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Jack The Giant Slayer ****

Jack the Giant Slayer is a great fun adventure family movie, with all the ingredients to make the viewers have a great time and enjoy the ride, and a dark, perverse twist that the grown-ups will appreciate and that maybe will scare some of the younger ones. But the way Bryan Singer delivers his latest movie must be enough for everyone to make it worth the ticket price. With or without the 3D. Because, like in most of the actual Hollywood movies presented on 3D it becomes in something not necessary at all. Something that doesn’t make the story more impressive or spectacular. And, yes, I am thinking about The Hobbit. We’ve seen recently Oz, a film where 3D is used in a new immersive way. Here it seems more like a commodity than a necessity.

Someone will soon enough analyze Hollywood latest fashion movies, the fairy tales based on. I don’t know if it is a new genre or something that will last the blink of an eye, but between Oz, Alicia, Hansel and Gretel, the two Snow White (three if we include the Spanish film), the tv shows like Beauty and the Beast, Once upon a Time or Grimm… and the movies to come like Maleficent… And I can tell you that Jack The Giant Slayer is the more entertaining one of them all. And if it’s just fashion or a new movie genre, we have to deal with them right know. I enjoy pretty much the adventurous and epic style from Jack, rather than seeing Julia Roberts playing an evil Queen. For that matter I even prefer it to Charlize Theron playing the evil queen. And that’s a lot to say.

Because Brian Singer knows how to tell a story and mix adventure, action, romance and a peculiar sense of humor, with a darker and grittier way to present things on screen, even if it’s a PG13 movie. The killing methods used by the Giants, the evil Stanley Tucci, the final battle… it doesn’t look like a tale movie, it looks like something else. Something different and ready to please people from all ages. And I like that. Any other director, any more conventional director, will be pleased to end the story when the hero comes back from his journey to the land of the Giants. But not Singer. He goes one step away with a final battle (if we can call it that way), that is full of epic, just wondering if a door will be opened or remain closed. And that is something brilliant that I never thought it would be possible.

And something else really interesting. Instead of having big stars, Singers relays on the talent of great actors such as Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, Eddie Marsan… and new stars such as Nicholas Hoult. People how knows how to dodge the stereotype bullet when it comes to their characters. And they enjoy playing these characters, something any viewer can tell. Something that makes you enjoy the movie even more. You can tell how important is a cast in a movie like this. Any other actor may look bored or won’t know how to play it to make the viewers connect with them during the adventure. And without that, you don’t even have a movie. You have two hours full of special effects.

It won’t become a remarkable or memorable movie. It won’t win an Oscar, not even in the visual effects category (the giants are… not truly there sometimes. Too much CGI), and the romance story is sometimes too sweet, too cheesy. But anyone can certainly see the movie and have a great time. Have fun. Live an adventure on screen. For those who loved the original tale, it will be a special film. For those who love family films, it may be perfect. And for everyone who wants to enjoy a Saturday evening at the movies, Jack the Giant Slayer won’t disappoint them. Nuff said.

Jesús Usero.

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