Imogen PootsMadison Wolfe...
In 1 Cinema
Based on a graphic novel of the same name, the film adaptation of I Kill Giants has Danish filmmaker Andres Walter at the helm, who, prior to this film, had only been known for his Oscar winning short, Helium. This adaptation marks his directorial debut in the world of full length narrative films. Off the bat, we have to say that the adaptation of the novel is a visually stunning and intimate, yet flawed, tale of a young girl named Barbra Thorson, who is struggling to accept life’s hardships, and is hugely motivated by her quest to take down all the giants that threaten her home town.
I Kill Giants walks a very thin line of being unoriginal, despite it being based off original source material. Indeed, there’s always a feeling that it borrows themes from various other superior fantasy dramas, such as last year’s A Monster Calls (2017), which also features a young protagonist attempting to overcome hardships through his own imagination. However, while A Monster Calls was a more fantasy based film, I Kill Giants is a more character driven tale, one that shows the life of a young girl through her own eyes, and chooses to focus on the dramatic elements of the novel rather than the more fantastical elements.
The film could end up boring audiences who are unfamiliar with the original graphic novel. This is largely due to the fact that I Kill Giants is a very different cinematic experience, especially when placed in juxtaposition with other films belonging to the same genre. Despite Andres Walter being able to showcase the intimate details of the young protagonist’s life, aided by the masterful performance of the young Madison Wolfe, the more fantastical elements in the film falter.
The film, while ambitious in its themes and performances, isn’t essentially a memorable experience. Its pacing is the main reason behind this. Since the dramatic build up to every revelation is only paid off at the very end of the picture, it comes to feel overly longer than it should be throughout its runtime.
Despite all that, there is more to love in this movie than to scoff at. The setting of the small town is beautifully captured, and provides a wonderful backdrop to the protagonist’s grand imagination. Not to mention, the creatures’ designs are all marvelously created and presented. As such, Andres Walter is able to create genuinely eerie scenes and sequences.
To wrap it all up, I Kill Giants may not be for everyone. On the one hand, those who are expecting a grand fantasy epic, might be left underwhelmed. On the other hand, those who enjoy deep and personal coming-of-age stories will surely not want to miss this feature.