Hollywood has decided to recreate a number different tales from centuries ago, now is the turn of ‘Jack the Giant Slayer’, a mix of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and ‘Jack the Giant Killer’; which means a little bit of innocence, adventure and violence. The film will do best with its intended audience of 13 and up; the first half is slow paced and a little dull, but finally the action picks up on the second half and that’s the kicker that makes the film fun. Watching the movie in IMAX 3D is a real treat, because it truly enhances the experience, although you have to wait for the effects to really begin after we get past the “meeting” the characters part of the movie.
The classic story begins with a poor farm boy named Jack (Nicholas Hoult) who is trying to get some money by selling his horse; the boy gets easily tricked into taking magic beans as payment. Back at home he laments his innocence, but when the beanstalk grows he finds himself in an adventure where he’ll fight giants that live in the sky, meet princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson), her most noble men among them Elmont (Ewan McGregor) and together they’ll try to save the world.
We get two similar stories between Jack and Isabelle that have their keen differences but unite into one thanks to their love for adventure. The story doesn’t become interesting until we reach the world of giants, which are fantastically gruesome, idiotic, and somewhat cavemen like and we want to know how these humans fight for their survival there. There’s conniving between the humans and giants and this part although predictable helps the story.
Hoult and Tomlinson play their parts fine enough, but there’s nothing that really stands out here; Hoult was much better in ‘Warm Bodies’. Stanley Tucci as the villain is instantly dislikable, but lacks mystery. McGregor is usually on point with his roles, but here his script calls for corny jokes although despite that he’s one of the most interesting characters. Of course the giants steal a lot of the focus, specially their two-headed leader Fallon (Bill Nighy). The CGI of these creatures and their world is for the most part well done and are the biggest part of the tale driving the movie forward.
The story saves itself because just when it starts dragging the action really picks up and here is where your money goes. The movie mainly suffers from a very weak script that is full of corny jokes, lines and predictability; all of which would deem it to fail were it not for the great CIG effects and battle in the second half of the film. There’s an unexpected interesting twist at the end, where the story tries to connect fantasy to reality and it’s a nice closing touch.
Here’s another classic fairytale 21st century style which though it complements the original stories, by no means is it a cinematographic wonder, but it is still a good enough film to enjoy with the family. Director Bryan Singer uses his knowledge in superhero action films and incorporates a pinch of it here, but a little more could have gone a long way. It might put younger children and adults to sleep at some point, but will eventually wake everybody up on the second half till the end.