Fee-fi-fo-fum: ‘Jack the Giant Slayer’ is nothing new

– James Edward Hicks contributed to this report

“Jack the Giant Slayer” is a twist on the classic tale “Jack and the Beanstalk”, with the young Jack rescuing a princess from the clutches of human starved giants.


Nicholas Hoult stars in new film "Jack the Giant Slayer". Photo: Warner Bros

Fee-fi-fo-fum… lower all expectations ye who come.

Blockbusters, reboots, sequels; what is there for Hollywood to digest and spit out next? The current trend is to adapt classic fairy tales into mediocre fantasy films, from “Snow White and the Huntsman” to “Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters.”

With Bryan Singer, director of the first two “X-Men” and “Superman Returns”, and starring Nicholas Hoult of “Warm Bodies” fame, it is worrisome when the zombies are more animated than this lifeless flick.

Jack (Nicholas Hoult) is a young farm hand, who finds himself in trouble when he accidentally opens a gateway between this world, and a world full of bloodthirsty, ancient and very angry giants. So begins a war where the Giants fight to take what they believe is theirs and, of course, it’s up to Jack to stop them.

The lead female unfortunately suffers from the dreaded Disney Princess syndrome. Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) is living in splendour and luxury and dreams of adventure outside of the castle, yet is kidnapped more times than Princess Peach.

The helpless heroine is only there for the gallant young hero to save her and earn her love. This form of contrived storytelling seems more out-dated than the tale this is based on.

Not even a talented British cast could save it from a terrible script which, shamelessly, incorporates every overused cliché, cheesy line and questionable motive. The villains are one dimensional and as unconvincing as the subpar CGI.

The giants are gruesomely fun to watch but are let down by the poor motion capture. The talented movie veteran Bill Nighy lends his voice to one of the giants, which ultimately reeks of Davey Jones from “Pirates of the Caribbean”.

The film does start to pick up during the third act as a monstrous war between mankind and giants rages, which offers a few thrills. It is during the adrenaline of the huge battle scenes that most of the fun with this film can be had. The Giants throw whole trees set on fire into human armies and there is a handful of more gripping moments.

That said, there is nothing original about this movie in the slightest. If you’re looking for a bit of pure escapism during the Easter break then you can sit and easily dwindle away a couple of hours watching this – but don’t expect anything ground breaking.

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