Movie Review: Jack The Giant Slayer (2013)

Directed by: Bryan Singer

Rated: PG-13

Running Time: 1 hr 54 min

Cast:

Jack the Giant Slayer takes a much darker look at the children's tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. In this version, Jack, a poor farm boy, grows up hearing the tale of Eric The Great, a king who held dominion over the Giants. He held the crown that ruled them and banished them to a land between heaven and earth. The only connection between this land and the earth were tall vines. At Eric's death, he took with him the ruling crown and the only remaining seeds to grow these tall vines. 

The local princess, Isabelle, is a direct descendant of Eric The Great and is the same age as Jack. She is betrothed to an evil man by the name of Roderick who has managed to get his hands on both the crown and the seeds that were buried with Eric The Great. Roderick's plan is to marry Isabella and thereby secure his position at the top.

When Jack travels into town to sell his horse and cart, he ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time and ends up being given the magical seeds after a monk has stolen them. One of the seeds ends up getting wet and grows a vine to connect Earth with the land of the Giants. Unfortunately, Isabelle just happens to be at Jack's house when it is lifted into the air, and the King sends his men (including Jack) up the vine to try to save her. Will they get there in time before the Giants destroy Eric's last descendant? You'll have to watch and find out.

I enjoyed the movie. The story was fast-paced and the acting was good. The Giants were CGI but were quite good. Nicholas Hoult was excellent as the young, earnest Jack. I remember him from About A Boy when he was a young, awkward child. He has grown into a surprisingly handsome and strong leading man. Eleanor Tomlinson is good as Isabelle, but I wouldn't say that there is anything to make her stand apart from other actresses her age, but she was fine. Ewan McGregor was his usual perfect self as the lead knight in the kingdom. Ian McShane was enjoyable as the King and Stanley Tucci was despicable as Roderick (in a good way).

Even though the movie was rated PG-13, my 7 year old son really liked it. There is some violence but it is so fantastical that there isn't a real worry that kids would get too scared if they are mature enough to know the difference between fantasy and reality. If you're looking for a good summer movie to watch with the family, you can't go wrong with this one. 

Check it out and let me know what you think. You can rent it or buy it in my Amazon store at the top or at iTunes here:

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