Okay so now it’s time to review a film I’ve been waiting to watch for a while, Jack the Giant Slayer. It is another one of those crazy twists on a classic fairy tale, but the reason people should be paying attention to it is because Bryan Singer is in the director’s chair. He has a pretty decent catalogue of films under his belt, plus the trailers for this film looked pretty interesting and unique and featured a decent cast too. How could it go wrong? Well somehow it did and the end result is something quite unremarkable.
So when it comes to the story we all know how Jack and the Beanstalk goes right? Some kid gets some magic beans, a beanstalk appears, Jack climbs into the clouds, confronts a giant and numerous riches. You know all that good stuff. However this film takes a different approach by blending to tales, Jack and the Beanstalk tale and Jack the Giant Killer.
Here’s a synopsis:
“Sent to the market by his uncle to sell their horse and buy thatch for their roof, Jack meets the beautiful Princess Isabelle whom he rescues her from ruffians. He returns home only with a handful of beads given to him by a monk who claimed they were sacred but that does little to impress his uncle who tosses them away. In the night the Princess arrives having run off to keep from marrying Roderick who is clearly only interested in becoming king. Soon the beans take root with a giant stalk carrying away the princess and Jack’s house. He soon sets off on an adventure with the king’s guards to rescue the princess only to find that a mythical land filled with giants really exists.”
Honestly the story for this film had an interesting idea; it just wasn’t quite executed very well. I can’t really explain where this film goes wrong, it had decent set up with Jack and Isabelle and then with the beanstalk shooting her into the sky and then having Jack along with Lord Roderick and Elmont going up into the sky to save her. I liked that, but after they started to investigate the land of the giants I swear things started to drag and I kid you not, I nodded off in the film. I swear this must be due to my lack of sleep, but I’ve watched film in worse conditions (like having a hangover) and I’ve been fine. I think this film just got uninteresting half way through and then sort of picked up again near the end. The story had potential to be so much more but it was just there, and speaking of just there…
The characters in this film weren’t all that interesting either. Now don’t get me wrong their performances weren’t bad, I just didn’t care for any of them, bar a few people. Nicholas Hoult as Jack was fine, but even as the protagonist I didn’t really care about him. I wasn’t rooting for him, I didn’t care about his love interest with Isabelle, I’m not sure if I even liked the guy at all. His character was just there and could have been played by anyone. Eleanor Tomlinson as Isabelle was a princess and she played her part well but again I wasn’t fussed about her character. Now we come to the first person I actually give a damn about and that’s Stanley Tucci as Lord Roderick. He played an adviser to the king with designs on usurping power and taking control of the giants, Tucci played his role well and I enjoyed his screen presence. Surprising Ian McShane as King Brahmwell was just there as the king, he played the role well enough but I again didn’t care for the character. And lastly let’s talk about Bill Nighy and John Kassir who play Fallon, the two-headed leader of the giants. this was one of the saddest excuses for a leader of giants. I was expecting someone badass; instead I got half of a villain a bumbling idiot head that spoke like the Tazmainan Devil from Looney Tunes. I couldn’t take Fallon seriously with such a stupid handicap on his should, it like looking at a dumb version Gollum on crack!
Ewan McGregor played Elmont, the leader of the king’s elite guard, who helps fight giants. I thought his character was cool, funny and probably my favourite person in the film for one main reason… HE’S EWAN FRIGGING MCGREGOR! He’s one of my favourite actors and I’ll watch him in anything, luckily he was one of the better characters in this film. Now this is going to sound bad but Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci were the only people I cared about.
The presentation of the film is a bit of a mixed bag. Visually the GCI varies from looking decent to just not trying to look realistic and actually blend into the world with the characters. I know this is meant to be a fantasy film and I hate to be so picky about special effects but it wasn’t handled that well. The giants looked alright, the castle scenery looked nice and the initial beanstalk-growing sequence at night was good, but there was nothing that wowed me. Now compare this with another recent fantasy/fairy tale film Oz The Great and Powerful which put its special effects to good use and while it was a bit excessive it at least looked polished and stylish.
So to conclude Jack the Giant Killer was good, but nothing to write home about. I can’t say I was impressed that much and that’s what hurts me so much. The trailers had my interest but the film just turned out alright, I expected much more. I’m sorry if there a people who liked this film but I just thought was incredibly underwhelming, especially since it came from the same director that gave us The Usual Suspects, X-Men and X-Men 2.
Rating: 5.5/10 (Most people will enjoy the film, but for me I expected far too much and got too little)
So what did you think of Jack the Giant Slayer? Did you love it or hate it? Whatever your thoughts are drop them in the comments section below and I’ll see you on the next review yo! 😀