Saturday 30 March 2013

Jack The Giant Slayer (2013) - Bryan Singer

We all know the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, but Jack The Giant Slayer attempts to do for this fairytale what last year's Snow White And The Huntsman did for Snow White - retelling the story for a new generation.  This time we have that kid from Skins (a 'rabbit-in-the-headlights' Nicholas Hoult in a hoodie) and a beautifully coiffed Ewan McGregor.

Everything about Jack The Giant Slayer is so excruciatingly lazy.  The cast consists of some credible actors - Stanley Tucci and Eddie Marsan alongside Hoult and McGregor - but their performances are as wooden as a beanstalk.  At least they get a pay cheque at the end of the two hour slog, which is more than the audience.  That said, they are given an abysmal script where every other line is a pun.  Nobody, no matter how credible their acting, can make lines like "You're barking up the wrong beanstalk", "Let's hope he didn't spill the beans" and "There's something behind me, isn't there" (used twice!) sound good.  This version of the fairytale is a farcical pantomime, filled with innumerable plot holes.  Don't even get me started on the ending.

McGregor's quiff aside, there's not even any visual magic.  The film begins with (what else?) a brief retelling of a legend, presented with all the graphical quality of the original Playstation circa 1996.  Elsewhere, the CGI special effects are detailed but the giants themselves look as if they've been designed by a group of five year olds.  They act like them too - the level of joke as juvenile as nose-picking, arse scratching and farting.  And why exactly are they all Northern Irish?!

If you're going to retell a fairytale you'd best bring something new to the table.  Singer doesn't.  Jack The Giant Slayer is brimming with shades of Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy and King Kong, whilst the score is ripped from Pirates of the Caribbean.  The result is a film that's beige, bland and uninteresting to the extreme.

I'll save you the puns and spill the beans for you: don't bark up this beanstalk.  This bean doesn't sow the seed of a new franchise, it's just one giant bore-fest.