by Benazir Anwar
Age certification: 12A
Written by: Darren Lemke, Christopher McQuarrie
Directed by: Bryan Singer
Cast: Steve Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci
With the release of Snow White and the Huntsman (2012) and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013), fairytales are being revamped to match 21st century expectations and Jack the Giant Slayer does not disappoint. The story deviates slightly from the timeless fantasy ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ which we all heard as children, but this version definitely packs a bigger and better punch!
From an early age, young farmhand Jack and princess Isabelle are read the story of King Eric and his battle against the giants that descended from the sky, wreaking havoc in the kingdom. The ‘legend’ of the beanstalk which paved way for the giants intrigues the two children and they grow up with a thirst and hunger for adventure. A few years later, we find ourselves with Jack, who having traded his horse for a bag of beans is met with disappointment and anger from his uncle. Isabelle, now being forced to marry a man twice her age by her father, has escaped the palace in search of something better.
The beans are mistakenly planted and up shoots a giant and magnificent (albeit CGI) beanstalk, taking Jack’s house and the princess along with it. In true chivalrous style, the young Jack and some of the King’s men, alongside villain, Lord Roderick, begin to climb the stalk to rescue the princess, only to be met by the creatures of the legend. Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of this film, alongside the subtle wit and humour is the set of giants which live up in the sky, that can only be described as gruesome. Surprisingly, watching a man being eaten by a human hating and gross giant is slightly more exhilarating (and entertaining!), especially when viewed in 3D. Similarly, watching the giant who has taken up the role of a chef provides a great laugh.
Although we don’t require any extensive development of the characters for a fast paced fantasy like Jack the Giant Slayer, there is enough to make us fully engage with them, including the giants which makes the film much more enjoyable. The only downside worthy of a mention is its lengthy running time of just under two hours, otherwise, embrace your inner child and prepare yourself for an incredibly enjoyable adventure up in the clouds.
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