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Jack the Giant Slayer

Cast: Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor
Director: Bryan Singer

I feel like I can summarize my entire review into one paragraph, but for the sake of argument, I'm going to divulge into further detail. Jack the Giant Slayer makes for light entertainment. Sure, I might have caught it in a flight, making it one of the suitable choices of in-flight viewing. You're not missing out on anything if you don't finish it (although who likes leaving movies unfinished?), and the content is not heavy or something to think about. It's not even made to awe the viewer. To be honest, I don't even know why this was made; it produces a bad and unworkable premise to begin with.

The plot is simple: Jack accidentally unearths the portal linking the legendary world of the giants and the humans when he traded his horse for some beans. He didn't know that the beans were the gateway to the portal, the portal that he has heard from legends regarding humans and giants. The princess accidentally gets shoot up the beanstalk, and it was up to Jack and the king's men to rescue the princess. Of course there were other dilemmas in between, to keep the story running. 

Jack is played by suave Nicholas Hoult, whose dim-witted personality only lasts within ten minutes of the movie. In a snap, he transformed into a witty boy who had tricks to his sleeves. His character was already measured to be the hero, but his character wasn't given enough depth to justify why he had to be the hero. He was more of a lovesick puppy who was all about saving the damsel in distress. Eleanor Tomlinson played Isabelle, a stereotypical damsel. Her role was exactly that, waiting for someone to come and rescue her. The two were already forced to have chemistry the moment they meet, and have been trying to sell that chemistry in all their scenes, with the lingering looks, the constant mentioning of their names and so on. 

The plot was terrible. The writing was weak and hasty, and there were a lot of story lines that didn't follow a form of logic. It tried to be funny, it tried to be witty, but it failed. The premise they were working with was limited, and they had to thin out the movie to occupy the screen time. The entire movie was a mess. It wasn't going in circles, but it was going in a crazy direction. It's disappointing that the most pivotal performances (including scenes) were from the supporting cast. One of the supporting characters barely spoke a word and yet his scenes were the most defining and reflective. Needless to say, he had more depth that Jack or Isabelle.

I must mention something about the special effects; it was bad. I know giants are supposed to be ugly, but can't the movie produce better animated giants? It did not compliment the atmosphere the movie was going for. Maybe they shot the entire thing on green screen? I felt that I was watching two different worlds, even if they're all appearing in the same scene. It was a disappointment. 

The only redeeming part of this is casting Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci in what seemed to be the exaggerated stereotype of their characters, a knight and a mischievous lord respectively. They somehow made the movie bearable, their performances standing out from the lead stars. I have to hand it to them and Ian McShane, who played the king. Despite not playing a trivial role in the flick, they are the best parts of the movie. 

I am glad that I got to watch it on a plane and not in a movie theater. Nicholas Hoult has some finer work, but this was definitely his worst. I'm not the movie's target audience, I'll give that to them, but they can only impress kids as far as the story goes. However, movie-wise, they would be confused with everything happening. 

While McGregor and Tucci's appearance are the only god things about this mess, it is not enough to redeem the quality of this movie. The script was weak and messy, the plot itself was constrained. While Hoult fulfilled the physical aspect of Jack, his character was developmentally weak. At best this makes up for a good in-flight movie, as it is not something you have to fully comprehend in order to be amazed.

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