The giants are big and mean, the princess is lovely and the hero seems up to the challenge in “Jack the Giant Slayer,” a version of the well-loved “Jack and the Beanstalk” fairy tale.
Farm boy Jack (Nicholas Hoult) isn’t the most focused person, but we know he’s kind-hearted by the way he’s willing to take a beating for a young woman’s honor.
The woman turns out to be Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson), and before you can say “forbidden love,” it’s clear something is brewing.
And there are other plans afoot, when the king’s trusted advisor, Roderick (Stanley Tucci), decides to see if the legends of a land full of giants and a crown to control them are true.
When Jack and Eleanor get in the way of Roderick’s schemes, not even the dashing guardsman Elmont (Ewan McGregor) can save them.
But Jack’s a resourceful lad, who willingly faces giants and other obstacles to protect the fair Isabelle.
The old fairy tale hasn’t been told with such spectacular special effects or exhilarating action sequences before, and the filmmakers have added an army of giants to amp things up.
But “Jack the Giant Slayer” loses its way at times, and it’s hard to peg down the movie’s tone. The mixture of comedy, romance, action and drama doesn’t blend as well as I would’ve hoped. It’s more a construction project of interesting elements, rather than a woven together whole.
No one in grammar school will notice that minor quibble, though the action on screen might have young ones grabbing for their parents or covering their eyes. Numerous deaths happen on screen, but none are bloody.
My kids are 10 and 8, and both had some uncomfortable, scary moments, but that didn’t keep them from giving the movie high marks, nor did it interfere with their sleep later that night.
“Jack the Giant Slayer” is solidly entertaining. I give it a B.
It’s showing at the Cinemark in Tupelo, as well as Malcos in Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville and Movie Reel 4 in New Albany.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.
Kelli Karlson Wizard 106.7: She gives “Jack the Giant Slayer” a C.
“In the words of award-winning short film director James M. Puckett, ‘It was … OK.’”
M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal