Jack The Giant Slayer, starring Nicholas Hoult, is way better than you’d expect.
JACK THE GIANT SLAYER (Bryan Singer). 113 minutes. Opens Friday (March 1). For venues and times, see listings. Rating: NNN
If you're going to make a CG fantasy epic out of a two-page fairy tale, you might as well have fun with it.
Bryan Singer's Jack The Giant Slayer may not be good, exactly, but it's definitely fun - an oversized featherweight adventure that pays some very talented people a lot of money to run around yelling while computer-generated giants try to eat them. That's it, really.
In this version of Jack And The Beanstalk, farm boy Jack (Nicholas Hoult, wearing a medieval version of his Warm Bodies outfit) joins a group of knights (including Ewan McGregor and Eddie Marsan) and a scheming courtier (Stanley Tucci) to save the plucky princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) after an unexpected beanstalk eruption.
Since the story's so thin, Singer focuses most of his attention on the production design. The giants themselves look like they were generated by the same program that built Robert Zemeckis's Beowulf, but the beanstalk is a knockout mixture of practical and digital effects. And Singer's flair for complex stunts - as seen in his X-Men movies and even Superman Returns - keeps the climactic battle sequence from collapsing under its length.
It's not great art, but it moves fleetly and everyone seems to be having a good time. Pretty decent for a fairy tale movie, really.