Jack (Nicholas Hoult) has been tasked by his adopting uncle with traveling to the castle square and selling the family horse and wagon. Jack inevitably becomes sidetracked, he loses the wagon and is duped by a distressed monk into trading the horse….for beans. The monk is escaping capture by Roderick (Stanley Tucci), an evil-doer betrothed to King Brahmwell’s (Ian McShane) daughter. Roderick’s motive is to enslave giants to overthrow the kingdom.
The King’s daughter, Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) goes AWOL in search of her own adventure, eventually finding her way to Jack’s doorstep. Jack manages to mishandle the beans and they begin to sprout, whisking the farmhouse and Isabelle to the giant’s territory in the clouds.
With the help of the King’s trusted Protectors, lead by the steadfast, Knight Elmont (Ewan McGregor), Jack sets out to rescue the Princess and eliminate the threat of Roderick and his invading giant horde.
Jack the Giant Slayer is Bryan Singer’s interpretation of the English folktale. There has been an influx of fairy tale movie adaptions in the last couple of years, but Giant Slayer best keeps to the spirit of the original tale. The filmmakers even worked in a “Fi, Fi, Fo, Fum”, a golden egg and harp.
From giants to set pieces, Jack is laden with spectacular CGI. The fairy tale landscape is the perfect companion to the computer canvas and the massive giants are very well done, though, with exception to General Fallon (Bill Nighy), are sometimes difficult to discern from one another.
Jack does have his shortcomings. The final confrontation between humans and giants isn’t the payoff I had anticipated, it feels rushed and leaves too many unanswered questions. There isn’t much character development. But perhaps the most disappointing shortfall is the 3D….there is none. Do not pay for this upgrade.
Jack the Giant Slayer is rated PG-13. Is Jack safe for kids? Well, that depends on the limits you place on violence. There is no blood, gore, or giant’s goo. Violent encounters are mostly suggestive. There is gross-out humor.
Jack is an imperfect adventure film. It is destined to earn a cult following; but this giant-size film could fall at the box office. If you are a fan of Labyrinth or Neverending Story, you will probably enjoy yourself.[signoff1]