Thursday, 28 February 2013

Jack the Giant Slayer review

Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci
Direction: Bryan Singer
Genre: Fantasy
Duration: 2 hours
Story: War between giants and humans is reignited when a farm boy accidentally drops the magic beans he's been given by a mysterious monk.

Review: A monk gives farm boy Jack ( Nicholas Hoult) some magical beans in exchange for his horse. Jack accidentally drops one of the beans. It erupts into a gigantic beanstalk which reaches to the sky, taking Jack's house and Princess Isabelle ( Eleanor Tomlinson) along with it. The beanstalk leads to the land of the giants. In order to rescue the princess, her conniving would-be groom Roderick ( Stanley Tucci), love-struck Jack and the king's brave knight Elmont (Ewan McGregor) decide to face the giants, thus reigniting an ancient war.

Adapting a classic fairytale into a feature film still seems like a distant dream, considering most of the recent attempts have been mediocre. Be it Snow White and the Huntsman, Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, and now Jack the Giant Slayer which has borrowed elements from both Jack the Giant Killer and Jack and the Beanstalk. The films have been unable to recreate the magic of the classic fables.

Bryan Singer, who has made films like X-Men and Valkyrie, finds it difficult to keep the audience engaged, let alone be entertained. CGI giants which are supposed to be the USP of the film seem caricaturish and one-dimensional. They don't seem menacing at all. Even the evil Roderick looks cartoonish. Jack, the hero, seems inexcusably dumb while you wonder what Ewan McGregor is doing in this soul-less film!

The film is painfully predictable and the romance awfully sweet. An elongated tug-of-war scene between the humans and giants does not qualify for an epic battle scene and that's the biggest drawback.

The 3D is lacklustre and the SFX unable to salvage the uninteresting script. Children may find this film amusing, thanks to the art direction and story-telling style. For the rest, if only the story was modified better!

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