After seeing Little Red Riding Hood and the brilliant Hansel & Gretel - Jack the Giant Slayer is the most recent Grim reincarnation set to hit the big screen but unlike the previous two movies - don't expect something as dark and grown up, this definitely is one for the kids!
Nicholas Hoult always surprises me as the big screen hero - from his meagre beginnings (TV shows from 6 years old) he appeared in About a Boy and Skins and I though that would be that - but a starring role in X-Men first class and then a lead in Warm Bodies has somehow seen his rocket up the 'fame-O-meter' and with plenty in the pipeline including the next X-Men movie and a Mad Max remake (to name a few) I have to take my hat off too him.
This movie charts the all too familiar story of Jack and the Beanstalk (although switched for Giant Slayer & Giant Killer for the U.S audiences). Set in old England, this movie opens with the story of the Giants and the magic beans needed to grow the gateway between the earth and their kingdom in the clouds. We also learn of a magical crown which can control the giants and here lies the start, middle and end of our story.
Very briefly - Jack manages to acquire the beans and accidentally grow the beanstalk, somehow, accidentally including the future Queen of England in his escapades and the King releases his elite forces to bring her back from being trapped at the top. Head of the Guard - an extremely British Ewan McGregor (more British in fact in this than he was as Obi-Wan and that takes some doing!) as well as Bad Guy Roderick - Stanley Tucci who is all too familiar with whats going on and even stole the Crown to ensure once there - he can rule the giant hordes.
So - action, swordplay, a sniff at a love story and the most stiff upper lipped McGregor you could wish for and in a nutshell - that's you re lot.
Except the Giants. Obviously!
Basically - they are the stars of this movie. The effects are brilliant and for me, they where the only saving grace with this film. They are big, brutal and comical in their methods which make for a few chuckles along the way. You cant fault them whereas sadly, everyone else - including Hoult is questionable.
My only gripe (and its one with the story) is that theoretically - these guys should smash the living daylights out of the far less adequate human race but by being bound by blood to the crown of control means we can defeat them. Sad, as its made them come across as relatively wimpish but never mind - its only a movie!
Keep an eye out at the end for a lovely little twist on modern day London as you see the story further unfold and a potential 'up to date' sequel left open for debate as a seemingly knowing ancestor takes a trip to the tower - but that's all you're getting - no spoilers!
Not the most fun I've had at the cinema but hey, its got Giants - and no other movie right now can say that!