'Jack and the Beanstalk' is the latest children's folktale adapted to the big screen in Bryan Singer's highly anticipated fantasy epic 'Jack the Giant Slayer.' Following the footsteps of recent big budget fantasy extravaganzas such as 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,' 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Snow White and the Huntsman' with a reported budget of over $190 million, JTGS is the latest example of a recent trend in Hollywood of taking risks that may or may not pay off. After all, for every 'Alice in Wonderland' there is a 'John Carter.'
Regardless of whether it recoups its investments or not, JTGS is a CGI-heavy, fun-filled feast for the eyes for the entire family, a rollicking medieval fantasy adventure combining the sweeping scale of 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy with the lighthearted humor and romance of old favorites like 'Willow' and 'The Princess Bride.' Without the gratuitous blood and splatter of 'Hansel & Gretel:Witch Hunters,' the kid-friendly PG13-rated JTGS is a genuine crowd-pleaser with something for everyone.
Nicholas Hoult is the perfect fit for Jack, an unassuming everyman thrust into the role of our titular hero. Other notable roles include Ian McShane as the noble King Brahmwell, Stanley Tucci as the scheming Roderick, Ewan Bremner as Roderick's weasly sidekick Wicke, Ewan McGregor as the daring Captain of the Guard Elmont, and British thespian Eddie Marsan as his lieutenant Crawe, who seems perpetually doomed (literally) to be typecast into such roles. While the ensemble cast performed admirably, the strength of JTGS undoubtedly lies in its setting, a medieval fantasy realm of giants and men. The stunning imagery, the bright costumes, the colorful regalia and beautiful landscape of JTGS are simply breathtaking to behold and truly bring life to one of our most beloved childhood bedtime stories.