Overdone plot makes classic fairytale movie forgetful
Published: Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 18:03
Jack the Giant Slayer tells the story of an ancient war reignited when a young farm hand’s few runs of bad luck with some magical beans that results in the challenge of his life.
With a princess held captive at the top of a beanstalk and old tales of giants that live at the top, banished long ago for trying to exterminate all of mankind, Jack volunteers along with a few of the King’s guardsmen to begin the long climb towards the heavens and prove he is more than a mere peasant.
Without me having to say more, you can probably figure out how the majority of this story goes from here as this movie has a rather predictable story line progression.
An unlikely hero rises amidst the shadows of poverty to chase after another damsel in distress for reasons of true love, self-discovery and the preservation of humanity.
It is a plot used many times within the fairy tales we all know and love, however, nothing new is incorporated with this movie to make this particular rendition of the fairy tale stand out. While the movie does make use of an army of giants as opposed to the lone giant the Jack character faces in the original story, filmmakers never took advantage of this plot change. The “great battle” between giants and humans is nothing more than a lethal tug-of-war match between the two sides as the giants attempt to enter the castle.
Even action sequences such as Jack faring against his first giant and the talented cast of actors, such as Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies) and Ewan McGregor (Star Wars, Moulin Rouge) within the film are only enough to make this movie average. The actors do their job to make the threat of a giant invasion believable, and what that could mean for humanity in this fantasy setting. However, the movie drops the ball when the time comes for that belief to become a reality.
The movie would have been better, had the director added some personality in the movie that would help it stand above the ancient fairy tale. Instead of making the princess, who pointlessly wears a suit of armor for half the film, just another damsel in distress, they should have made her an independent force to be reckoned with.
Give the character a chance to unsheathe that dagger strapped to her waist and take out a giant or two to at least get away from that extremely overdone, and by this day and age just plain annoying, theme of a woman always needing a man to come and save the day.
“Jack the Giant Slayer” is by no means a bad movie, but there is also nothing stupendous about it that really makes it memorable. The timeless storyline, talented cast and nice action sequences make it an entertaining theatre experience, but nothing more.