Jack the Giant Slayer, now in theaters, is an entertaining, special effect-filled, teenage action film. Starring Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Eleanor Tomlinson, and Ian McShane, Jack the Giant Slayer takes a familiar story and creates a unique perspective of the fairy tales, Jack and the Beanstalk and Jack the Giant Killer. In this reboot of the folk tales, the movie features just about anything one would remember from the original story, specifically the character of Jack, a beanstalk, magic beans, and the classic phrase, “Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum”. Directed by Bryan Singer (X-Men), Jack the Giant Slayer takes the audience on a magical journey filled with a combination of humans and computer-generated characters and effects.
Jack the Giant Slayer begins in a time long after a war has taken place between humans and giants, the latter living high in the clouds after the only connection between their two worlds, a large beanstalk, is cut down to prevent further destruction. After a bag of magic beans ends up in the wrong hands, a massive beanstalk once again grows from the Earth. In the midst of the bedlam, the princess (Tomlinson) of the realm becomes trapped in a small house, which is taken up into the clouds by the beanstalk. Jack (Hoult), a poor farmer, along with the king’s (McShane) best guards and the princess’s future husband, Lord Roderick (Tucci), climb the beanstalk in search of the missing princess. When one of the lords discovers a crown that will control the giants, he decides to take matters into his own hands, and all chaos erupts. Jack is left to try and rescue the princess who he has fallen in love with, and the king must do everything he can to prevent the giants from coming down to earth, even if it means cutting down the beanstalk and leaving his daughter in the clouds. Jack the Giant Slayer is a clever take on the Jack and the Beanstalk stories for the 21st century.
Jack the Giant Slayer has its good and bad moments. The special effects are very good, and the computer-generated giants look great, like something out of a “Harry Potter” or “Lord of the Rings” film. Hoult, McGregor, and Tucci give decent performances, and the film is mildly funny in its own way. The beanstalk is a sight to behold, and the film has a fairy tale like style, rhyming during voice-over narrations and fairy tale stereotypes, such as the poor commoner who falls for the princess or the suitor/Lord-turned evil. The movie also creates suspenseful scenes while characters climb up and down the beanstalk.
Jack the Giant Slayer does have its share of corny or silly dialogue and very simple narration. The film begins with a brief explanation of what has happened between the humans and giants, but this scene is done in a poor, cartoon-like, animated sequence, with elementary-style effects. After this sequence, the film only gets better. The giants are just plain dumb, but this provides a degree of humor for the audience. The love story between the princess and Jack is only a minor part of the film, and the movie does drag on at times. I would not consider Jack the Giant Slayer a gory film, but it does offer some violence when the giants are crushing and eating the humans.
This film is designed for younger audiences, but does offer entertainment and enough intriguing special effects for adults. The film is 2 hours long and is rated PG-13 for intense scenes of fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief language. I rate this film a 3 out of 5 stars.
By: Hayden Pittman, Film Critic for YouPlusDallas
Tags: Action, beanstalk, Bryan Singer, comedy, computer-generated, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor, fairy tale, fantasy, Fee Fi Fo Fum, Film, folk tale, giant, Hayden Pittman, human, Ian McShane, Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack the Giant Killer, Jack the Giant Slayer, king, kingdom, lord, magic beans, movie review, Nicholas Hoult, princess, silly, special effects, Stanley Tucci, violence, youplusdallas