Jack the Giant Slayer

Jack the Giant Slayer isn’t a bad movie, but it doesn’t make a strong enough case to be anything noteworthy. The film is very bland, never deviating enough from familiar archetypes to be exciting. It features a very childish sense of humor that takes away from any malice that the villains possess. Stylistically the film looks great, but the CGI can be a bit distracting. The strong cast gives an admirable effort, but it’s not enough to overcome stock characters leaving Jack the Giant Slayer from becoming anything more than just weak popcorn fluff.

Jack the Giant Slayer hit theatres this past Friday and aims to breath cinematic life into the classic fairy tale, Jack and the Giant Beanstalk. Does Bryan Singer’s latest film succeed where the many other fairy tale films have failed, or will it rise above the rest? Jack the Giant Slayer stars, Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies), Stanley Tucci (The Hunger Games), and Ewan McGregor (Star Wars).


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The movie tells the story of a farm boy, Jack, who has a fascination with adventure stories, his favorite being of course about giants. Meanwhile at the castle, a young princess also shares a penchant for adventure stories, her favorite being about giants as well. Fate eventually brings the two together after many years have passed and together they’re thrust into a giant adventure of their own.

Jack the Giant Slayer isn’t a bad movie, but it doesn’t make a strong enough case to be anything noteworthy. The film is very bland, never deviating enough from familiar archetypes to be exciting. I found myself drifting in and out of the movie, admiring it for its style but never really finding myself heavily invested. The climax of the film featured impressive action sequences, and had me interested but by the time things get started it’s already over and I couldn’t shake the feeling that things were a little too convenient.

I didn’t feel like there was much struggle on Jack’s part as a character and instead the story relied heavily on Jack being in the right place at the right time. All of the film’s characters feel a bit shallow with not enough characterization to distinguish them from being more than stock characters. On top of that, the movie changes villains three different times and it left it feeling a little directionless. Jack the Giant Slayer treads a dangerous line of becoming a boring movie but luckily enough the cast keeps things fun.

Nicholas Hoult brings a very charming personality to Jack that’s reminiscent of a Michael Cera without delving too deep into painfully awkward territory. Although his character might not have been the strongest Hoult brings enough fun to the character to make it worth a watch. Ewan McGregor also delivers a performance worthy of note. McGregor’s earnest portrayal of Elmont worked really well in junction with Jack and provided for a good on screen camaraderie even if the duo is a bit underplayed. McGregor makes great work of the little character he is given and helps to make the movie a fun ride.

Jack the Giant Slayer still

Visually the movie is appealing from a distance. The stylistic choices of the costume designs and the sets all look fantastic. I really loved the design choices for the armor that the King, Princess, and the knights wore in the movie. The CGI giants feature a charming character design that looks great, until you look up close. In large numbers the CGI works well but it can get distracting once you get into the little details, especially when the live actors are in the same scene as the giants. The CGI doesn’t mesh well and it can stick out a little too much in scenes. The British countryside setting looks gorgeous on screen and the sweeping shots are fantastic to look at. It’s not as visually pleasing as some of the other Hollywood fairy tale remakes, but it still holds its own.

My biggest complaint with the film is its sense of humor. The movie interjects a lot of comedic relief in the style of fart jokes and gross out gags, like eating boogers. It gives the movie such a childish feel and is really distracting. The biggest foul is the fact that main giant villain is a two headed creature that detracts from its own self. One head is literate and vile while the other is a bumbling idiot who interjects nonsensical iterations of the previous head. It completely detracts from any villainous moment that the giant makes and ruins any sense of malice. The idea works okay in theory but definitely not as the main giant villain. I don’t mind comedic relief, but the way it’s done here isn’t clever and ruins so many scenes that could have kept the movie gripping.

The film tries its hardest but there’s too many flaws for it to overcome. The film lacks a significant punch to make the movie worthwhile, but instead it ends in a way that sticks out too much from the rest of the film. I admire the cast’s effort for keeping things fun, but Jack the Giant Slayer is too bland to be anything more than weak popcorn fluff.

Jack the Giant Slayer isn’t a bad movie, but it doesn’t make a strong enough case to be anything noteworthy. The film is very bland, never deviating enough from familiar archetypes to be exciting. It features a very childish sense of humor that takes away from any malice that the villains possess. Stylistically the film looks great, but the CGI can be a bit distracting. The strong cast gives an admirable effort, but it’s not enough to overcome stock characters leaving Jack the Giant Slayer from becoming anything more than just weak popcorn fluff.

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Twitter: @Treyrs20o9
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2 responses to “Jack the Giant Slayer

  1. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of March 4th | Thinking Cinematic

  2. Pingback: Movie Monday Update Week of June 17th | Thinking Cinematic

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