For those who managed to get through childhood without hearing the story of Jack, a farm boy who sold his horse for some magical beans, don't worry… Director Bryan Singer has recreated the story with some added touches in the new 3D IMAX film, entitled 'Jack the Giant Slayer.'
Once upon a time, a race of giants were exiled from the Earth to a land far, far, in fact, really far away, known as Gantua. Seems these big guys were into ravishing the Earth, instead of living peacefully with us humans.
It's been over a thousand years since man and giants occupied the same space. That changes when a farm boy Jack (Nicholas Hoult) unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and the giants, when a monk gives him some magical beans in exchange for his horse.
The one instruction the monk gives Jack is 'DO NOT let the beans get wet.'
So guess what happens next? Yep, one of the beans winds up in a pool of water and before you can say 'a tree grows in Brooklyn,' a beanstalk shoots up...and up...and up...leading straight to the giants' homeland.
Of course there's more. What would a fairy tale be without a Princess in distress?
In this case, the Princess is Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) who's being forced to marry her daddy's right hand man, Roderick (the ever so sleazy, Stanley Tucci). No matter how hard she tries to convince her father, the King (Ian McShane), that this dude is not her 'soul mate', Daddy King won't change his mind. He thinks Sir R. is a prince among men.
Boy is he in for a surprise; but not just yet.
When the Princess isn't arguing with her father about her impending nuptials, she likes to sneak out of the Palace and walk among the masses. Well, one dark and stormy night (during one of these outings) Isabelle gets lost, comes upon Jack's farm and before she knows what hits her - she gets swooped up by the beanstalk and winds up in Gantua, aka, the land of the big guys.
Lucky for Isabelle, she has a band of soldiers, led by Ewan McGregor, as well as Jack (who by now has a mad crush on her) willing to climb the beanstalk and rescue her.
'Jack the Giant Slayer' written by Christopher McQuarrie ('The Unusual Suspects') Dan Studney and Darren Lemke ('Shrek Forever After') is a great film for the whole family. And that's exactly what it is...a family film.
It's basically a straight ahead story...Giants want to eat humans and take over the Earth. There are no female giants, so parents don't have to worry about sex and the violence is the usual type you find in cartoons.
There's also a good amount of humor and the two young leads are charming.
Bill Nighy as General Fallon, the ferocious two-headed leader of the Giant army, is alone worth the price of admission.
I gave 'Jack the Giant Slayer' which opens in theatres Friday March 1st, four bagels out of five. Check out our video to see what John thought and for more of our witty banter.