Director:  Bryan Singer
Writers: Darren Lemke, Dan Studney and Christopher McQuarrie
Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, Ewan Bremner and Warwick Davis
Studio: Warner Brothers

Singer succeeds in the opening flashback explaining Jack’s origins and how he came to the castle. Then, we move into the present and the film starts to turn to meh. Flash forward 10 years and Jack is living with his grumpy uncle, and Isabelle is a young lady being forced to marry the King’s trusted adviser Roderick. Isabelle is a bit too adventurous for the King and the next thing we know, she has escaped from the castle and stumbled into Jack’s humble abode. Of course, this happens on the same day that Jack traded the horse for the magic beans. The beanstalk appears and the real fun begins.

The intense battle between human and giants that involved a series of creative strategies without any gimmicks was also extremely intriguing to watch. Of course, they were possible because of conscientious efforts by talented costume designers, staging crews and visual effects artists who brought their skills to the peak behind the scene. To effectively pull this concept off, the film required tons of special effects to work, and while some of the CGI work isn’t always photorealistic and a little cartoonish, all of the giants are created through motion capture performance technology, and without it this film could not have been realized. It’s this ginormous scale that makes the film modern and not simply a throwback to a bygone era of movie-making. Though, to assume that Jack the Giant Slayer is so simple that it doesn’t actually have anything to say, would also be wrong.

Bryan Singer is obviously doing this film to pay back WB for the bath they took on “Superman Returns”. Honestly, it does its job and gets Singer back to the X-Universe where he belongs. Sure, he’s ham-fisted on dialogue and plot devices, but the guy can shoot action like nobody’s business. Whether it’s McGregor lifting the material or the CG played gracefully, the battles look amazing. It’s just that if Singer had a slightly weaker cast, the movie would be a giant mess. What we get is a passable Spring movie that will be lucky to break even.

While calling a film good enough shouldn’t be considered a slam, it showcases the major fault of this film. Everything about it crosses off those slight needs to make it work. Nobody ever impresses, they just make you stay with the story enough to view. Viewing and not thinking is one of the Western audience’s major faults. But, if they keep doing it…why should we fault studios for appeasing them? It’s not like McDonalds forces Kale salads down your throats. Show business is still a business.


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