HOLLYWOOD—I’ve noticed this trend over the past several years. It appears the month of March sees the release of many movies that take visual effects to new heights: “Clash of the Titans,” “Alicein Wonderland,” “10,000 B.C.,” “Watchmen” and “300” to name a few. Well you can add another flick to that list “Jack the Giant Slayer” which is a visually stunning piece of cinema.
The fantasy-action flick is directed by Bryan Singer who is known to many for his work on the “X-Men” pictures. He recently announced that he’ll return to the director’s chair for “X-Men First Class: Days of Future Past” a sequel to the 2011 hit “X-Men First Class.” This picture gives a unique spin on the classic folk tale Jack and the Beanstalk, with Jack (Nicholas Hoult) opening a gateway that unleashes giants and creatures from another world to wreak havoc in an attempt to reclaim a land that was once theirs.
Jack implants himself into the life of Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) who has been arranged to marry, a wicked nobleman named Roderick portrayed by Stanley Tucci. She wants to be able to make her own decisions, which takes place when she finds herself high above ground thanks to a strategically planted bean. The Princess has a load of suitors attempting to rescue her including Roderick and Elmont (Ewen McGregor).
In this new world Jack, Roderick andElmontfind themselves facing multiple giants and a wide range of creatures who enjoying eating humans as a tasty snack. The visual backdrop that is presented to the audience is absolutely stunning. It’s like a place never captured on film; and to see the movie in 3D just heightens those dimensions for the spectator. The story is not something that is fascinating to say the least, you have an idea of where things are headed from the initial go, but it’s a journey worth taking to explore these unique characters and a world that so many of us can only imagine.
There are some well choreographed actions sequences involving the humans and the giants that will entertain the littlest tots as well as the fantasy and action junkies. A lot of CGI was used to create those moments on the screen. In my opinion, the movie re-tells the story of an everyday man surpassing the traditional odds that he is facing to rescue the Princess and get the girl of his dreams. A bit of humor is infused into the tale involving the giants and the humans, banter that only the other party understands. It’s an inside joke that’s meant to be funny, but does not always come across that way.
“Jack the Giant Slayer” is not the best fantasy epic of the year, but I found the movie to be quite enchanting. It allows the big kid in most adults to reflect back on those earlier memories of the folk tale and escape from the world that we’ve become so accustomed to.
By LaDale Anderson