Monthly Archives: November 2013

They Might Be Giants!

jack the giant

JACK THE GIANT SLAYER (2013) Director: Bryan Singer Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane Rating: PG-13 for swordplay, stabbings and CGI scary stuff. 

Giants, those really big people featured in modern CG laden fantasy films have (if you pardon the pun) been given the short end of the stick.

In movies like The Hobbit and Wrath of the Titans, giants are portrayed as disgusting creatures who never bathe, are hideous in appearance, and apparently spend their days belching and biting the heads off of farm animals.

And don’t get me started on the farting. My God, the farting!

Why are giants depicted as unwashed, feral frat boys? Why can’t movies show us the kinder, gentler giants?

Where are the giant artists? The giant scientists? The giant Moms and Dads picking up their giant children from giant soccer practice?

Sadly, the giants featured in the 2013 adventure Jack the Giant Slayer are even more foul and gross than you would expect, and worst of all they hate us tiny humans and would love to devour us in a spicy buffalo sauce with extra bleu cheese and a side order of chili fries. The fries of course are made of humans too.

Who’s hungry?

A long time ago, Giants and humans had an uneasy truce: They lived in their kingdom way up in the sky, and humans lived in England, where all the roads were muddy and Shakespeare was just an unemployed theater major.

Jack (Nicholas Hoult), a local farm boy who for some reason wears a modern leather jacket and a hoodie in a movie set in medieval England, must sell his horse and carriage at the local village because the bills are piling up back on the farm. While in town Jack has a meet cute moment with the adorable yet feisty Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) but loses his horse to a Monk who sticks him with some magic beans which surprisingly wasn’t some form of currency back then.

The magic beans belong to Lord Roderick (Stanely Tucci) one of those scheming evil douches who is always next in line for the throne in these movies. Roderick is going to use the beans and a magic crown forged the last giant/human war for some evil scheme to take over the world, which isn’t that impressive since the world had maybe three or four hundred people back then. Look it up.

Anyway, Princess Isabelle is one of those fiercely independent princesses who wants to do her own thing and not marry Roderick like the King (Ian McShane) wishes. But instead of breaking into a heartfelt ballad about how she wants to be her own person like the Disney princesses do, she hops on her horse and sneaks out of town.

By some amazing coincidence she finds herself at Jack’s rundown farmhouse and asks to hide there until the rain stops. But before Jack can light some mood candles and pop in a Barry White cassette, one of the magic beans gets wet and a huge beanstalk shoots up from the ground, carrying Isabelle high into the sky, leaving Jack with a whole lot of ‘splainin to do when the King and his heavily armed entourage arrive looking for the princess.

A group of the King’s bravest knights, led by the fearless Elmont (Ewan McGregor in full Obi-Wan Kenobi swagger mode) decide to climb the beanstalk and rescue the princess, and farm boy Jack and Lord Roderick decide to join the quest which is understandable since Jack is the hero of the movie and Roderick is the scheming evil douche.

When our heroes reach the top, they discover a world populated by ugly unwashed CG giants who are going to bake Isabelle into an hors d’oeuvre for Fallon the head giant (voiced by Bill Nighy) to eat. Jack and Elmont rescue Isabelle and make a break for the beanstalk, but Roderick shows his true scheming evil douche colors and dons the magic crown, gaining control over the giants who he now commands to climb down the beanstalk and step on everyone in England.

The climax of Jack the Giant Slayer features a huge battle as the giants lay siege to King Brahmwell’s castle. Can the tiny Englishmen defeat the unwashed giants? Will peace be restored? Why is Jack jack wearing slim fit corduroys? Seriously, watch this movie and tell me that Jack’s wardrobe wasn’t purchased at J.Crew!

Jack the Giant Slayer has an excellent cast and a few adventure filled moments, but it doesn’t have much else to distinguish itself from all of the other movies retelling classic fairy tales that have hit the theaters the past year or so. It’s a bit more fun that Snow White and the Huntsman, but not as stylish and cool as Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters. But Jack the Giant Slayer definitely wins for the most horrifying and unappealing characters assembled for a feature length movie.

Wait, I take that back. That honor belongs to The Great Gatsby.