- Starring: Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies), Eleanor Tomlinson (Alice in Wonderland), Ewan McGregor (Big Fish) and more.
- Directed by: Bryan Singer (X-Men)
- Synopsis: “Jack the Giant Slayer tells the story of an ancient war that is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants. Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack, into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom, its people, and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend—and gets the chance to become a legend himself.”
- Rated: Rated PG13 for stylistic violence, brief language, action and fantasy.
- Must-Watch Trailer:
I love that fairy tales never seem to go out of style. They, perhaps, change their medium of being shared from word of mouth around a campfire to a book being read at a child’s bedside to a child’s television program to the big screen as a theatrical release; and they are always enjoyed.
Hollywood has been bitten by the classic fairytale bug with not only tv shows (Once Upon a Time, Grimm, Beauty & the Beast), but also in movies. Recent evidence: 2010’s Tangled, 2011’s Beastly, 2012’s Mirror Mirror and Snow White & the Huntsman, 2013’s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. (Some are highly more entertaining than others) And while more are in the works for future release (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid), today we take a look at the most recent addition to the fairy tale genre: Director Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer. (Hit the jump to read more)
While I would love to tell you that I was glued to every minute of this motion-capture, CGI-laden adventure full of giants, swords and a ring of power to rule them all…The Lord of the Rings this was not and I actually found myself more ready to reach the “The End” of this fairy tale than I had wished (especially during the first 2/3 of the movie.)
Sometimes, favorite actors make choices that you just don’t understand. Samuel L. Jackson (Snakes on a Plane), Nicolas Cage (most of his post-2005 movies), Nicole Kidman (Trespass)…just to name a few. This one happened to have three of some of my faves and for the life of me I have no idea why they chose to be a part (Much like Gary Oldman in Red Riding Hood). Oh, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane and Ewan McGregor, why are you all in this movie?
Jack the Giant Slayer stars not only Tucci (Easy A), Ian McShane (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides), Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge) but also Nicholas Hoult (Beast for X-Men: First Class) and several others, and it is a GIANT waste of time. Unlike the version I grew up loving and having an affinity for:
A long while back, when this film was titled “Jack the Giant Killer” I was intrigued. A spin on Jack and the Beanstalk that looked to maybe…just maybe…tell a tale of Jack, a gentle warrior, killing more than just one giant, wreaking havoc on the gruesome gargantuan Goliaths that threaten his village and getting the girl at the same time!
Sadly, the story focuses way too much on, well, not Giant-slaying. Borrowing heavily from The Lord of the Rings in not only camera usage/panning shots, but also music (I swear I heard music from LOTR several times), Jack the Giant Slayer remains rather boring through the majority of the film. While I found it to be beautifully shot, I cared little about the events on screen. My focus quickly drifted on to the little inconsequential things of the film as I watched such as Ian McShane’s ludicrous royal armor (his and many other costumes reminded me of Mirror Mirror…not in a good way), the blatant plagiaristic use of the storyline from Disney’s Aladdin, the often disturbing CGI effects of the film and more.
And I DID want to like it far more! Cross my heart. Seriously though, this film was nothing short of a gigantic waste of time that had little to redeem itself with toward the end. Much like Twilight: Breaking Dawn, pt 2, Jack the Giant Slayer leads up to a big battle scene that may jolt you out of your comatose state with its kill count and destruction. Actually, this film was a bit more violent than I figured it would be. Not “Freddy Krueger” violent, but more people were squashed, eaten and killed than I expected. (Point for that!) Jack the Giant Slayer ultimately has no idea if it itself is a love story, a fantasy story, an adventure story or a fairytale copycat. And it ends with not only the expected fairy tale ending of “Happily Ever After,” but proceeds to carry us into that happily ever after with 2 additional unnecessary endings that serve no purpose. Jack didn’t slay that many giants, but he did slay my heart’s hopeful love for enjoying this one!
I will say this though, Nicholas Hoult is definitely scoring points with the ladies: Jennifer Lawrence (X-Men: First Class), Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies) and Eleanor Tomlinson in this one! Nice going Nick! He co-stars with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and more in the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road. Va-Va Voom!
I, however, do appear to be in the minority on my thoughts on Jack the Giant Slayer. While Rotten Tomatoes currently gives this one a rotten score, 70% of audiences love it and other movie reviewers do too. Dan over at DanTheManMovieReviews gives it a generous 8/10 score (For a view opposite my own, check out his thoughts HERE). If you see the film, come back and let me know your thoughts! I will say that even though Jack’s new film has some neat special effects and fun with giants, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was far more entertaining as a whole.
In conclusion, here is my final statement on Jack the Giant Slayer:
Fee Fi Fo Fum, Jack’s “new” story made me say “Ho-Hum.”
They gave it quite the entertaining run, but now that it’s over I’m glad it’s done.
Will I watch it again? To the theater will I go back?
If you think “yes”, knowing me…then you don’t know JACK!
Score: 1.5 out of 5 stars for Jack the Giant Slayer
(Remember, to read this review of mine and over 200 more, check out THE ARCHIVE of movies I have reviewed anytime. Know before you go…or rent…or buy!)
Thanks for reading! Happy Watching!
–T, The Focused Filmographer