Jack The Giant Slayer (2013)

Jack The Giant SlayerWhile trading in the Kingdom Of Cloisters, Jack (Nicholas Hoult) sells his uncle’s horse to a monk in exchange for a small bag of beans, having been assured that should he transports them to a particular monastery he will be rewarded handsomely. Jack returns home, unaware that the beans had been stolen from Lord Roderick (Stanley Tucci), the king’s favourite advisor. During a heavy storm, Jack receives a visit from the princess (Eleanor Tomlinson), who has flown the kingdom as she doesn’t wish to marry Roderick. When a bean becomes wet, however, it produces an enormous beanstalk which knocks Jack unconscious and carries Isabelle into the clouds, to a distant world ruled by giants. Aided by elite guardsmen Elmont (Ewan McGregor) and Crawe (Eddie Marsan), he heads up in pursuit.

Like G. I. Joe: Retaliation, Bryan Singer’s Jack The Giant Slayer was initially slated for a 2012 release. Delayed during post-production, ostensibly to give the filmmakers longer to work on special effects and the studio time to work on the marketing, the film was eventually released in March of this year. Despite the efforts of all involved, Jack The Giant Slayer still bombed at the international box office. And for good reason.

Opening with a wooden recreation of the infamous fairytale, it is difficult to discern where exactly this extra time and effort was spent. All but demanding comparisons with a strikingly similar sequence at the outset of Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Jack And the Giant Slayer comes off looking cheap and unfinished, despite the technological advancement and additional hundred million dollars that Singer had to play with. Nevertheless, next to the rest of the movie, this animated introduction looks almost accomplished.

Rewritten from Darren Lemke’s original screenplay by regular Singer collaborator Christopher McQuarrie, the film bares all the hallmarks of a story bent out of shape by endless rewrites (Mark Bomback and Dan Studney also had a go at the script). Rather than start from scratch, each edit seems to have simply piled subplots and superfluous characters on top of the existing material, to the point that a flimsy fairytale has been transformed into a 114-minute giant in its own right.

Expected to wield some sort of control over this bloated behemoth is Nicholas Hoult, here completing his rise to stardom after playing the male lead in February’s Warm Bodies. Winning the role over the likes of Aaron Johnson and Citadel’s Aneurin Barnard, Hoult proves perfectly capable — if uninspiring — as Jack. While he may be a good fit for the tone Singer has obviously envisioned, however, the film could still have benefited from a stronger protagonist, particularly since the supporting cast — particularly in the case of Ewan McGregor and Eleanor Tomlinson — are so ineffectual.

The blame ultimately rests with Singer, however, who has produced a film that is as inconsistent in pace as it is in tone. Shifting awkwardly between camp comedy and action adventure, the film also pushes the boundaries of its 12A certificate with dubious language and the sort of grue that is a few short edits away from being really quite gruesome indeed. The film only really comes to life in the final reel, in a section that feels worryingly like epilogue as the giants finally invade the Kingdom Of Cloister. By this point it is a case of too little, too late, and even a creative conclusion is not enough to compensate for the preceding hour and a half of tedium.

Though intermittently entertaining, at Jack The Giant Slayer‘s length and expense it really is perfect proof that size isn’t everything. It is particularly disappointing when you consider that, had things been a little different, we could have instead been talking about X-Men 5.

2-stars

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About popcornaddiction
I am a psychology graduate, a News Writer for HeyUGuys/BestforFilm and, most importantly, a hopeless popcorn addict.

One Response to Jack The Giant Slayer (2013)

  1. Pingback: April 2013 – You’re all going to die tonight | popcornaddict

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