‘Jack the Giant Slayer’ not much fun

Movie Review
By: By Frank Miller Special to The News Messenger
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“Jack the Giant Slayer”

Directed by Bryan Singer

Starring: Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci

One out of five stars

After watching yet another fairy tale get the modern, big-budget action movie treatment, one question comes to mind: who exactly are these movies being made for?

It certainly isn’t for children. Kids today are more familiar with Buzz Lightyear rather than a fable where giants are ranting about smelling blood and using bones to grind bread. Also, it’s not marketed as strictly a kid’s film.

It certainly isn’t for adults, who grow weary of bloated fantasy epics that are slight where it counts the most.

The easiest deduction leads to “Jack the Giant Slayer” being a pet project for director Bryan Singer (“X-Men”), who seems out of touch with what makes expensive spectacle films so successful in the first place.

Hint: it’s not the size of the bank account.

The best and most rewarding event movies usually have something to latch onto. Engaging stories, riveting performances or well-crafted action scenes are usually staples of the types of movies that movie-goers see in droves.

Here, all of the insipid characters simply spout atrociously inane dialogue at each other and stare blankly while giant cartoon characters battle in a video game. It lacks depth, originality, or absent all that, a sense of fun.

Ultimately, it’s a simple tale that doesn’t need fleshing out. Jack gets hoodwinked for some magic beans, climbs up an enormous beanstalk, has a tussle with some giants and ultimately saves the day.

We don’t need a shoehorned love story about an adventure-seeking princess or a lunk-headed knight who happens to be the worst warrior to ever lead an army. We can surely do without all the horrible looking computer-generated imagery.

When taking stock of everything that makes “Jack the Giant Slayer” so tedious, it’s patently obvious that the movie isn’t worth a hill of beans, even if they’re magic ones.


Frank Miller is a Sacramento writer.