Jack the Giant Slayer

"Very Good"

Jack the Giant Slayer Review


We may sigh heavily at the thought of yet another fairy tale blockbuster, but the filmmakers and cast here demand a bit more attention. And sure enough, it's refreshingly smarter and funnier than we expect. There are still the problems of unnecessary 3D and far too many digital characters, but the restless pace and the witty performances make it a lot of fun to watch.

It's Jack and the Beanstalk with added action mayhem, as orphaned farmboy Jack (Hoult) sells his horse for a bag of supposedly magic beans. When one inadvertently gets wet, a massive beanstalk manages to propel Princess Isabelle (Tomlinson) into the realm of the giants, reawakening a legend that had died off centuries ago. So the King (McShane) enlists Jack to join a rescue team of guards (including McGregor, Marsan and Bremner) and Isabelle's intended, the shifty Roderick (Tucci). Up above the clouds, they encounter two-headed giant Fallon (Nighy) and his nasty horde. But rescuing Isabelle is only the first problem they face.

The freewheeling plot zips along without pausing for breath, encompassing massive set pieces and more gritty battles as well as small moments of drama and romance. Meanwhile, Jack and Isabelle cast lusty glances at each other, even when they're in physical peril. Director Singer brings out the energy of the characters to keep us involved, playing on the vertiginous angles of the settings while playfully deploying fairy tale imagery in the sets, costumes and landscapes. it's understandably why he decided to digitally create the giants rather than have actors play them, but this leaves a hole where the monsters should be. Aside from Nighy's more obviously performance-captured face, all of them look like dead-eyed cartoons, which essentially turns the film into a medieval Transformers movie.

Even so, the actors play their characters with relish. Tucci gets the best role by far, a smirking baddie who evokes The Princess Bride with Roderick's duplicitous sarcasm and irony. By contrast, Hoult and Tomlinson are rather bland, but then they are the romantic heroes, so we don't expect much more. And they're engaging enough that we still cheer for them. Meanwhile, McShane and McGregor manage to add sparky edges to their nice-guy characters. So even if the climactic battle sequence seems to get stuck in a massive struggle to open a draw bridge, there are moments of humour and suspense along the way. And the witty epilogue sends us out with a smile.

Rich Cline



Jack the Giant Slayer

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 114 mins

In Theaters: Friday 1st March 2013

Box Office USA: $65.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $197.7M

Budget: $195M

Distributed by: Warner Bros.

Production compaines: Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, Legendary Pictures, Original Film, Big Kid Pictures, Bad Hat Harry Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 52%
Fresh: 100 Rotten: 93

IMDB: 6.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Ori Marmur, , Neal H. Moritz,

Starring: as Jack, as Princess Isabelle, as Elmont, as Roderick, as King Brahmwell, as Crawe, as Wicke, as Old Hamm, as General Fallon, as General Entin, Andrew Brooke as Fye, as Fumm, as Jack's Dad, Lee Boardman as Badger, Christian Wolf-La'Moy as Horse Merchant, Duncan JC Mais as The kings Foot Soldier, Santi Scinelli as Soothsayer, Caroline Hayes as Jack's Mum, Angus Barnett as Foe, Alex MacQueen as Tour Guide, Tandi Wright as The Queen

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