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Jack the Giant Slayer - Cinemaholic Movie Reviews
one person's obsessive addiction to film
Jack the Giant Slayer
Directing: B+
Acting: B
Writing: C+
Cinematography: B+
Editing: B
Special Effects: B

Adapting a folktale like Jack and the Beanstalk into a movie kind of sounds like the folktale equivalent of adapting an amusement park ride into a movie: the initial reaction is a kind of dumbfounded, Really? Well: yep. Pirates of the Caribbean kind of turned out okay, after all.

It certainly couldn't hurt to get a director like X-Men's Bryan Singer. Then again, they also got Batman Returns's Bryan Singer. Not that the latter movie is terrible; it's just not terribly memorable. And neither is Jack the Giant Slayer, which comes across a little like Generic Old-English Movie. With Giants.

I mean, it's fine. It's entertaining. There are charming performances by Nicholas Hoult as Jack; Eleanor Tomlinson as the princess Isabelle; Ewan McGregor as one of the king's high-level soldiers; and Stanley Tucci as as Roderick, Isabelle's villainous intended. It's a little jarring to see Tucci with hair. Also, this movie has by turns three different villains, from Roderick to a two-headed giant to yet another giant -- all of them by turns managing to become king of the giants. It all has to do with an ancient crown forged from the heart of some long ago-giant, you see.

I know it's a fairy tale, but sometimes I get a little stuck on, you know, physics. I can open my mind to magic beans that grow a massive beanstalk into the sky, but it reaches all the way to another land occupied by giants which, what, just hovers suspended above the clouds? It rains in the land of giants, by the way (there's a lot of rain in this movie). Where is that rain coming from? Maybe I just think too much.

The princess runs out of the castle looking for adventures, and gets lost; she finds the light in a house that just happens to be occupied by the commoner (Jack) who had previously defended her from harassment while in disguise at a public event. What a coincidence! Jack was trying to sell his horse and some monk traded him beans for it. "Whatever you do, don't get them wet!" he says. What is this, Gremlins? Did I mention it rains a lot?

Conveniently, when the bean that fell through the floorboards sprouts and the beanstalk grows right through the house, the house gets lifted largely intact instead of getting completely obliterated. Well, we had to get the princess to the land of the giants somehow! Send the rescue mission! Make sure good humans, bad humans, and expendable humans are all included!

Boy, I don't sound like I liked this movie, do I? I kind of did. I liked it in spite of its vast preposterousness. Perhaps partly because of it. It's got some decently rendered and exciting effects shots and sequences, and a few bits of humor to make us feel like it's not taking itself too seriously. Actually it could have used a little more of the humor. Still, it was fun, for a Sunday afternoon with no better options. Trust me on this: Jack the Giant Killer could have gone any manner of terrible directions that it didn't. It's about as crowd-pleasing as you could ask for. And if you're looking for realism, you're at the wrong movie.

One thing's for sure: this is not worth the premium for seeing it in 3-D. This movie moves back into 3D-as-gimmick territory; there's just no need. What you can do is see this in 2-D before noon at Pacific Place for only six bucks. Totally worth it!

jack the giant slayer

Overall: B
1 comment or Leave a comment
tommy50702 From: tommy50702 Date: March 18th, 2013 04:03 am (UTC) (Link)
Just came back from seeing it its awesome!
1 comment or Leave a comment