Gulliver's Travels Movie Review

Jonathan Swift's 1726 novel is given the Jack Black treatment in this lively, colourful romp, which isn't nearly as funny as it thinks it is. But the childish rudeness will keep children giggling.

Lemuel Gulliver (Black) works in the mailroom at a New York newspaper, where he torments a young colleague (Miller) and pines after the travel editor (Peet).

After convincing her to let him write a story on the Bermuda Triangle, he's shipwrecked in Lilliput, an island populated by people who are 6 inches tall.

There he befriends Horatio (Segel) and helps the King and Queen (Connolly and Tate) fend off their rival neighbours, becoming a hero in the process. But the Princess (Blunt) has a pompous suitor (O'Dowd) who plots Gulliver's downfall.

There are plenty of things to like about this film, including nicely understated themes about unambitious guys who get a chance to prove themselves.

On the other hand, the movie is preoccupied by special effects and Black's mugging humour, and the filmmakers indulge in both of these so thoroughly that the story becomes irrelevant. In this simplistic narrative, world peace can be achieved by merely performing a goofy karaoke rendition of the 1970 hit War ("What is it good for? Absolutely nought!").

Pop culture references fill the movie, which was clearly made by boys who grew up in the Star Wars generation. And the screenwriters also make some deranged nods (mocking James Cameron's special effects-based work seems a bit rich), while the Lilliputian court mangles the English language hilariously. Of course, there's also continual toilet humour, some of which is genuinely disturbing if you think about it.

The plot covers the first two, and most famous, chapters of Swift's classic with a merrily energetic pace that will make sure no one's bored. Black does his usual shtick in the role, which doesn't stretch him at all, as it were. And the supporting cast of British comics is wasted (only O'Dowd gets to let rip).

Visually, the effects are decent even if they never exploit the 3D. And the whole thing has a whiff of a franchise-launch about it. Which makes the movie feel almost scary.

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : , Ben Cooley, ,

Comments

Gulliver's Travels Rating

" Weak "

Rating: PG, 2010

Advertisement

More Jack Black

Nickelodeon Planning 'School of Rock' TV Series

Whilst it's not yet known if Black will return to repise his role as penniless musician turned eccentric music teacher Dewey Finn, original director Richard...

Jack Black Will Play R.L. Stine in 'Goosebumps' Movie

There’s a special place in the heart of fright loving 90’s kids reserved for R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps novels. Anyone who even slightly delved into the...

'Sex Tape': Cameron Diaz And Jason Segel Spice Up Their Love Lives In The Digital Age [Trailer + Pictures]

The red band trailer has been released for the hilarious new comedy, Sex Tape, which stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel as two characters who,...

Sex Tape Trailer

Jay and Annie once had a thriving sexual relationship, but now they've been together for ten years and have two children, things are going a...

Advertisement

Who Could Play Rob Ford?

With news that the rights to a movie based on the life of Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has been sold, the question is who’s going...

Zach Braff's NYC Photobomb Is Pure Internet Gold! [Image]

Zach Braff may have won the award for the finest celebrity photobombing incident of all time, after an image of him cheekily smiling into the...

School of Rock Reunion Sees Jack Black Thrashing The Axe

School of Rock's cast have reunited after ten years apart. The cast of the musical comedy appeared at a celebratory event in honour of the...

School Of Rock's 10 Year Reunion

School of Rock's cast have reunited after ten years apart. The cast of the musical comedy appeared at a celebratory event in honour of the...

Advertisement