What worked for me and Lily (age 11, and big fan of the series):
We thought that for the most part, the casting worked. Although we did not LOVE the fact that all the kids are older and some more romantic tension was thrown into the storyline, we accepted it as a necessary choice and it did not totally change how the story plays out.
Uma Thurman as Medusa, with or without her body attached, is quite effective. And we stayed until after the credit to see the very satisfying scene of Gabe vs. Medusa’s-head-in-the-fridge.
The special effects that show Percy’s command of water are cool to watch and thoroughly enjoyable. And we appreciated that the humorous tone is still present in the movie, although not as palpable as it is in the book. (Remember those funny chapter titles?)
We couldn’t quite understand why
1. Percy’s mom has to accompany him to Camp and why she was there when they went to Mount Olympus.
2. That Camp Half-Blood looks so much LESS impressive, LESS fun, LESS like a camp that we would love to spend our summers at. We both imagined that the Camp, as such an important place for important people, would have been on a much grander scale, the training ground would have looked less like the Disney’s Camp Rock campus, but more like one might find in Ancient Greece or the “real” Mount Olympus with each House resembling a temple with columns, carvings, and statues. We both decided to re-read the descriptions in the book to see if our recollections are faulty.