JACK THE GIANT SLAYER
I constantly preach a story cannot be the same through various media. As such, a movie should never be the same as the originating source, whether it be a novel, poem,, song, video game or fairy tale. “Jack the Giant Slayer” is a prime example. It takes the iconic tale of greed and daring youth and transforms it into one of the year’s best films, so far. “Jack the Giant Slayer” is chock full of fun, adventure, fast paced action, daring stunts, amazing 3D and spectacular special effects (SFX). It’s a grand reworking of “Jack and the Beanstalk” and even allows for a crossover between this tale, and the one repeated to children.
A race of giants attempts to successfully create Babylon and reach the heavens to meet God. Their plot, much like the Biblical tale, ends in failure and the giants are forced to move out of New York, take their Lombardi Trophies to exile in a world between heaven and Earth. There are however, magic relics (beans) capable of bridging the gap between the two worlds and a magic crown to subjugate the behemoths. Throw in a beautiful princess, a wicked knight, a fatherly king and a daredevil farm boy and you have a tale worthy of your time and a large box of popcorn.
“Jack the Giant Slayer” features Nicholas Hoult as Jack; Eleanor Tomlinson as the Princess Isabelle; Ewan McGregor as the brave knight Elmont; Stanley Tucci as the evil Sir Roderick and Ian MacShane as King Brahmwell. There are also a plethora of actors appearing as giants who are, by and large, unrecognizable through their CGI avatars. The most interesting of the lot is Bill Nighy as General Fallon. This is the second role of note Nighy performed with little recognition factor; the other being Davey Jones from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series. He has a bit of help with this one, though, as John Kassir, infamous for his portrayal of the Cryptkeeper, appears as Fallon’s second head.
KEY SCENES TO LOOK FOR:
- THE KITCHEN ESCAPE
- THE DRAWBRIDGE
Director Bryan Singer makes excellent use of the 3D technology, seldom resorting to the obvious ploys. Newton Thomas Sigel (one of the dreaded three-named people) excels in the cinematography and John Ottman provides a rousing, symphonic score. Though the lead actors are young, the veterans and the solid screenplay by Darren Lemke carries them through with aplomb.
All told, “Jack the Giant Slayer” is great fun, and should provide a decent kick to the sluggish box office numbers that have made hits out of terrible movies in recent weeks. Warner Brothers has yet another hit on their hands.
THE GRADE FOR “Jack the Giant Slayer” = A
Fiore Mastracci is a former Giant and Dragon Slayer who continues to hone his craft, those his targets are now much smaller.