Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)
Review by Bryan Mero
This fairy tale brought to life by Brian Singer tells the familiar story of Jack (Nicholas Hoult), his attempt to sell local livestock and the payoff in magic beans. There is a bit of a twist with the local Princess Isabel (Eleanor Tomlinson) being captured by the giants and the battle that follows her rescue. Elmont (Ewan McGregor) plays a palace guard that leads the rescue attempt.
I'm not quite sure if Brian Singer had the full concept in mind while making Jack. It starts with a bedtime story for both Jack and the Princess that includes subpar CGI story telling to get us up to speed on the giants and how a special crown can control them all. It seems at times that the movie is going to be a comedy, like Princess Bride, and then other times it tries to be a serious action movie and then it reverts itself back to a junior high fart and booger jokes.
The acting is well done. Hoult, Tomlinson and McGregor make a good team of lead actors and seem to have fun but unfortunately there's not a lot for them to do but hide and run from CGI giants. Not a lot of character development going on by any character. The closest thing we get is maybe some development of the giant commander but that is very sparse.
The specail effects of the giants were much better than the opening but still there was never a time where I thought the giants looked "real" next to their human counterparts. The most impressive part was possibly the bean stock and that is not even included in the movie title.
Overall, I was very disapointed by Jack the Giant Slayer and so was my 13y.o. son who saw it with me. The story seemed to be written more for an 8 or 9y.o. boy but with enough violence to give it a PG-13 rating. This didn't work for me but if you have some young junior high boys, it might be fun for them for a couple of hours. Otherwise, wait for it on disc or Netflix.
UPDATE: Since I've written this review I've seen it listed on Netflix for a short while and also tuned into it on TV. It is still just as bad as time has gone by. Although, I would definitely watch this over "Into the Woods" which was so incredibly boring...but that's another review...