Friday, 22 March 2013

Film Review: "Jack the Giant Slayer" (2013).




The tagline of the film is "If you think you know the story, you don't know Jack." Which is what you're in for with Jack the Giant Slayer. This fantasy adventure film directed by Bryan Singer and was based on the fairy tales, Jack the Giant Killer and Jack and the Beanstalk. The film tells the story of Jack, a young farmhand who must rescue a princess and stop the ancient reignited war between humans and a race of giants after inadvertently opening a gateway between the two worlds.

The film's two main inspirations were Joseph Jacob's The History of Jack the Giant Killer, which was an English folklore that was published in 1711. However Jack and the Beanstalk, which was published in print in 1807, is the most popular version of the story. But Jacob's story was regarded as being the most accurate as it lacks the moralizing that appeared in some versions of the tale.

Development of Jack the Giant Slayer began in 2005, when Lemke first pitched the idea to New Line Cinemas. D. J. Caruso was hired to direct the film in January 2009 but in September of that year, Caruso was replaced by Singer, who hired McQuarrie (his frequent writing collaborator) to rewrite the script. Casting took place between February and March 2011, and Principal Photography began in April 2011 in England with locations in Somerset, Gloucestershire and Norfolk. Release of the film was moved back, (by nine months) from June 15th 2012 to March 22nd 2013, in Post Production to allow more time for special effects and marketing.

The film stared Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, Bill Nighy and Ewan McGregor. Even though the performances were excellent, they somehow seemed to be unoriginal, typical and ultimately predictable. Hoult's performance, as good as it was, I felt as though I have already seen that kind of character and can be compared to Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga. This also applied to Tomlinson's performance whose character was also predictable as she was the 'damsel-in-distress' and happens to be the hero's love interest and fall in love with him, not even halfway through the film. Tucci - as brilliantly he played this role, I felt that I was seeing the same Stanley Tucci role over and over again. Most of Tucci's roles that I am aware of is that he always plays the villain bent on world domination. McShane's performance was also brilliant, but predictable and typical in this kind of story. Nighy played the antagonist role excellently, but I felt as though his presence and character was not strong enough throughout the film. That he was just a villain for film showmanship. Lastly, McGregor's performance was brilliantly portrayed with a moments of humor, but also predictable and, at the same time, weak.

While Jack the Giant Slayer looks terrific and delivers its share of fantasy thrills. However, it also suffers from uneven pacing and occasionally incomprehensible plotting and cliché characterization.

Simon says Jack the Giant Slayer receives:


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