Jack the Giant Slayer movie review: Not-so-jolly giant
This reimagining of the classic fairy tale Jack and the Beanstalk will take you to a land, high up in the sky, where obnoxious ogres prepare to reclaim the earth. Can a farm boy and princess save the humans below? Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor and Eleanor Tomlinson face off with giants in this wonderful new film.
4 Stars: Perfect for a family looking for an adventure
Jack (Nicholas Hoult) and his uncle (Christopher Fairbank) are farmers who have fallen on hard times. When Jack is sent to the market to sell their last possessions, a horse and cart, a desperate monk (Simon Lowe), quickly exchanges Jack’s horse for a handful of ominous beans, giving the explicit warning: Don’t get them wet! Before Jack can protest, the monk rides off on Jack’s horse, leaving the young man helpless.
Back at the farm, Jack’s uncle is furious and the beans get lost beneath the floorboards of the house. On this bitter and stormy night, a young woman knocks on the farmhouse’s door. Jack invites the beautiful creature inside only to discover she is none other than Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson).
A free spirit, Princess Isabelle has journeyed from the palace to get away from Lord Roderick (Stanley Tucci), the much older man she is set to marry.
Isabelle is a romantic, however, and doesn’t want to spend her life as the pawn in her father and husband’s chess game. Instead, Isabelle wants to find her own path, maybe even go on an adventure.
It isn’t long before the rainwater finds those magical beans and they produce a 5-mile-high beanstalk that captured the princess, taking her to a land of danger. The giants in this land are many, with an appetite for roasted humans.
King Brahmwell (Ian McShane) sends Lord Roderick and his most trusted knight, Elmont (Ewan McGregor), to rescue the princess, but Jack insists he join the rescue party, despite having no battle experience.
Hoult is adorable as Jack, the sweet farm boy who risks his life to save a princess. Tomlinson plays Isabelle as a clear-minded young woman with solid self-esteem, creating a powerful role model for young girls. The great talents of McGregor and Tucci give the film well-rounded supporting characters, adding depth and sophistication to the story.