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Jack the Giant Slayer

Jack the Giant Slayer: Fun Fairytale Adaptation

  • Eleanor TomlinsonEwan McGregor...
  • DramaScience Fiction...
  • Bryan Singer
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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Jack the Giant Slayer: Fun Fairytale Adaptation

Since the release of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, children’s fables and folk stories have been taking the box-office by storm.  From the adventures of a little girl and a big bad wolf in the 2011 adaptation of the Red Riding Hood to the family witch-hunting escapades in 2012’s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters; the fairytale frenzy isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

Jack the Giant Slayer – the latest fairy tale adaptation to hit the big screen – is based on not just one, but two classic tales, combining the tale of Jack the Giant Killer and the adventures of Jack and Beanstalk.

The film opens with Jack (Hoult), who, as a young boy, had stories read to him of monks who used magic beans to grow gigantic beanstalks in order to reach the heavens above – where bloodthirsty giants reside in land of Gantua. 

Jack grows up to be a clueless and a struggling farmer boy who can hardly make ends meet.  One day, in the hope of making some much-needed money, Jack goes out and tries to sell his horse, but instead of getting the money, he is offered a handful of magic beans from an extremely anxious looking monk.  Unsure of what just transpired, Jack returns home only to find himself in the presence of Princess Isabelle (Tomlinson), the only daughter of King Brahmwell (McShane), who is soon to be married – unwillingly – to the despicable and sneaky Lord Roderick (Tucci).

Before anyone’s had a chance to realise that the magic beans have taken cairorevamp_user under the house, the beanstalk explodes into the sky, taking Isabelle for a ride.  Now, together with the king’s devoted army – led by the heroic Knight Elmont (McGregor) – Jack needs to rescue the princess from an army of giants and two-headed phantom, General Fallon (Nighy/Kassir).

In the hands of X Men and Superman Returns director, Bryan Singer, and writers, Darren Lemke, Christopher McQuarrie and Dan Studney, the story offers very few surprises However, it still manages to be captivating and utterly delightful, landing plenty of comical moments and intense action scenes.

The performances are superb, too, and it’s clear that everyone is having a ball in their own individual role. Hoult is charming and carries the film well, while damsel-in-distress, Tomlinson, is very watchable and, luckily, doesn’t give in to too many princess clichés. As for the supporting cast, they are the core energy of the story.  Both McGregor and Tucci deliver the goods like pros and the voices provided by Nighy and Kassir are first-rate and great fun.

Although the plotline is inevitably weak, Jack the Giant Slayer is still one of the best adapted fairytales and is, in layman’s terms, just a fun, easy watch.

Like This? Try

Alice in Wonderland (2010), Red Riding Hood (2011), Snow White and the Huntsman (2012).

360 Tip

Ewan McGregor's character states that he "has a bad feeling about this." This phrase is a staple of the Star Wars films, which McGregor, as Obi-Wan Kenobi, has said twice.

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