REVIEW: JACK THE GIANT SLAYER
SYNOPSIS: An age-old war is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants.
Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the long-banished giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack (Nicholas Hoult), into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom, its people, and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend...and gets the chance to become a legend himself.
“Fee, fye, foe, fumm…” When I was a little kid that was an ominous call that meant the giant was coming! In this all grownup version of Jack and the Beanstalk that call is part of a very different twist. Actually, there are a lot of new twists in this new reincarnation. Having recently seen Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters with my husband, Cine Marcos, I was happy to see that although liberties are taken with this childhood fairytale, unlike in the previously mentioned movie, they were respectful enough to make this more a retelling with a fresh new view and not a practically complete re-writing. I felt that with Hansel and Gretel, only the name and some very basic details kept true to the Brother’s Grimm story. Call me old fashioned but that did not make me very happy.
Jack’s story is much more respectful to the original English fairytale. One of the things that surprised Cine Marcos, myself and our friend Maria was how many excellent actors were part of this project. The first obvious character was Stanley Tucci as Roderick, a weasily, conniving Lord, ready to marry the beautiful and adventurous Princess Isabelle played sweetly and bravely by Eleanor Tomlinson. Mr. Tucci never fails to make us love or hate him depending on what character he is playing at the time. But let’s talk about Young Mr. Jack, played by Nicholas Hault. Let’s be honest, he has such an angelic face, but more importantly you see within his face all the wonder, sadness, excitement, dread and love (yes, I said love) that this actor is trying to portray.
Ian McShane plays the King of Cloister and Princess Isabelle’s father with all the bravery and “weight of the world on his shoulders” that a king carries and all the compassion that a father should have. I could go on and on about all the great actors in this film and I will for just a little bit longer thank you. Ewan McGregor is dreamy (I can’t help myself) as Elmont, the Protector of the Princess. There are a lot of other small cameos, no pun intended, such as Warwick Davis as a tent performer and not so small cameos, pun intended, such as Bill Nighy as the voice of the leader of the giants, General Fallon.
The special effects in this film were awesome to say the least, the story, extremely cool, as I said earlier and the pace of the film was good. I felt, and you might be surprised to find, that just when you think the story is done…. it’s just getting started. One of the unexpected stars of the film is the musical score. I think that it took you along the way from emotion to emotion and scenario to scenario. Incredible soundtrack! The kingdom of Cloister is, to me, painfully beautiful and probably exactly what I would dream a fairytale kingdom should look like. I would live there if I could.
As a mom, I find that one of the factors that made me love this film even more than all the visual beauty and special effects is that although there is action, incredible battles and yes, even a love story, it is family friendly. There are extremely loud action scenes and for the very little ones the giants might be too intimidating but a lot of the horror is more implied than in your face and you won’t see any nudity or overt sexual content. All in all, go and enjoy this new visit with an old childhood story.
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