Jack The Giant Slayer – Review
March 27, 2013 4 Comments
Film Review by FilmFellaJames – 7/10
So, Bryan Singer of dubious fame, Superman Returns, X-Men, it’s a debate full of the Usual Suspects and therefore it is fitting that now, amongst the giddy haze of Singer/McQuarrie combos that delight or repulse the curious and engaged fans, we have a Fairytale Happy Meal, chock full, of giants!
Jack The Giant Slayer is a slice of cinematic wonderment. The story unfolds a curious tale of ancient England besieged by a tribe of Giants from a distant realm, above the clouds.
The Giants, after an awesome battle, are vanquished by a noble King with a magic crown. Many years later a very casually dressed jacket wearing lad named Jack is at the market trying to sell the family horse and cart for cash but ends up instead, with beans of the most cursed variety courtesy of a monk thief who cant keep his shit together. The ‘beans of legend’, when wet, activate an enormous bean stalk that towers into the stratosphere where it connects to a land of angry, dirty giants determined to return and wreak havoc on the earth one day. So basically bad times if wet. (Like Gremlins, but instead, freakin giants.)
I was subjected to some really classy cgi in this latest instalment from the guy who almost ruined Superman but did a more than good job for X-Men First Class, review click here. Jack, Nicholas Hoult, promptly takes up a quest with the ever brilliant genius that is Ewan MacGregor, as Elmont leader of the Kings, Ian McShane, Elite Guard so as to rescue the adventurous Princess Isabelle, Eleanor Tomlinson, after she gets whisked away ‘Dorothy’ Style to the top of the beanstalk on the outskirts of bad times giant land. You with me so far? O.K…Meanwhile the dastardly Roderick, Stanley Tucci, plots a cruel plot to enslave the freed giant race by, yielding a crown blessed with the ability to command the giants as slaves to the will of the one who wears it. He has his sites set on using the crown to plunder the kingdom of Cloister in a hedonistic fury of no doubt, debauched proportions and then after a slap up dinner, he further plans to plunder the unwilling princess of all of her ‘treasure’ as well. That’s alotta plunderin!! Joined in his malevolent plotting is his trusty Scottish side-kick, Wicke, Ewen Bremner, rockin the token side-kick role again in this altogether vastly improved fairytale cinema feast.
I had my reservations about this film because I have reservations about Singer. I didn’t really rate Valkyrie that highly and would argue that Superman Returns almost crippled my affection and long term bromance with Superman altogether. I had to feel like this was a worthy and bold attempt, and to my delight, I got it.
The world that we are subjected to is one of majestic sweeping fields and forest scenery married against the glory of the castle of Cloister or the skull head water drainage systems of the outline of the land of giants. This was indeed a thrilling vast feast for the eyes. I would definitely go and watch it again just for the excellent set pieces that make up a large portion of the film and the action elements are really well thought out. Saying that, I would argue that it was in fact this very feature of the story telling process that really sold me on this picture. I had also drawn a line under the reservations I had for the script of the piece expecting it to be possibly over-cooked. Basically concerned that it would end up detracting from the good stuff the visuals brought but instead the story, dialogue and action was all handled really well within the framework of the concept of the world we are immersed in. The script felt direct and at times very to the point without all of the flowery vocabulary garnishing that a tale steeped in such folklore, would usually command. With that in mind, I did like the way the accents of the good and bad guys were divided, being that the good guys were very notably English and the bad guys very notably Scottish, I think. The movie moved at a tidy pace and has a nice slight pause at the end before the crescendo of the action ending of the film.
If you like a good old fashioned fairytale that’s a bit rough round the edges then this
is a film that will fill that need. The giants are obviously fake though, not as good as say, Gollum but, it had to be so and in the end, despite the sometimes cartoony feel, they looked pretty damn good for the vast sums of money that was spent to bring this spectacle to life. That is after all what will ultimately draw you into the cinema to see this, you wanna see some freakin awesome giants and there are some pretty fricken awesome giants in Jack the Giant Slayer. A nice contribution to fairytale stuff from Bryan Singer. Once again the jury is out. What is it about Bryan Singer and what will X-Men: Days of Future Past, be like? I wait in anticipation.