Nicholas Hoult (TV's Skins) stars in this modern day fairy tale about a young farmer who leads a group against a kingdom of giants in order to rescue a kidnapped princess. Directed by Bryan Singer (X-Men). Now playing nationwide. Also playing in 2D.
It's difficult for blockbuster films to shake the stink of failure suggested by a long delay. Jack The Giant Slayer was originally slated for a mid-2012 release, and it finally arrives after a couple of underwhelming trailers. Extremely low expectations rendered this film slightly more watchable than the chore I anticipated, but even a generous assessment must acknowledge the unfulfilled potential and flat design.
There's a fatal lack of creativity to the set-pieces here that I really hope doesn't show up in Pacific Rim. In relative terms, the giants are poorly executed CGI creatures - their faces look stupid and they fail as interesting villains. The toothless intentions of the film suggested by its title changing from 'Jack The Giant Killer' to 'Jack The Giant Slayer' are embodied on screen by the film cutting away every time a human is about to be munched by a giant. Even Jurassic Park let us see the lawyer get eaten.
Ewan McGregor is fun as a honorable soldier and the great Eddie Marsan livens things up whenever he's on screen. But pretty lead Nicholas Hoult isn't given much to work with, and I was never invested in his love story. Jack The Giant Slayer isn't a complete and total turkey, but fairy tale reboot fatigue isn't doing it any favours.
Warning: the opening scene features two former Shortland St actors.