Every year there seems to be a theme to movies coming out throughout the year. This year seems to be leaning towards the fairy tale world with the already released Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. Now director Bryan Singer is planting his mark on the genre with his latest Jack The Giant Slayer. The film sports a great cast featuring Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane and Nicholas Hoult of the hit Warm Bodies, but can the story of Jack and The Bean Stalk actually deliver more than a silly kid’s film?
Jack The Giant Slayer follows Jack, a young farmhand who accidently opens a gateway between two worlds reigniting an ancient war between humans and a race of giants. Let’s be honest there is no reason this movie should have worked. It’s based on one of the silliest of all fairy tales and other than the giant aspect offers little more to deliver an interesting story. With this film Singer has crafted a fun adventure that fits into the fun for the whole family style, without really being a kid’s movie. The story actually works pretty well, but is most enjoyable when dealing with the giants themselves. The first half of the movie moves a bit slow and struggles to finds its footing, but thanks to the fun cast manages to get a grasp pretty well once the climb on the bean stalk begins. Everyone gives decent performance, with McGregor standing out as the swashbuckling knight. He just fits this role and while it was feared he would be thrust to a secondary character is given numerous times to shine and leave his mark on this film. Tucci chews up the scenery as an over the top villain and really helps this film maintain its fun ride. McShane is the only one that feels a bit out of place never getting the chance to deliver his hard ass attitude he normally delivers, but instead just an average king. The effects are really well done, even if the giants never come off as too realistic. Not sure why they didn’t push to make them blend in better but if you can let that go, they still manage to be fun to watch and keep the fairytale alive.
This is one of those movies that should never have worked as well as it does and if you watch it for the popcorn adventure that it is manages to be pretty fun. As mentioned it is a bit slow at first, but doesn’t have that long of a run time so gets to it pretty quickly and ended up delivering way more than the original fairy tale ever could.