Reel Reviews: Fairytale is a cinematic giant

Jack the Giant Slayer is a fun, action-packed spectacle.

Nicholas Hoult climbs back up the beanstalk as Jack in Jack the Giant Slayer.

Nicholas Hoult climbs back up the beanstalk as Jack in Jack the Giant Slayer.

A tiny sack of magic beans, a farm boy looking for adventure, a beautiful princess seeking autonomy, a beanstalk stretching into the sky, and an army of hungry giants. In Jack the Giant Slayer, two traditional fairy tales come to life.

We say, “It’s a fun, action-packed spectacle.”

TAYLOR: This film was a lot of fun. It’s not without its faults, but they are minor, and not the kinds of things that minors would notice. The film strives to be something more than it is, on the same par for romance as The Princess Bride, achieving the same level of action as The Goonies. Jack the Giant Slayer doesn’t quite hit this mark, but it’s very good and I wouldn’t hesitate to take any little boy or girl who doesn’t scare too easily.

HOWE: I really enjoyed this. What I found interesting was instead of having only one giant to deal with, you had a whole army of these towering foes. This coupled along with the not-your-regular beanstalk storyline gave a nice twist to the fairytale. I agree with you about taking a younger audience to watch this, but there are a couple of naughty words used throughout.

TAYLOR: I was surprised at how much I liked this movie. The action sequences really pulled me in. Maybe it’s because the giants are so big the filmmakers had to pull the audience back and actually show the action. I like it when you’re not having to guess at what is going on.

HOWE: The CGI was the best I have seen in a long time, but yet again I ask myself, did they really have to make it in 3D? There was one part in Jack that they could have really used it better, but they cheaped out. Instead of the windmill flying at you making you want to duck for cover, it goes winging past you on the screen.

TAYLOR: There is something for kids of all ages in this film. Even jaded old film nerds should be able to lose themselves in this one. There’s lots of fighting, quite a bit of killing (the giant’s preferred method of murdering men is to eat them), but only one instance of what I would call gore, and the scares are of a variety fitting a fantasy film about giants. Having said that, I think anyone with even only the slightest interest in seeing this film should go, regardless of their age. You won’t be disappointed. We’ve seen a lot of fairytales put to the big screen in the last year, Jack and the Giant Slayer is probably the best of them.

— Howe gives Jack the Giant Slayer 3.5 trees on fire out of 5.

— Taylor gives it 3.5 regal supporting roles out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

Peter Howe and Brian Taylor are movie reviewers based in Vernon, B.C. Their column, Reel Reviews, appears every Friday and Sunday in The Morning Star.

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