STARRING: Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, Eleanor Tomlinson, Eddie Marsan, Ewen Bremner, Warwick Davis.
WRITTEN BY: Darren Lemke and Christopher McQuarrie
DIRECTED BY: Bryan Singer<
I'm finally getting around to watching Jack the Giant Slayer, admittedly on video, after theatrical release. I’m both happy I waited, and also regretful. Jack The Giant Slayer is an entertaining and frustrating movie. You'll love and hate this movie simultaneously. Let’s break it down:
The movie opens up with a child version of Jack, hearing the story about the Giants, and how Erik The Great vanquished them, and created a crown that controls the giants because it was made from the hard heart of a giant. Cut to a grown up Jack (Nicholas Hoult), who basically is following the typical Jack and the Beanstalk plot. He’s poor, and he has to sell his horse for money to survive. So he takes his horse to the kingdom, and through a chance encounter ends up defending the princess (Eleanor Tomlinson). The Princess likes to wander around, and her King father (Ian McShane) has promised her to Roderick (Stanley Tucci). Roderick knows the Erik/Giant tale, and has stolen the crown and magic beans, and plans on getting some giants and ruling the world.
A monk breaks in, steals the magic beans, and tries to escape with them. He ends up trading the beans to Jack for the horse. Jack returns home, and it isn’t long before the Princess shows up having decided to run away. Through a chain of events, the beans get wet, and a beanstalk explodes out of the ground carrying the Princess up with it. Elmont (Ewan McGregor) and the rest of the knights guard show up, and Jack joins them (as does Roderick) on their journey into the giant realm to find the Princess. Of course, shit happens, and Jack has to save the day.
The most frustrating thing about Jack The Giant Slayer is how a lot of it looks beautiful. Great costumes and set design. The landscape is beautiful. Then… we have these giants that look like they’re out of a Playstation video game. Not PS3 either. PS2. Also, while the cast is fun, theres something odd about Stanley Tucci as Roderick. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Stanley Tucci. But honestly? As Roderick? It’s creepy. It’s creepy that her father doesn’t realize how much older Roderick is than his daughter.
On a positive note, the movie is fun, and well-paced. Aside from Tucci, I think the casting is solid. And aside from the giants, the film looks really good. It’s a problematic movie, but it's also not a bad way to spend 2 hours.
FINAL GRADE: B