The biggest release this week is Jack the Giant Slayer. In this melding of the classic fairytales “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Jack the Giant Killer,” Jack (Nicholas Hoult) accidentally links the kingdom of Cloister to a world filled with giants through the use of magical beans, and in the process sends Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson), the kingdom’s princess, into the land of the giants. Jack must fight the giants to save himself, the princess, and the kingdom.
Jack the Giant Slayer is the latest in a slew of fairytale adaptations to hit screens in the last few years.With a few exceptions, most of these films have bombed, and considering the quality of most of the films, there are ample explanations for these failures. While it’s not positioned to do well, Jack the Giant Slayerdeserves a fighting chance. While there’s some inherent darkness to the story presented here, Jackmaintains more focus on the adventure and romantic aspects, and there’s a definite joy to the proceedings that’s been lacking in many of the fairytale adaptations of late. The inclusion of 3D works well here, too, thanks to the decision by director Bryan Singer (X-Men, Superman Returns) to avoid the typical post-production 3D process and shoot the film in 3D instead.
Jack is also blessed with a ridiculously talented cast, led here by Nicholas Hoult. Jack marks Hoult’s second lead appearance this year, following Warm Bodies, and between the two performances, he’s providing proof that he may very well be the Next Big Thing in Hollywood. The supporting cast includes excellent performances by Ewan McGregor and Ian McShane, and it also provides a genuinely delightful madcap performance from Stanley Tucci. While the film is being marketed to families, audiences of all ages should at least get some enjoyment out of the film.