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

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Advertisement
Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.