It looks better, sounds better, cuts better, and its is undoubtedly cast better.
Fee, fi, foe, fum, I smell a film that’s gonna be buckets of fun.
“Aren’t you scared?” she asks her precious daughter. “It’s only a story” the princess responds.
Cut to the wide-eyed young boy.
“It’s only a story, Jack.” Jack’s dad tells him. “Giants aren’t real.”
All of this storytelling to children makes for great…storytelling. And a very effective setup to a very well-crafted and action-packed film.
Nicholas Hoult caught everyone’s attention over a decade ago in the memorable Hugh Grant rom-com About a Boy. Then he popped up in Tom Ford’s A Single Man, surprisingly holding his own opposite Colin Firth. Earlier this year he carried the full load in the witty zombie love story Warm Bodies.
So, I guess I wasn’t all that surprised to see that he could also navigate his way through this big budget “Jack and the Beanstalk” CGI fairytale extravaganza.
Unknown Brit Eleanor Tomlinson plays the lovely Princess Isabelle; but that’s where anonymity stops. Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Ian McShane, and Bill Nighy bring a ton of gravitas to the mix, raising the stakes at every turn – money very well spent.
Oh, and the special fx are darn good too. The menacing giants have just enough personality to make them more than just one-dimensional smack down foils.
Does the love story between Jack and the Princess work? Not entirely, but once the dust settles and the giants are sent packing, the thrill ride’s over and it doesn’t matter all that much.