It’s Better Than Bad: Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)

Everyone should have some special activity they shared with their father. It doesn’t have to be one thing, but everyone should have at least one. My father and I loved planes.

He would take me to air shows. He knew some of the organizers at one of the shows and talked them into allowing me to park a Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress. Mostly we would wander around the grounds checking out the planes. He had an encyclopedic knowledge about aircraft.  We both were particularly fond of the P-51 Mustang WWII fighters. I’m not sure about my father, but for me it was the sound of the engine. They sounded so mean, like a muscle car. Rightly so. The super charged V-12 engine that drove them is the shit.

Fast forward to today. I’ve married into a family with two children. Being 14 and 16 years old, I’ve got years to catch up on in the bonding department. Lucky for me they are movie fans. Not just movie fans, but fans of horror, sci fi and action films, all genres I love. Sometimes we’ll see movies I wouldn’t have otherwise been interested in: Warm Bodies, Hansel and Gretel, Beautiful Creatures are recent examples.

Sometimes I come away with cool step-dad points, which is well worth the trip. Sometimes we all enjoy the films. Jack the Giant Slayer falls into the later group.

Jack the Giant Slayer is a re-imagining and mixture of the classic folktales Jack and the Bean Stalk and Jack the Giant Killer. It’s a darker story. The giants have been imprisoned for centuries and are proper angry with humanity for doing it. So, when Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) shows up on their door step they can’t believe their luck. The way out is within their reach, and a decedent of their jailor is in their grubby hands.

But, they hadn’t counted on an absent-minded farmhand, Jack (Nicholas Hoult), to be hot on her heels to rescue her. Elmont (Ewan McGregor), the King’s (Ian McShane) best man, might seem like a more likely candidate to kick some giant ass, but never, ever doubt the strength of young lurv. And, hey, Jack was, until recently, a zombie. Lurv cured him of being undead, so there’s pretty much nothing Lurv can’t do.

There’s something for everyone: Lurv, which I just mentioned; there’s a cool castle siege scene; there’s booger-pickin’, fartin’ comedy; there’s a cool animated back story; Warwick Davis makes a cameo; and best of all the arseholes, Wicke (Ewen Bremner) and Roderick (Stanley Tucci) get theirs sooner than later.

So, if you’re looking for something fun to share with the family and would like to be able to enjoy your time too, you can do much worse than Jack the Giant Slayer.

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