Thursday, 28 March 2013

Review: Jack The Giant Slayer (3D)

World of Blackout 77-Word Film Review

Jack The Giant Slayer Poster

Jack The Giant Slayer
Cert: 12A / 114 mins / Dir. Bryan Singer

When it's being a fun adventure romp with battling giants, Jack The Giant Slayer is quite good fun. Unfortunately, the first hour and a quarter never reaches these heights, and is dragged along by the shocking delivery of a truly appalling script. Dramatic tension is nowhere to be seen; We have to climb the beanstalk? We climb the beanstalk. We have to rescue the princess? We rescue the princess. We have to come back down again? We come back down again. It's frighteningly bland, with no sense of fun or adventure, and even the kids in the audience were starting to fidget and chatter.

Then it somehow picks up for the final battle. Well, comparatively anyway. It's still a very linear affair, but it's adrenaline central compared to the pantomime that's gone before.

And if you're thinking you can at least send your brain to sleep for a couple of hours, your eyes will have other ideas. The number of jump-cuts to avoid showing stabbing and chopping wounds (because it's all swords and arrows in here, unlike Hansel & Gretel), combined with poorly applied 3D (complete with ghosting and horribly forced perspective) make the film an absolute headache to watch. Combine this with the CGI used for the giants, and the whole thing's sadly underwhelming. The CGI isn't bad per se, but the giant's look is really suited to an animated film. In live action, they look more like 'special effects' than characters.

Ultimately, Jack The Giant Slayer comes off as an Aldi-brand Lord of the Rings, and it's a real shame because the potential's there for so much more. It's well intentioned, but it wastes a lot of time going down well-trodden pathways. Oh, but full marks for the sheer temerity of that final scene. Dear, oh dear…

Geek points:
• A young boy living on his uncle's farm, who's called away to rescue a princess, accompanied by Ewan McGregor in full Kenobi-mode? Why don't you just have McGregor say 'I'm starting to have a very bad feeling about all this'? Oh, you did.
• And by all means, throw Wald and Ric Olié in as well. No, I'm serious, do that, I love those guys.
• It's slightly mad to think that Renton and Spud are climbing the beanstalk. Ace :)

Is the trailer representative of the film?

Did I laugh, cry, gasp and sigh when I was supposed to?
Not really.

Does it achieve what it sets out to do?
I have no idea.

Pay at the cinema, Rent on DVD or just wait for it to be on the telly?
DVD / Telly.

Will I think less of you if we disagree about how good/bad this film is?

Will I watch it again?

Is there a Wilhelm Scream?

And because you won't be happy until I've given it a score...

*1 In the sequence where flaming tree trunks are being hurled into the castle.

• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.
• Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.
• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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