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JACK THE GIANT SLAYERNicholas Hoult as Jack
Eleanor Tomlinson as Isabelle
Ewan McGregor as Elmont
Stanley Tucci as Roderick
In theaters March 1

In the film “Jack the Giant Slayer” that is directed by Bryan Singer; the film is full of moments that will really take your breath away. In one moment there is a giant colossal beanstalk that violently erupts when Jack’s magic beans hit the ground. The next there is a land up in the skies above in which our heroes attempt to locate the beautiful missing princess. And did I mention the giants? There are hundreds and hundreds of them, all of which have different personalities and very gross characteristics that are both creepy and funny at the same time. I could not imagine any 9-year-old not giggling at the sight of those nasty giants.

For the most part the story meshes together elements from the poplar fairytale “Jack and the Beanstalk” and the fable of “Jack the Giant Killer” to ultimately form a new story that does feel like a classic fairy tale. Which is a bit of a surprise; Bryan Singer is better known for the high-powered comic-book adventures found in his “X-Men” films.

The action in this film is centered on Jack (Nicholas Hoult from “Warm Bodies”), and on the Princess Isabelle who is one of those spunky, independent-minded royals who periodically escape from the castle to see how the other 99 percent live. On one of her adventures out the princess and Jack first make not-quite bedroom eyes while at the market where Jack has come to sell his horse.  Jack notices that some drooling drunks are accosting the princess in the most ungentlemanly fashion; so he gallantly intervenes. When he was given the beans in exchange for his horse he was given a very strict warning about the beans advising to not let them get wet.  Of course, they do get wet and a beanstalk erupts, scooping Jack’s house and the visiting Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) up to the sky, leaving Jack on the ground behind.

From this point forward, the pace of the story never lets up. Jack is in need to rescue Princess Isabelle from the land atop the beanstalk. He is accompanied on this mission by a group that is led by palace guard Elmont (Ewan McGregor) and Roderick (Stanley Tucci), a sneering, lying dandy; the word “dastardly” was invented to describe such characters.

Once the giants have come out to play, the film really starts to shifts into overdrive. The film is like a big rollercoaster ride that is full of wonder and myth.

The movie appears to be always looking very believable, and it is very easy to get wrapped into the directors’ fairy-tale world. Jack the Giant Slayer is not flush with surprises and we are never too much in doubt that man will somehow triumph over the giants, or that the brave commoner will win the approval of the blue bloods. But it definitely is the simple satisfactions of a well told familiar fairytale.  By the standards of today’s bombastic movies, this is a refreshingly modest endeavor—one in which the main event is the skillful holding of our attention, all the way from “Once upon a time” to “Happily ever after.”  Most moviegoers watches a movie and thinks, “This has great special effects.” Here, you watch and say, “Wow, look at the two-headed giant!”

4 out of 5 stars.

Check out the trailer for Jack the Giant Slayer below:

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