If you think you know the story, you don’t know Jack- Now that’s a tagline.
Its rare that I get up before 11am on a Saturday morning after a night out, unless of course it involves bacon, but up I was this Saturday and ready to see my first 3D film, Jack the Giant Slayer.
Jack the Giant Slayer is the latest film in a string of blockbusters attempting to revamp and reinvent a classic fairytale. Bryan Singer, director of the first two X-Men films and the upcoming X-Men:Days of Future Past, will be hoping for more success with his take on Jack and the Beanstalk than the tepidly received Hansel and Gretel that opened here last week.
Let’s just jump right in with what you can probably gather just by watching the trailer. Singer hasn’t done anything revolutionary with the narrative. All the components of the classic are there; Jack, the beans, giants, a beanstalk, etc, along with some added extras and seemingly required components of any ‘family-friendly’ blockbuster; a love story, a villain, a legend, a magic crown …you know the sort of stuff/fluff I mean. There won’t be any surprises on how this all comes together too. If you’re looking for Nolanesque Inception plot development then you’ve gone to the wrong film. However, putting all that aside I found myself enjoying Jack. The dialogue, although slightly hammy, worked within the context of the old world premise and made me chuckle rather than tut.
Nicholas Hoult had an innocence and lightness as Jack which was perfect foil for Stanley Tucci’s, admittedly some what camp, villain. The princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) was drippy, that bloke who played Lovejoy (Ian McShane) added nothing to the film and Ewan McGregor could have done his part in his sleep, but I sort of didn’t care. Unlike other blockbusters that I have seen over the past few years *Cough* Transformers 2 *Cough* Pirates of the Caribbean 4 *Cough*, I didn’t find myself boiling with rage at the characters or the plot. The giants had a real threat about them, the set pieces were well executed and didn’t drag on too long, and the film had a charm that won me over.
One thing for certain is this film is going to divide and Singer could well find that Jack the Giant Slayer disappoints at the box office due to a slightly miss-pitched audience range. The language and the body count certainly isn’t for little ones and the older market may not turn out sufficiently enough to justify the obscene $300 million budget. All-in-all the film has a pantomime feel to it that some may not be able to forgive, however I happen to like the occasional pantomime.
Verdict on 3D: Headache; blurry; got better; slightly interesting; stopped noticing by the end; not for me.