Certificate PG, 114 minutes
Director: Bryan Singer
Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor
Jack the Giant Slayer is based on the British fairy tales Jack the Giant Killer and Jack and the Beanstalk. This isn't the first recent retelling of a fairy tale classic to hit the cinema or television recently. The film is available in both 2D and 3D; the 3D version was the one watched. Legends tell of a race of giants who lived in the land of Gantua - which name is likely a shortening of the word "Gargantuan," a word meaning huge, or immense, which is derived from a French novel about giants, one of whom was named Gargantua - a land situated in the sky between heaven and earth. Giants invaded after a beanstalk was grown through the use of some magic beans, before finally being driven back and the beanstalk chopped down.
The King sends a troop of soldiers led by Elmont (Ewan McGregor, Haywire, Mortdecai), the leader of the Guardians, the elite guard, up the beanstalk to rescue his daughter. Jack joins them and at the top they discover the land of Gantua, where the giants live, led by the two headed General Fallon - Bill Nighy (About Time, I, Frankenstein, The World's End) and John Kassir. The giants haven't forgotten being forced to return to Gantua, and want to return to earth to take revenge on the bloodline of the legendary king who exiled them - and to eat people, who they find rather tasty.
The 3D added very little to the film; it was frequently not obvious at all that it actually was in 3D, and the film would probably have been served better if the money hadn't been spent on filming it in 3D. Although there is quite a lot of violence and death in Jack the Giant Slayer, most of the terminal violence is implied rather than actually seen - you may know a giant has just eaten someone or bitten off their head, but you don't actually see it. This isn't a bad film and is quite fun to watch, with quite a bit of humour; often, somewhat oddly, from the Guardian Elmont who McGregor play's as slightly over the top. The giants are pretty ugly, but they unfortunately often don't seem quite "real." Of course, they aren't actually real, but they seem a little too CGI to be convincing enough as being real at many times in the film. Make sure you listen to the narrated "evolution" of the legend of Jack the Giant Slayer at the end of the film as it alters through the ages to the more familiar version of Jack and the Beanstalk we know today. Jack the Giant Slayer may be a bit of a failure commercially, but it's still enjoyable to watch.