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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)


“Giants, ain’t got shit on me!”, says the little kid from About a Boy.

Jack (Nicholas Hoult) is a young farmer who ends up taking a bribe from a snarky monk, for some magic beans. Jack doesn’t think much of it, until he goes home, drops some of the beans, and it rains. Yeah, you know what happens next. The beans end-up leading to a land populated by giants with a taste for human flesh, and they have the princess (Eleanor Tomlinson), captured and it’s up to Jack and the King’s royal-men to save her and get rid of those damn giants!

In a way, I can totally see why so many people aren’t looking forward to this movie as much as I was would be expecting. It does seem silly, it does seem stupid, it does see overly-reliant on CG, and does seem like a random-time and place for a movie like this to come out, but that’s all that advertising. That’s why, in another way, I have no idea why so many people aren’t looking forward to this. I mean, first of all, it’s directed by Bryan Singer, it’s written by Christopher McQuarrie (the two did the Usual Suspects together), and it features a new-take, on a classic-tale but told in the type of way that doesn’t alienate older-viewers, but doesn’t cater to the younger-ones either. It’s somewhere in there, slap-dab in the middle and it works perfectly for a movie that could have easily gone South, real quick, had they decided to take the darker-route. Thankfully, they didn’t and stayed straight to the source-material that I’m sure all of us grew-up loving. If not, get off your asses, and read that shit! You haven’t experienced childhood until you have.

Anyway, aside from that point, I have to say that this movie is a huge bag of fun in the sun! Okay, maybe no sun is involved because it is the beginning of March, but nonetheless, it’s still a hell of a wild ride, straight from the imaginative-mind of Bryan Singer. Here’s the thing about this movie: it doesn’t cater to a certain crowd, yet it’s the type of film you can bring your kids to, mainly boys. Why? Because it’s got all of the right-ingredients that a boy at that age should oh so desire: action, fun, humor, giants, fart jokes (not as eye-rolling as it sounds), swords, guys speaking in funny-accents, and a whole lot more where that came from. If that doesn’t sound like the perfect piece of cake to allow your kids to take a bit out of, I don’t know what the hell will!

WEAK!! Start killing giants you bastard!

WEAK!! Start killing giants you lil’ bitch!

Some may rag on this flick for not going any-deeper than just being a loosey-goosey, fun, and wild romp about the Jack and the Beanstalk-tale, but who needs that when you have Bryan Singer just playing around with the material that it seems like he actually enjoys? Seriously, the guy is having a ball with this material, and in-return; so are we. He never lets loose of the action and never loses his mind on what type of movie he’s making. He’s always making a wacky and crazy movie that has a bunch of people, hunting-down giants, and sometimes, vice versa. You can’t ask for much more, unless you want the Usual Suspects-Singer. If you go in and expect that type of Singer, then you’re going to come out of this with a huge slap-mark on your face saying, “WRONG!!”. It’s just a fun-as-hell movie. That’s it.

I could beat this horse to death with all of the shit that I’m saying, but it’s the truth: this movie is just fun. Take for instance, the fact that I saw this at a 11 a.m. screening on Saturday, not expecting anything other than a movie that would be okay, so I could sleep my hangover away. However, that’s where the surprise came. The movie woke me up instantly, and didn’t lose me for a single second. Sure, it started-off pretty slow and made me feel like I was in for a ride that I would most likely doze-off for, but as soon as Jack gets those treacherous beans, it’s a total and complete party, right from there. Singer never loses the sense or style of that party, and always kept me alive, awake, happy, and above, entertained. I can’t give this any more credit. Just go see this movie and be ready to see the return of Bryan Singer. The guy knows exactly what he’s doing with a story, how he wants to film it, and how he wants to keep the spirits alive while doing-so. If there is any increment in my mind that the guy can handle the next X-Men, this is the reason why I think so. Now, I just cannot wait!

As for the cast, they all seem to be up-to-pace with all of the fun and wild times that Singer’s having behind-the-camera. Nicholas Hoult is charming as the naive Jack that has to grab his pair, and beat the shit out of some giants. He does do some of that, but not enough to where I was feeling like, “Wow, this character really is a slayer.” Don’t get me wrong, Hoult’s good and all, it’s just that I wish Jack was doing more slaying of giants, like the title promised.

Instead of Jack doing all of that bad-assery business of slaying the fuck out of giants, all of that is left up to Elmont, playued by the awesome Ewan McGregor. Say what you will about the questionable-choices the guy has made in the past, but Ewan McGregor is a very, very likeable presence that always keeps my attention on him whenever anything’s going down, and he just so happens to be located in the same scene. McGregor seems to be having so much fun playing the charming, but bad-ass soldier that doesn’t take “no” for an answer, and never lets his target get away. He’s not as sadistic as I may make him sound, but McGregor does have a cool character that can kick ass, take names, chew bubblegum, and spew-out hilarious one-liners, like nobody’s freakin’ business. Where the hell was that in all of the Star Wars movie, dammit!!?!?

"Eat our shit, Peter Jackson!"

“Eat our shit, Peter Jackson!”

