jack the giant slayer2013

Genre: Adventure, Fantasy

Directed by: Bryan Singer

Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor

A farm boy sells his horse for magic beans and the scene is set for an epic battle between humans and giants in Bryan Singer’s version of the classic tale. Jack and the Beanstalk is the latest fairy tale to get the Hollywood action makeover treatment.

I’ve enjoyed a few of the films from this ever-burgeoning sub genre and I’m looking forward to Angelina Jolie’s take on the wicked queen Maleficent. But I’m starting to wonder how much further tinsel town can go with this trend before it runs out of fairy tales and actors who want to do them. What will we be left with? Paris Hilton in the Princess and the Pea or the Kardashians as the Three Little Pigs… Maybe it’s me, but Jack and the Beanstalk is not the most exciting premise for a film version of a fable and there were times when there was too much waffle and not enough action.

The actors do a passable job amongst the effects (Ewan McGregor reverts to his dodgy Star Wars acting and Ian McShane does his best whilst being trapped in a ridiculous piece of plus sized golden amour) and young Nicholas Hoult (Jack) has done nothing to dim his star in the ascendancy. The vistas and scenery were pretty impressive and the effects were OK, but I found the heads of the giants (who seemed to be enormous cockneys, Cornish folk or large troll dolls) to be a bit cartoonish. The effects at the beginning of the film, which were used to relate the legends of the giants, were damn right diabolical and reminded of the dodgy CGI you would find in an 80’s/90’s show.

What justified the price of admission was a very exciting final battle and a nice nifty little touch at the very end of the film.

★★★

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