The fairy stories Jack And The Beanstalk and Jack The Giant Killer are combined here and sprinkled liberally with some impressive CGI to make a thumping fantasy action adventure that kids – especially boys – of all ages will enjoy.
As a child, Jack (Hoult) was told ancient stories of giants and their battles with humans before they were banished into myth. However, when a monk gives Jack some beans in return for the horse Jack’s uncle asked him to sell and warns him not to get them wet, we all know it won’t be long before some large plant life shoots up to the heavens – connecting Jack’s world with the land in the sky where a race of disgruntled giants have been living, just waiting to come back down to earth and eat all the humans. With Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) trapped up there, it is up to Jack, bouffant-haired Elmont (McGregor, whose performance is worth the ticket price alone) and his soldiers, and Isabelle’s devious fiancé Roderick (Tucci) to climb up the beanstalk and rescue her while her father the King (McShane) waits worriedly below.
Directed by X-Men’s Bryan Singer, this boasts plenty of action as the men enter the giants’ land, and a few bits of humour too (and we don’t just mean McGregor’s hair, proof they had hair gel in fairy tale times). While it doesn’t have the wit or charm of, say, The Princess Bride, it does have a few clever little moments including the final scene, and some fun performances from Hoult, Tucci, McGregor and McShane who all sensibly play it with tongue firmly in cheek.
With a final act that throws everything (literally) at the screen, hilariously gruesome giants, and a resolution as to why the giants say ‘Fee Fi Fo Fum’, it’s a rollicking ride and Singer’s most fun movie to date.
Is Jack The Giant Slayer suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
This film is a 12 certificate.
Younger viewers (under 10) may find the giants scary – particularly the two-headed one.
Jack and his friends are in constant danger and some characters are killed but no blood is shown.