Jack the Giant Slayer Reviews
Good Fun Movie! "Jack The Giant Slayer" will reasonably divide critics and audiences, but if I had kids, I would have no problem taking them to see this. It's a fun little adventure that kids and open-minded adults will get a kick out of. It was refreshing to find a non ironic, non meta straightforward telling of this story, with some elements of charm and humor. The script is well written, the acting is better than good, and it moves along at a pretty lively pace. Not a classic, but good. It might have been better a little shorter, but that can be said of most movies these days.
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 beans 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.
Ahh yes, time for Hollywood to once again churn out yet another rendition to an old fairy-tale and give it that desperately needed "Hollywood flavor".
The victim to Hollywood's incessant attempt to destroy yet another classic tale: Jack and the Beanstalk.
It's everything that I was coming to expect: gratuitous on CGI, poor screenplay, and a trade-off of stellar storytelling for heavy action. "Jack the Giant Slayer" looks like one of those movies that, sure, has Hollywood's backing, but neither would be a good movie or a box-office powerhouse. Especially after seeing the ratings hitting just near-shy of fresh, this live action rendition of a classic folk tale never caught my attention, but to my surprise, "Jack the Giant Slayer" is 2013's guilty pleasure.
Unfortunately, that's where all the surprises come to a screeching halt. You can't get a much more Hollywood movie than "Jack the Giant Slayer", and you know what? That's perfectly fine. Don't expect Oscar-worthy performances even when we got the likes of acting veterans Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci. But what truly makes "Jack the Giant Slayer" shine is that though the film is hefty on CGI, the story itself has just enough action injected into the source material's narrative that brings a quality of an entertaining adventure movie into life. It's not too much and not too little. And because the original source material remains a classic fairy tale because of its compelling storytelling nature, "Jack the Giant Slayer" seemingly manages to stand on its own two feet when the action dies down.
I'm not saying that you should go out and watch it immediately. "Jack the Giant Slayer" is a passable cable movie viewing because of its entertaining nature -- just don't come with high expectations. I could shred this movie to pieces of all the things it doesn't do right, but what it does do right is entertain audiences, whether through the cathartic action or when it unravels the universe of the fairy tale. Perhaps that's all the average joe may be looking for at the movies.
It's well acted, reasonably fun and although the story is old fashioned and impersonal it also has enough minor twists to not be completely bland.
It's an odd combination of childlike fairytale sensibilities mixed with over the top CGI action that we've come to see in recent years. Unfortunately, like 2010's Alice in Wonderland the movie sort of misses both demographics.
It's not whimsical, comedic or fantastic enough and the realistic gritty CGI action isn't very... realistic and gritty. The whole ordeal is just stuck in some bizarre unsatisfying middle ground.
Yet another famous children's fairytale gets the bigscreen treatment but can you make a entire film out of a rather short and rather simple fable?. The other question is which fable is this film supposedly based upon? Jack and the Beanstalk? or Jack the Giant Killer?. Both are very different yet this film merges the two or so it seems. At the same time the films animated intro felt very much like a rip of the 'Hellboy 2' intro, whilst the entire plot about this magical crown felt like a rip of 'Lord of the Rings'.
This whole idea felt very much like a one trick pony to me, that trick simply being the excuse to show huge CGI giants eating people and going on a rampage, and that's it. The rest of the film felt so utterly pointless it was almost laughable. Half the film seems to be based on the beanstalk fairytale with the second half based around the giant killer fable but at the same time neither are remotely accurate to the original sources. So why not just make a completely independent giant fantasy?.
Everything about this just felt like a misfire to me. The casting was poor, Nicholas Hoult is just a very average actor with a very odd haircut (what is going on with that parting?! had the same stupid cut for 'Warm Bodies'). Eleanor Tomlinson as the Princess was so very bland, not particularly attractive and not particularly useful in any way, whilst Ewan McGregor seemed to be doing his weak ass Jedi thing all over again. Only decent performance came from the ever reliable Tucci. Overall the characters weren't really developed much and there was a distinct lack of a really bad baddie.
On top of that the effects weren't even that good! the giants looked exactly like what they were, big CGI giants. It looks like they're trying to make them appear realistic but not entirely, but they look awful. Especially the two headed giant leader with that shitty Gollum-like head, what the hell! giant fail there folks (see what I did there heh). Plus why are most of the giants Irish? am I missing something there? and why aren't there any female giants? how does this race keep going? am I being too picky?.
Even the beanstalk looked pretty naff frankly. The only thing that looked good was the CGI landscapes and the giant island in the sky, but as usual way too much reliance on CGI. There seemed to be many giant waterfalls going over the edge of the giant island, where exactly does all that water go??.
Bottom line this just feels like a jump on that fairytale action flick bandwagon we have seen recently. All the usual big CGI battles, stunts, camera angles etc...the same recycled crud we've seen over and over again. Predictable as usual in that boring modern Hollywood cookie cutter fashion. The plot is thinner than a catwalk model after she's just stepped out of the toilet and to make matters worse the CGI effects are pretty terrible. So you can't even call this a sharp looking updated piece of crap, its just crap.
Oh and the final twist at the end is useless. I mean really, is that suppose to be clever? gee errr genius. And while I'm at it, the films title is 'Jack the Giant Slayer', many giants get killed here but I believe 'Jack' only kills one, so he doesn't slay much then.