Sunday, March 10, 2013

Jack The Giant Slayer

Year: 2013
Director: Bryan Singer
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci

Plot: Jack grew up on the story of the giants who lived up in the clouds. He discovers that the legend is true, after he comes into possession of some magic beans, which grows into a huge beanstalk that leads to the giants' world. He must now embark on an adventure to save a princess from the giants' clutches.

Review: Yet another film based on a fairytale arrives, this time on the well known Jack And The Beanstalk. Bryan Singer doesn't deviate too far from the original story and adds some other touches of his own to make it interesting.

For starters, there's more than one giant here, an army in fact. The giants don't have much character development as the story goes, which is okay since Singer chose to focus on the human characters instead, and it is the humans that are easier to relate to. Jack and Princess Isabelle are somewhat similar, being misunderstood young adults who both have something to prove. 

Nicholas Hoult is decent enough as Jack, playing him as a simple guy whom most people wouldn't look up to as a hero, but has enough heart and cunning to save the day. Eleanor Tomlinson is also good as Isabelle and has solid chemistry with Hoult, though I must say their romance is rather cliched. Ewan McGregor sheds much of his usual seriousness to play Elmont, the King's trusted commander. I say so because his character isn't always the heroic or dependable one when the time demands it, and comes off occasionally silly at times. Stanley Tucci gets the villain role of Roderick, who has plans to take over the kingdom, but he gets less screen time than the giants, who are the real baddies here.

Speaking of the giants, Singer made sure that they look as ugly as possible, and deserves credit for successfully doing so. They look like cavemen complete with disgusting habits and barbaric attitudes. So it's not a problem for the audience to root against them.

As steady as Singer's direction is, the film isn't without flaws. The story doesn't really pick up until it gets to the third act. Singer spends the first two thirds of the film setting up the plot and then continuously peppers it with humour, which is hit or miss, at least it was for me. The laughs generated here would be funny for teens and kids, but not for me. Then there's the ending, which felt kinda strange, because I thought it didn't gel with the rest of the film and seemed awkward. But at the very least, the climax of the film, where  a huge battle takes place between the humans and the giants is awesome to behold. 

Overall Jack And The Giant Slayer is decent entertainment at best. It's probably worth checking out once, but not more. (3/5)

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