A Lilliputian journey | india | Hindustan Times
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A Lilliputian journey

india Updated: Dec 31, 2010 23:34 IST
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Gulliver’s travels

Direction: Rob Letterman

Cast: Jack Black, Emily Blunt

Rating: **

Jonathan Swift’s classic novel has been adapted for the big screen upwards of a dozen times, most notably in a 1959 live action-animation hybrid, The Three Worlds of Gulliver.

Marking the solo directorial debut of Rob Letterman, who previously co-helmed the cartoon capers Shark Tale and Monsters vs Aliens, this updated version is a bloated mess.

Distinctly un-Swiftian, the screenplay, which lacks the source material’s scathing satire, is bogged down in less-than-special effects and pop culture references galore.

Taking a contemporary slant on the 18th century story, the latest outing casts the titular hero (Black) as a travel writer who’s washed ashore on an island populated by teeny-weeny people called Lilliputians. Initially imprisoned, the ‘gigantic’

man-child eventually becomes the saviour of the diminutive denizens by helping them vanquish an army of neighbouring invaders.

He also gets to play cupid to a former prison pal (Jason Segel) and his beloved object of desire (Blunt, in scene-stealing mode).

There are some moments of fun (Gulliver douses a raging palace fire by urinating over the building), but otherwise the fantasy-adventure is quite lacklustre.

Jack Black, who also co-produced the movie, has demonstrated comic abilities in such films as School of Rock and Be Kind, Rewind. Here, however, he merely seems content catering to the 10-and-under crowd.

Even the ubiquitous 3D process isn’t enough to warrant Gulliver’s Travels a recommendation.