Google+ Followers

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Video Beaverhausen: Size Matters with "Jack, the Giant Slayer"

Jack, the Giant Slayer is an Oedipal cinematic mash-up of the fairy tales "Jack the Giant Killer" and "Jack and the Beanstalk" (adding just the beanstalk, basically) for boys of all ages who identify with rescuing the princess (Mom) by repeatedly killing off giants (the many faces of Dad). My armchair psychology notwithstanding, it's one of the brighter, bouncier fairy tale and mythological movie re-tellings in years. Unlike, say, Snow White and the Huntsman or Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Jack isn't a dark reinterpretation of a simple fable. Family film, fantasy violence only and just a basic thrill-ride.

The introductory scenes are beautifully edited and set up the storyline smoothly before the simple opening credit and just afterward. CGI f/x are generally very good.

Nicholas Hault, as Jack, is not only a cutie but a solid performer. What giant wouldn't want to eat him alive? Ewan McGregor is always an on-screen treat, especially when turned into a human burrito herein. Stanley Tucci makes a great human-sized King Roderick of Gargantua, ruling at his giant subjects' feet. (A power bottom to be certain!)

The giants aren't on-screen until about half-way through this film because of its classically constructed and, frankly, old-school build-up, creating a delightful sense of anticipation and suspense.  The arrival of Jack and the royal troops (headed by Ewan) at Gargantua reminded me of the invasion of the sailors beyond the gates on King Kong's Skull Island. The Jack script has an impressively solid three-act construction.

Once the fugly, all-male race of cannibalistic giants shows up, it's a non-stop rollercoaster ride to the finale, where the humans vs. giants fight makes its way from Gargantua to Earth.

Jack's amazing colossal men strongly resemble some big lugs I see on the R train during my commute -- including the one with two heads! Too bad there are no hot giant men in this movie, grasping, stomping and chomping on everyone.  A fifty-foot Cheyenne Jackson or Colton Ford, for example, might add a nice undercurrent to the proceedings. But it is intended for families, so grizzly and non-erotic it is.

Still, the film action kind of reminds me of a night I once spent at The Eagle, though I'll have to tell you about that at another place and another once upon a time.

No comments:

Post a Comment