionally lacking, there's not much of an arc for anyone, even the creative visuals aren't all that creative. I've never read the books, but I pray they have more of an imaginative identity than what's represented here. It's not a god-awful movie, it's just standard, dull, and it's been done a million times.