Review: Jack the Giant Slayer
After a giant beanstalk sprouts under his house, shooting towards the sky and taking the lovely princess Isabelle with it, farm boy Jack and the King’s men set out up the green tower to rescue the fair lady while battling with a foul race of evil giants.
Who’s in It?
Clearly they are in it just to have fun and mug around, but Ewan McGregor, Stanley tucci, and Ian McShane all take part in this absurd adventure, and all of them are equally ridiculous. McGregor sports a silly hairdo, and seems to be constantly smiling for no reason. Tucci sneers with a gap-toothed smile, and McShane wears an ornate gilded costume while somehow keeping a straight face. Oh, and Billy Nighy voices the audible half of the two-headed Giant General.
As if that collection of actors didn’t warrant a moment’s pause on this strange fairy tale lark of an adaptation geared for teenagers (and the children of any of the actors involved), Brian Singer, of X-Men and The Usual Suspects fame, directs this riotous escapade.
It’s a spectacle; coherent, entertaining, and consistent in its silly tone and rarely taking itself seriously, which is more than you will. A bit of poetic exposition begins the fairy tale, meant only to let you know that there is a lone piece of jewelry that can command the race of giants – one crown to rule them all, if you will. So there is that to fall back on when young Jack, first naïve and inept, later noble and brave, unwittingly gets those magic beans wet and builds a gateway to the world of evil giants.
They are gross, silly, and dumb, and the leader of them all rules with a chip on his shoulder-sort of. The CGI seamlessly integrate into the film, but the 3D is distracting as usual, and IMAX is never used to its fullest potential, save for a dramatic moment when the giant beanstalk is felled.
Even while watching the events unfold, you may still not believe what you are seeing; but this is a ‘for them’ movie, with Singer and company purposefully looking to make something fun and absurd for themselves, and you know, the children.
Should I See It?
This is tough – it’s really incredibly absurd, but there is some entertainment value. If you like the spectacle, check it out on the giant screen, pardon the pun, but it may be best enjoyed with a group of sarcastic friends at home. Magic beans not included.
In regard to beans, a mysterious monk warns, “Some have the power to change the world as we know it.”