Bryan Singer has brought Jack the Giant Slayer to the screen with a few changes to the original story. Is this another X-Men style classic or the next Superman Returns?
Jack the Giant Slayer is the first true big budget, big screen adaptation of Jack and The Beanstalk. The challenge was appointed to Bryan Singer, who has previously directed the first two X-Men films (with great success) and Superman Returns (with not such great success). So has he created a new vision of such a well known story?
Well, we can breathe a collective sigh of relief at the end of this film. First the film shows the history of the giants and King Eric, a legend within the fairytale. It then goes back to the traditional JATB tale, the young Jack is told to sell a horse (not a cow) for money.
Jack meets a monk who is on the run with stolen beans and needs a horse. So the monk persuades Jack to take the magic beans in exchange for the horse. Gullible Jack takes the beans but is warned by a monk to not get them wet under any circumstances! Jack then returns home with the beans, making his uncle angry.
And here comes the change from the well known story, a runaway princess seeks shelter in Jack’s home. Unfortunately it’s a very wet night and a runaway bean explodes into a giant beanstalk taking the house and the princess up into the sky leaving Jack unconscious at the base of the stalk. The story then becomes about saving the princess, with more interesting twists to enjoy.
The film wasn’t quite the hit it was hoped to be, there was something missing. Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor and Ian McShane were solid, but no real exceptional performances.
The special effects were at a high standard, each giant had their own unique look and the massive fight scenes were pulled off well and the fast pace of the growing beanstalk created anticipation for the audience.
The locations were designed well with the castle and surrounding area reminiscent of medieval times. The world of the giants wasn’t that special however, and did not give the desired feeling of being in a different world.
Overall I liked the film and if it wasn’t for the change in story line the film would be dull. Special effects throughout are good, the end sequence was a clever little tie to modern day reality. However, it somehow misses the mark on being the epic feature it could have been.
Needed more magic in its beans.
Jack The Giant Slayer is out now.