JACK THE GIANT SLAYER (2013) : REVIEW

March 10, 2013

"Fee fi fo fum. Ask not whence the thunder comes. For between Heaven and Earth is a perilous place. Home to a fearsome giant race. Who hunger to conquer the mortals below, waiting for the seeds of revenge to grow..."
So, we've seen enough of Hollywood's twisted fairytales remake that went (well) ridiculous. Red Riding Hood with its frontal sex and flashy red hood, Alice In Wonderland with the amazing CGI and no story whatsoever, both Snow White and The Huntsman and Mirror Mirror that choke like a poisoned apple, Hansel and Gretel : Witch Hunters with its violence and sex that dream to match Game of Thrones. And now, Bryan Singer tries to raise the bar with his own fairytale adapted from the classic folklore, Jack and The Beanstalk, associated with the infamous Jack The Giant Killer, creating one suggestive story of Jack The Giant Slayer that warns us to carefully separate a bean from the water unless you want your house to fly to the Giant's land. So, does or doesn't this movie off the list? Keep reading.

I remember clearly how fond I am on Jack The Giant Killer. I love how it appears to be so magical; the rising beanstalk, the giants, the goose that lays golden egg. I can say that it's one of my favorite fairytale besides Beauty and The Beast. And for that, I really want to like this movie, but I just can't. This movie is just wrong in so many levels and it carefully scratches the moral value of the original tale itself. It's highly dissapointing, I can tell.

Once upon a time, in a land called Cloister, live a young boy named Jack and a young girl named Isabelle, both of who like the story of King Eric The Great VS The Giants, and of course, the magical bean that grows into enormous beanstalk and the magical crown made from the heart of the Giant and as the only thing that could defeat and control the giant. Short story short, they both grow up, one as a farmboy and one as a princess. Then, vaguely saying, Jack (Nicholas Hoult) gets hold of the magical beans that were assumed to be kept in King Eric's tomb and forever to be hidden from the sight of human eyes whereas Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson), dying of boredom and decided to take a hop and ended up in Jack's hut. They then both have quite a chat when the beans that Jack accidentally dropped beneath his hut gets touched by the raindrops and yes, grows into super enormous (and thick, and bloody green, and full of leaves) beanstalk. And yes, the beanstalk hauls his hut as well, with Isabelle inside (he manages to get out in time, leaving the pityful princess up). Long story short, Isabelle's father, King Brahmwell (Ian McShane) then orders some of his best men (and disguised traitor, Roderick (Stanley Tucci)) to climb the beanstalk to save the princess, and that includes Jack, who offers himself to help wholeheartedly. So, will they make it? You certainly know the story.

The whole 114 minutes feel like a pain in the ass to me; this movie offers no heroic nor magical aspect whatsoever to impress. It's visually awkward (especially the giant that looks more like CGI toy rather than oversized and gruesome human), lack of details (why was Jack being handed the beans exactly? I have no idea), the twists and turns of the plot that are rarely surprise (Roderick is a bad guy? That I know), pity gags (what's with laughing dumbfoundedly over fallen giant?), the not-much-differences 3D, and the ridiculously cheesy climax (they're giants for bean's sake! they can just easily pull the gates with one freaking tug!). 

I can't choose between boring and stupidly enjoyable; it is boring, but it is enjoyable but too dumb to be enjoyed. Get the point? And what's with the characters exactly? It's dumb enough to pick Hoult when his other movie, Warm Bodies also hits the cinemas at the near time. Expecting a better performance and audiences? I don't think so, because both are equally bad. I also don't see Hoult fits the characteristic of Jack(the physical is a sure thing, because the original never describes Jack as Popeye) as "the giant slayer"; I only know that he's only been slaying 3 giants and that doesn't fit the title really well. He also has lack of chemistry with Tomlinson, which shows. What's with Ian McShane; his character appears to be the hard-as-steel king slash father, then grows softer without any particular reason. I appreciate Stanley Tucci on his effort of becoming a villain here, but does Roderick one? Here's the thing : who's the real villain? Roderick or the giants? I can guess it's the giants because Singer recklessly killed Roderick (ups!) without any background story but treason. Ewan McGregor  makes one good Elmont; I love his personality. He can bring so much joy and heroic acts both at the same time. But, the one that really takes the shine in this movie is the two-heads giant, Fallon. He's gruesome, wicked, nasty, and massive. I love it.

Though this movie is flawful, I really like what Singer done in the ending. He twists it into fitting the modern-tale, while still gives us surprise with the unexpected re-appearance. It's intriguing and clever. But, that aspect doesn't cover every moles presented in this movie. It's a love-hate relationship. Do I enjoy it? Some minutes, yes. Do I recommend it? I can't say. You can judge by yourself after reading whatever I'm saying above, right? 


RATING : 2 OUT OF 5


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