Saturday, 23 March 2013

Jack The Giant Slayer Review

I now know why this wasn't just called Jack and the Beanstalk. It's actually quite a bit more than the original fairy tale. And, if you're going to bastardize a beloved children's tale, you might as well do it right. And they did. I wasn't expecting much and it does start out fairly slow. But when it picks up, it takes off and doesn't let go. Once the beanstalk grows, the film moves fast, has some really good action and breaks some conventional adventure movie rules along the way (timing of obvious deaths, changes to a crisis, etc.) I like that they were willing to take those risks. I also like that they didn't try to make the movie seem too real. Part of that may be due to limitations in CGI technology. But some of it had to be an intentional effort to keep it a fairy tale. Ewan McGregor is the best example of this. His line delivery (tally ho) really exemplifies the "knight in shining armour" character that only exists in fairy tales.

I was a bit disappointed with some of the CGI. The beanstalks were good and the whole set of the different lands is created well. But the giants were created poorly. I know it would have taken a lot of money but, rather than trying to give each one such a unique look, they could have commoditized them a bit and left out things like the Don King hair on the one. There could have been a better balance between individualism and quality.

Overall, it's quite tight and has a really cool ending.  The battles and fights are engaging and mesmerizing. So see it. There's just a couple of questions I have though. Why is Fumm Irish? Was Flava Flav the inspiration for the giant's second head? And why was the medieval army general straight out of a WWI anti-Kaiser propaganda poster?  I guess we'll never know...

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