Friday, July 26, 2013

Jack the Giant-Slayer: surprisingly not bad. A review

I'm not sure what convinced me to give "Jack the Giant-Slayer" a chance. I suspect being free at the library and me burnt out from a month of all-nighters had something to do with it, but they actually had a good premise for the retelling and they made some choices that I probably would have made myself.

Here's the Amazon Instant Video link:
Remember, you can find the other formats through that link too if you scroll down.

This movie rewrites the legend of Jack and the Giant Beanstalk, but does so enjoyably enough. First it predates the Jack legend (which the movie primarily concerns itself with) with an even older legend of people trying to reach heaven and creating the magic beans. When they came upon the giants' land, they thought it was heaven, but the giants quickly attacked (there's bunches of giants by the way) and the only way they were able to be fought off is with a magic crown that allowed the king to order the giants back to their homeland, and after the beanstalk was chopped down, they were imprisoned.

The crown and the remaining beans were buried with the king, but much much later, the grave is robbed. Duh duh duh!

Anyway, I was very glad that they did not make Jack a total buffoon, and similarly glad that they did not do the "hero does something wrong in the beginning but tries to make up for it, but then others find out that he did bad and he REALLY has to make up for it then". THIS IS THE SINGLE-MOST DESPISED TROPE THERE IS: third act misunderstanding.

Seriously, I cannot tell you how much I hate this trope. I hate this trope so much that even though this movie avoided using this trope, the fact that they had the plot ready to start to go there made me start to squirm in my seat as frustration filled my bowels.

Back to what actually happened in the movie:

Jack is actually more competent than lucky, and he's an all-around good hero character. There were some choices made near the end that felt lazy (i.e. passing the idiot ball to the ruler of the giants mostly, or maybe it should be unnecessary-rage ball or unnecessary-douchebaggery ball).

The lazy choices are easily overlooked for those expecting a "bad" movie, but there was one point with an unnecessary popping eyeball that had me rolling my eyeballs and distracted from the enjoyment of the film, while the last 30 seconds of this movie caused me to drop it a full half point in the rating. If the power had gone out and I had never seen the last 30 seconds of this movie I would have given it a 7.5/10. It was THAT bad. I don't know why on earth they chose to end it that way. Maybe someone passed them the idiot ball!

I did see the last final moments of the movie, so...

Zero Rating: 7.0/10, C-