Film Review – Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)


By Jordan

Directed by Bryan Singer

Starring Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Eleanor Tomlinson

Everybody knows the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, so even when the story is altered somewhat as is the case here, there is little point providing a plot summary. What I will say from the outset however is this: I flaming loved this movie!

Like the majority of the film-going public I went into Jack the Giant Slayer with very low expectations; actually disappointed that one of my favourite directors had resorted to churning out a family-friendly, cliché ridden disaster… I’m happy to report I was wrong. This is a film that does in fact play largely to conventions, but in such an energetic, feverishly entertaining way that I was more than happy to abandon any overly critical thoughts after the inventive introduction and be swept away in a grand adventure full of likable heroes, villainous monsters and stunning locations. I’m in no way suggesting this is Lord of the Rings, it’s a film that doesn’t aspire to be, but after recently viewing Oz the Great and Powerful it does suddenly seem worthy of 10 Oscars just for understanding the exhilarating aspects of the genre.

Not since The Princess Bride have I had this much fun watching mythical creatures be dispatched in a light-hearted manner.

The one glaring fault that must be mentioned is the often shoddy look and movements of the CGI giants; whilst they interact with the real environments well enough, problems arise whenever they need to display emotion (often anger), as their facial features aren’t as realistic as they need to be. This is a forgivable issue however, as there really is no other way to translate these characters to screen, and they are helped greatly by some quality voice work and distinct personalities. One giant in particular stood out as my favourite: an old, labouring chef who is tasked with cooking our helpless princess and Chief Guard Elmont – he is of course thwarted, but in his brief screen time provides a great laugh and lasting impact.

I am aware that it may seem I am being overly kind to a movie perhaps deserving of only pedestrian praise, and that the pleasure I felt in viewing it is due mainly to the element of surprise which for anyone reading this review has now been ruined, but I believe that a movie which aims for pure thrills and escapism and nails it squarely on the head is quite a rare thing at present, and I’m happy to lend my support.

Jack the Giant Slayer is big, bold, boisterous entertainment with an opening to the ignite the imagination and a wondrously large-scale third act to initiate applause. The 3D is clear and used to wonderful effect, the story engaging and each character cast perfectly.

4 out of 5 magic beans

9 responses to “Film Review – Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

  1. I also really enjoyed this movie, ESPECIALLY because it reminded me so much of The Princess Bride. I read the bad reviews, but I left with a smile on my face and my heart warmed. And sometimes that’s all you need from a movie. 🙂

  2. Nice review. A bit higher praise then I’d give but I understand where you are coming from as I also enjoyed it for what it was and found it entertaining.

    Keep the reviews coming!

  3. Pingback: Jack the Giant Slayer (2013), proof that bigger isn’t better | Movies, Films & Flix·

  4. Haven’t seen this yet but glad to hear it might not actually be that bad. Everyone seems to hate Bryan Singer after Superman Returns but I still think he’s an awesome director.

    Lest us not forget it was the success (both critical and commercial) of X-Men that kicked off the current (10 year+) reign of the comic book film!

    • Man he’s certainly under appreciated these days but I have a lot of respect for him. I honestly though Jack would be a terrible movie when I first saw the trailer, but very glad I ended up seeing it!

  5. When my girlfriend rented this movie a few weeks ago I swore I would be asleep on the couch within 15 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised, yes keeping my attention is not the easiest. The subtle humor in this movie along with action makes me agree with you on 4 out of 5 magic beans.

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