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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Rashid Irani's review: Jack The Giant Slayer

Rashid Irani, Hindustan Times   March 01, 2013
First Published: 23:15 IST(1/3/2013) | Last Updated: 14:42 IST(2/3/2013)

Jack The Giant Slayer
Direction: Bryan Singer
Actors: Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson
Rating: ***

Quite curiously, ever since the new millennium kicked off, Hollywood has been obsessive about the world being saved from extinction, a fear perhaps exacerbated by the 9/11 Twin Towers tragedy.

Be that as it may, superheroes of all shapes and sizes have also come to the rescue of imperiled kingdoms, particularly in the recent glut of special effects extravaganzas adapted from fairy tales.

Here's one more case in point. Jack The Giant Slayer is a live action mega-budget entertainer which aims to cater to a gamut of age-groups.

And it succeeds to a degree in hooking undemanding viewers, thanks to the eye-dazzling set pieces of high adventure.

Bryan Singer seems an unlikely choice to recycle the familiar bedtime story "Jack and the Beanstalk". The director who gave us The Usual Suspects and the X-Men film series gets into the J.R.R.Tolkien mode - meaning wondrous landscapes, likeable characters and plenty of magic.

No prizes for guessing that the eponymous farmhand (Hoult) must fight Herculean odds.

How come? Inadvertently, he opens a portal to another realm inhabited by giants and a battle royale ensues. Aided by a valiant knight (McGregor), our little big hero has to somehow vanquish the vindictive giants and in the process, also retrieve a kidnapped princess (Tomlinson).

The screenplay, credited to four writers including Christopher McQuarrie who won an Oscar for The Usual Suspects, is predictably structured. Still, those who're okay with techno-wizardry, a swirling music score and camera-friendly actors may get their money's worth from Jack The Giant Slayer - especially as a weekend outing with the family.

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