Directed by: Bryan Singer
Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci and Ian McShane
Fee-Fi-Fo-Fum, I smell a MAJOR hit this way to come. Jack the Giant Slayer, previously named Jack the Giant Killer and changed because research suggested the name may be too violent, is a fun watch provided you’re of age to handle the fable the way it is displayed on screen.
By this I mean leaving Killer in the title may have at least warned parents with young children to keep the tots out of the cinema for this one as giants do fancy the "taste of the blood of Englishman…" remember?
That being said, Jack the Giant Slayer is for you if you’re ready to see another fairy tale told cinematically. Despite Hollywood's desire to turn most of our formerly innocent childhood heroes and heroins into lethal vampires or blade wielding witches or the like, Jack has the modesty and even naiveté of the fresh faced young man playing him.
Jack opens with the telling of the story, which was beautifully done, (yes, the IMAX screen probably had something to do with the enjoyment so if you can see it this way, do!) to youngsters Jack (Nicholas Hoult) and Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson). This is where you get a chance to watch the story you were told as a youngster come to life before you… the actual story rather than a retelling with more goblins and zombies added into the mix.
Okay, it’s a bit different, but what is there of the original story isn’t bastardized by tangents going off in a dozen directions. You can follow along and it’s easy and fun to be sucked into the fable.
And, yeah. At this point you may be asking yourself, do you want to watch another fairy-tale played out on screen or would you rather just leave them in those childhood memories of yours and see the characters the way you originally created them in your mind at bedtime?
It’s my opinion that Bryan Singer, whose previous works consists of films like X-Men and Superman Returns, knows how to shoot an adventure film and bring it to life in a way that both titillates and startles. His characters, for whom you immediately engage, come tumbling down to the kingdom from a beanstalk they climbed, to rescue a princess; and the adventure is pure and whimsical with computer graphics enough to support the reason for them, not to outshine the performances of the actors or to cover any blemishes or blunders.
What is most striking about Jack is that Singer indulges in fantasy one finds in a painting or a toy rather than illusions created in a computer lab and like a child with a pop-up book, you are mesmerized with the turning of each page. You’ll especially enjoy the chapter covering appetizers, where Singer regales us with a look at what dinner time might be like for these horrible creatures, the chef a repugnant character you wouldn’t want touching your toilet let alone your food.
My suggestion is see this on the big screen and see it this weekend. You will not be disappointed. I wonder if, like me, you’ll leave curious as to what Singer could do with Little Miss Muffet?