Taking an old fairytale and giving it a twenty-first century spin is not unusual behavior from Hollywood. Though the recent steady output shows a ridiculous lack of originality, it sometimes also yields interesting results. Last year's Snow White and the Huntsman, while not superb, has its charms and is deliciously dark. (Please hold the tomatoes until the end.) In the right hands, what is old can be made new again and could bring us a new classic, or if nothing else, at least a movie that is distinctive and memorable.
Nicholas Hoult plays the titular character in Jack the Giant Slayer. He's likable, vulnerable and aggressive when needed, in the role. Only he doesn't quite own the movie the way he should. He's interesting to watch; he doesn't put you to sleep, but he also doesn't really command the audience's attention. Joined with his supporting players, like Eleanor Tomlinson as Princess Isabel , Stanley Tucci as Lord Roderick, who leaves the movie way too soon and Ewan McGregor as Elmont, however, the narrative is allowed to gallop along well.
Jack the Giant Slayer is a harmless, special-effects ridden, appropriately loud, well-made story with flaws and a notable score by John Ottman. I personally, could have done without the farting giant moments, but that's just me. Really, it felt like something Singer threw in last minute to try and pander to younger audiences, but it feels extremely out of place in a movie that's has a significantly ernest tone. That said, there are much worse ways to pass the time than this film.
It is certainly not a potential classic and despite it's ending, does not warrant a sequel. The characters here, while pleasant enough and mostly engaging, need no encore. Special effects extravanganzas, and that's what this is, despite what Hollywood thinks, don't have much staying power.
That is to say, the likelihood of them being remembered fondly in ten years or even five, is not great. It's lovable characters, people, that endure and help prolong a film's public adoration and Jack, sadly, does not have any of those. Indeed Jack the Giant Slayer is old-fashioned and charming in parts, but if you're looking for another The Princess Bride or even The Goonies, you've come to the wrong place.