Jack the Giant Slayer finally hits theaters after having multiple delays and the wait is most certainly not worth it. I approached the movie with some optimism, though I wasn’t expecting greatness by any means, and even though the trailers didn’t wow (nor offend) me, I didn’t want to go into the film already feeling pessimistic towards it. After seeing the movie, I feel I can say that Jack the Giant Slayer is easily the worst film that Bryan Singer has made thus far and mixes stale characters and action with (giant) fart jokes.
The movie kicks off with a young wide-eyed Jack being told the legendary story of the giants by his father. This story is visualized in the movie through a “stylized” CG that rivals video game graphics of the 1990s. It’s ugly and uninteresting and is a pretty terrible way to introduce the movie to the audience. The sequence sets the bar for the rest of the movie essentially stating that the movie is going to be boring and lifeless.
The lifelessness of the story carries over to the actors themselves. Nicholas Hoult, who plays Jacks, gives a generic performance befitting of the movie. I didn’t know that Stanley Tucci and Ian McShane were in the film and was surprised and happy to see them but that excitement quickly dwindled as Tucci felt like he was just going through the motions and McShane just seemed kind of bored. Eleanor Tomlinson, who plays the Princess and love interest to Jack, doesn’t seem to have all that much chemistry with Hoult and doesn’t do much to add to the film except be distressed. Ewen Bremner is terrifyingly bad and unfunny, despite seemingly playing the roll of villainous comic relief. The only person that seems to be having any fun at all is Ewan McGregor, but he’s not enough to inject any energy into the film.
Jack the Giant Slayer feels like director Bryan Singer couldn’t decided on what he wanted the film to be. It seems Singer wanted to make an all-ages adventure film that could be enjoyed by the whole family but then he throws in some darker, adult aspects like giants biting heads off people and eyeball projectiles. The humor of the film definitely feels like it might appeal to a much younger, less discerning crowd with fart jokes and a two-headed giant whose one head speaks in slurs because he’s apparently a goofy-eyed mentally handicapped head (I wouldn’t be surprised if some people get a little offended by this). The giants themselves don’t seem to have been rendered fully in the computer, or perhaps there just wasn’t enough money in the budget to really make them look less cartoony. Then again, maybe they were designed to be on the cartoony side to appeal to kids as some of the designs of the giants are pretty awful and feel very much like something you’d see in an uninspired animated film. Either way, the giants look like bad CG and that just adds to the cheap and lazy feel of the film.
There really isn’t much in the way of innovation in regards to the story and the logic presented in the film is faulty at best. In fact, there isn’t really anything to be said on the story as it’s about as predictable as you may imagine. Jack the Giant Slayer isn’t the worst film I’ve ever seen but it is one of the more humdrum movies I’ve seen in awhile. I saw it in 3D and will be glad to tell you that it isn’t worth the extra price to see it in the third dimension, in fact, it might just be best to skip this one entirely.
by Ben McBride