The film, directed by Bryan Singer, is inspired by the stories Jack and the Beanstalk and Jack the Giant Killer. The script takes liberties to appeal to today’s audiences, thus resulting in a disappointing and rather dull experience.
The story follows Jack, a farm boy who gets caught up in a war between men and brutal giants who inhabit a world above the clouds. Upon receiving some magic beans, Jack accidently causes the princess to be kidnapped after a gigantic beanstalk takes his house, along with the princess, to the giant’s kingdom. Accompanied by a group of knights, Jack embarks on a rescue mission on the giant’s home turf.
The main problem with Jack the Giant Slayer is its drastic shifts in tone. At times, the film appears to be a comedic fairy tale meant for a younger audience. The simplistic plot and characters, accompanied by immature attempts at humor, indicate the filmmaker’s intent of making a movie for kids. However, scenes of giants biting off heads, people dying agonizing deaths, bouts of intense warfare and some strong language will surprise moviegoers. The result is a movie that is too violent for youngsters, and too immature for teens and adults.
Another disappointing element is the acting. Most of the cast’s performances seemed forced, as if they knew the movie wasn’t worth their time and effort. The cast includes Ian McShane and Stanley Tucci, two very talented character actors. Their surprisingly weak performances lead one to think Singer’s direction to be the cause.
To make up for the uninteresting script, the movie relies on special effects. The giants are completely animated, and have a rather cartoonish appearance. However, their animations are impressively detailed.
The movie, which was made for 3D, is filled with gimmicks. Objects are constantly coming toward the camera with the intention of taking advantage of the 3D technology. The action scenes are exciting and just enough to keep the audience’s attention.
With some practical effects and fleshed out characters, the movie could have been enjoyable for younger teens. Without the violence, this could have been a fun movie for kids. Instead, the movie fails to appeal to any demographic and is sure to be forgotten over time.
I give it 2 out of 5 stars.