By Matthew Turner (Erdington)
We all know the story about Jack and his magic beans don’t we? …Well, no according to Bryan Singer and his faithful writers, we don’t! I, like many fathers have told our kids the story about how Jack was sent out to sell a cow but gets drawn in to swapping the cow for a couple of supposedly magic beans and when they get wet on the floor, a giant beanstalk grows and then, fee-fi-fo-fum, and all that jazz (you know where I’m going).
Anyway in this retelling we find out that it is actually a horse that Jack needs to sell and that there was some random battle between people of earth and numerous giants that lived in the sky when there was another beanstalk which grew a long long time ago, and all children were told this story much like the story we tell our children. Shoot forward some time later and we meet Jack who is played by up and coming Nicholas Hoult, who started life in About a Boy and showed his wild side in Skins for 2 seasons. However, I don’t think his acting chops were pushed too much for this movie as it is a simple tale which takes everything we thought we know about the story and completely takes away the innocence of our beloved Jack and the Beanstalk tale.
I don’t wish to give too much away as not everything in the movie is quite so bad, as we get a rather hammy Stanley Tucci in a role he is obviously enjoying as the human villain of the movie, and Ian McShane doesn’t embarrass himself too much as King of the Land, however, Ewan McGregor does look increasingly like a 80s throwback with every movie he does lately and this won’t do his CV as many favours as he thought it might. The film seems rushed and each scene seems rushed and eager to finish as there is no time to really get to know these characters or really care whether they are trampled on by the brutally bad CGI giants. Yes, I know they wouldn’t look quite normal, but for me they looked a bit too fake and I couldn’t help thinking that I have seen better CGI in a 90s movie.
Thank God Bryan Singer can redeem himself with the upcoming X-Men movie: Days of Futures Past because this was definitely his weakest film to date and that includes Superman Returns, which looks like a masterpiece compared to Jack the Giant Slayer, which should really have been retitled Jack the Couple of Giants Slayer because I counted 2 that he actually slayed if slayed is the word you would use.
I would give the movie 3 out of 10 and that’s only because Stanley Tucci was in it!