I Saw A Film Today… Jack The Giant Slayer

jackgiantNicholas Hoult is a busy lad as of late. Only weeks ago Warm Bodies, a good little zom-rom-com starring the aforenamed, was successfully released to tween girls all over. And this weekend he once again appeared as the lead in yet another fairy tale transformed into an adventure film, and I’m happy to report director Bryan Singer has produced a fun romp with Jack the Giant Slayer.

This isn’t the Jack and the Beanstalk you grew up with as a wee one. Well, maybe it is. I don’t know your childhood now do I? I feel I’ve gone off topic. Right, so our story begins in a time when men fighting giants is only a legend told to children at bedtime in the kingdom of Cloister. This includes a young Jack and a young Princess Isabella.

Fast forward a few years and Jack (Hoult) is still a young peasant boy and Isabella (Eleanor Tomlinson) is still princessing. After losing his father to the plague, Jack lives with his grumpy uncle working off the land. But as money gets tight, time comes to sell off some possessions, including the family horse (sounding familiar yet?)

Up to this point, Jack has actually been a bit of a dull film. It has a flow but still seems to drag on with exposition. It is only when Jack receives the beans that things begin to pick up. That’s when Bryan Singer’s talent for storytelling really comes through.

It’s here that we are transported to the land of giants, via beanstalk obviously. Here is a land that is truly an achievement in CGI. Although, if you do see this film, skip the 3-D. There really are no moments where the stereoscopic photography was noticeable or held any factor of wonder.

The giants look spectacular, if not stereotypical sadly. They’re disgusting, uncivilized, and rather unintelligent beings, just like films before it featuring them. Why isn’t there a brainy one amongst them? Are there no giant fashionistas or hipsters? And all the giants in this film are old. No young giants, no female giants. So, is the land of giants just a giant sausage fest? What happens when a giant feels… lonely?

I’m nitpicking obviously. Jack is immensely fun. It doesn’t take it easy on the cheesy and it’s better for it. It’s a throwback with a fresh coat. It’s a bit sad that it’s opening weekend was not stronger than it was. It’s the first real thrill ride of the year. And it’s for all ages too.

Nicolas Hoult is a model straight-laced hero. He starts as a lowly farm boy and becomes a grand giant killer. But his connection with Eleanor Tomlinson, who is a very respectable princess, is a high point. She is strong and very adept at this sort of gig. Together, they’re quite romantic and entertaining. But not as entertaining as the supporting cast. Stanley Tucci is a complete ham in this as the all too obvious villain. all that was missing was an English mustache to twirl. And Ewan McGregor had fun will this role as an upright knight.

It may have started off slow but once it’s off, it’s nonstop fun.

Verdict: See it!

*Rated PG-13 for intense scenes of fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief language. Directed by Bryan Singer (X-Men: First Class, The Usual Suspects).

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