Jack The Giant Slayer 3D

Directed by: Bryan Singer

Starring:  Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Bill Nighy, and Ian McShane

"Fee Fye Foe Fumm. Ask not whence the thunder comes. For between Heaven and Earth it's a perilous place. Home to a fearsome giant race."
–King Brahmwell (Ian McShane)

Jack the Giant Slayer is the latest movie to update a traditional fairy tale into an action adventure film.  Because X-Men and Usual Suspects director Bryan Singer was at the film’s helm, I had high expectations for the film.  At the end of the day, however, Jack is a pretty straight-forward, familiar tale.

Jack (Nicholas Hoult) is a simple farmhand.  When he was a little boy, his father used to tell him the legend of the giants.  Long ago, there was a magical beanstalk that led man to the world of the giants.  The giants were violent and developed a taste for human flesh.  Many people died before the king had his sorcerers fashion a crown infused with the blood of a giant’s heart.  The crown allowed him to command the giants and with it, he banished them to the sky, never to return to land again.  When the king died, his crown and the magic beanstalk beans were buried with him.  Jack and others believe the tale to simply be a myth, but he soon discovers the truth behind the legend. 

As an adult, Jack wants to break away from just working on the farm.  While in town one day, by chance he is given a handful of beans.  Meanwhile, across the kingdom, Princess Isabelle, wants more than a forced marriage with shady nobleman Roderick (Stanley Tucci).  Isabelle steals away in the middle of the night and ends up taking shelter in Jack’s house during a storm.  In the midst of the storm, one of Jack’s new beans gets wet and grows into a massive beanstalk.  Isabelle is swept away and though Jack tries to save her, he fails.  Isabelle’s father King Brahmwell (Ian McShane) sends his guardians, led by Elmont (Ewan McGregor), Roderick, Isabelle’s fiancé, and Jack to rescue the princess.  What they find between heaven and earth is a ruthless, revenge-seeking, disgusting group of giants led by General Fallon (Bill Nighy).  They must not only fight to save the princess, but they must fight to save mankind.

Jack the Giant Slayer brings a likeable hero with Nicholas Hoult, the always enjoyable Ewan McGregor as a brave guardian of the king, and Bill Nighy as a pretty badass leader of the giants.  Nighy and the rest of the giants are the best part of the film.  In this world, Fee, Fye, Foe and Fumm are butt-kicking vicious beasts. They remind me of talking versions of the trolls from The Lord of the Rings.  Nighy and his crew are pretty dastardly and I enjoyed watching them open up a fresh can of fantasy whoopass.  The special effects team did a fantastic job with the animation of these giants, as well as with the creation of a violent and deadly beanstalk.

However, Jack the Giant Slayer is standard fantasy fare.  The protagonist is an underdog who falls for a girl who is out of his league.  Some sort of crisis happens and the elusive girl needs to be saved—which provides an opportunity for the brave boy with the heart of gold to show courage in the face of danger.  We’ve been there, and we’ve done that many times before.  What is a little frustrating with the film is that it is incredibly traditional, but attempts to incorporate some edge with villains and violence, but it doesn’t fully commit to going darker.  The movie’s failure to commit to a direction, keeps it from becoming something special.

Jack the Giant Slayer earns a 0.06% rating.  Throw back a beer with this one. If you do hit the theater to see the film, I would recommend the 2D version. The effects were not spectacular enough to necessitate the extra 3D price.

STMR is hosting a giveaway for Jack The Giant Slayer!  Click here for more information on how to win a free copy of the movie on Blu-ray and DVD.  Enter by July 5th for a chance to win!!!