Stanley Tucci is another one that seems to be having a lot of fun in his role, but instead, is more of the bad-guy here and absolutely revels in it. Tucci is a great screen-presence to have on-screen, but to watch him chew the hell out of the scenery and spit it back out, was just a blast to see, and probably an even bigger-blast to perform. Tucci’s good at playing weird-o bad guys (*cough* The Lovely Bones *cough*), but a simple one that’s just evil for the darn-sake of being evil, is even better in my book. The only one who feels like a bit of a waste is Ian McShane, who really seems like he just wants to break-out his shell, get loose with it, and just start being the bad-guy himself. Instead, he’s all wrapped-up in that King’s armor that makes him look more like a freakin’ egg than any type of ruler, but hey, at least we get to see those devil-ish eyes. God, they still scare me to this day.

Consensus: Jack the Giant Slayer is not what you think it to be from the misleading trailers and advertisements  It’s not a waste of time, it’s fun, it’s exuberant, it’s made for the whole family, it never loses it sense of joyfulness  and even better, just never loses what it’s all about in the first-place: complete and utter entertainment. Don’t bother with the 3D, but if you’re bored and got nothing else better to do with your life than watch highlight clips of the Oscars, then give this bad-boy a shot. You won’t be disappointed.

8 / 10 = Matinee!!

Yup, I just crapped my pants.

Yup, I just crapped my pants.

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40 responses to “Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

  1. Tom March 1, 2013 at 5:15 am

    well this is good news. my first reaction was to say this movie looked as dumb and inaccurate as the Hansel & Gretel film/disaster but this makes me want to see it!! did you see this in 3D or do u just think it wouldn’t be worth the extra $$$ ?

  2. Keep It Reel Reviews March 1, 2013 at 5:53 am

    Can’t wait. I’m seeing it tomorrow.

  3. Rodney March 1, 2013 at 6:45 am

    Glad to hear this one’s okay, Dan, I trust your opinion. I didn’t read all of this review out of wanting to keep it a surprise for me when I see it with the kids, but I’m glad you give this the thumbs up!!!

  4. libbyharding March 1, 2013 at 8:28 am

    I’m glad that it was good. I always thought it looked like it would be fun, but my boyfriend disagreed. I’m wondering how it will compare to Oz.

  5. ckckred March 1, 2013 at 11:51 am

    For some reason I thought this was an animated film. Good to hear it’s better than it looks. Nice review.

  6. Haricharan March 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    The film disappointed me big time :( I walked in hoping to be impressed by some great storytelling but all that I managed to get was a more or less a bed time story blown out of proportion. Even the CG work was not impressive..

  7. LM Preston March 1, 2013 at 1:38 pm

    I’m so happy you gave a review on this. My kids can’t wait to see this! Me either. I just want a fun time.

  8. Pingback: Review: Jack the Giant Slayer | The Focused Filmographer

  9. Tim The Film Guy March 1, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Hmm you make it sound very good, guess I will be watching it :D

  10. johnem95 March 2, 2013 at 2:22 am

    I’m glad you liked it. The critics haven’t been praising it, but I’m glad someone enjoyed it – because I’ll be seeing it tomorrow! :P Great review, Dan!

  11. Geoff March 2, 2013 at 9:49 am

    Wow Dan, I’ve already seen this movie and made my own review but when I got to read yours, it somehow makes me want to watch again..lol. Thanks for leaving a comment on my site btw. Awesome review you got here.

  12. Evan Crean March 2, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Surprised to hear that you liked this one. Singer can be hit and miss with me. I loved Usual Suspects, but never really got into his X-Men flicks or Superman Returns. This one sounds like a lot of mindless fun. I enjoyed Hoult in Warm Bodies (he was one of the few things I liked about the film), and I always dig Ewan McGregor. Stanley Tucci is hilarious when he’s chewing scenery. Reminds me of his villain from Lucky Number Slevin.

    • CMrok93 March 2, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      The movie is good and definitely features a bunch of entertainment, but I guess it’s not going to be everybody’s favorite cup of tea. Sad, too, because there’s some fun stuff in here.

  13. Chris March 2, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Totally agree, this movie was just a whole lotta fun, despite any missteps it may take. Nice review, Dan. :)

  14. Motivatorman March 2, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Great review Dan! And I totally agree that the trailers do not show how much fun this film truly is! You just have to go and see it for yourselves! Loved your quote which sums it up for me too… “this movie is a huge bag of fun in the sun!”

  15. Erik (AngryVader) March 3, 2013 at 7:49 am

    Good review, Dan. You liked it more than I did, but inline with what you said, I enjoyed it way more than I expected. I just wish the dialog had matched the great visuals and cast. There’s still some fun to be had though.

  16. Mark Hobin March 3, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    I’m kind of shocked you enjoyed this so much. First glowing review I’ve read so I admire your fortitude to go against popular opinion.

  17. Pingback: Jack the Giant Slayer Review | The Filmster

  18. Pingback: Jack the Giant Slayer Review: How Not to Waste $200 million | Rorschach Reviews

  19. filmhipster March 4, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    I had no desire to see this, but you may have swayed me. Well done!

  20. Lights Camera Reaction March 4, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    One of the first positive reviews I’ve found for this film haha. Nice review!

  21. MarkMovieGeekChat March 7, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Hi Dan. Thanks for the kind comments on my Warm Bodies review. Great site – and this review had made me look forward with some positivity to more Mr Hoult action with the UK release in a few weeks. Keep in touch. Mark

  22. Arpita March 11, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Hello Dan, your reviews always gives me some extra inputs here and there i have missed, ur reviews are always ahead of India release :)
    Fun to see u rate it 8/10 :)

  23. Pingback: » Movie Review – Jack Reacher Fernby Films

  24. Pingback: » Movie Review – Lovely Bones, The Fernby Films

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