Jack the Giant Slayer was not a very well hyped film. The trailers did nothing for people. The posters were incredibly lame, showcasing shots of the rather off-putting giants. I'll be honest, I didn't have any real expectations for it. Everything pointed to it being a very generic action movie, like Battleship. (And I didn't have kind words for that film.) Honestly, it should have been rewritten to be Jack and the Beanstalk. It doesn't really know what kind of movie it wants to be. The PG-13 rating keeps it from being called a kids movie, but with some rather odd comedy like a giant picking his nose and one cutting the cheese, you have to wonder what kind of audience the film was trying to attract. It has too little substance for adults to get into, yet Director Bryan Singer didn't seem to have a kids movie in mind either. Nonetheless, Jack the Giant Slayer was definitely better than expected. It's far from being good, but it's at least decent. (Which I really can't call Battleship.)
The story follows Jack, whom goes on a journey to rescue Princess Isabelle. Why does she need rescuing? Well, these magical beans sprouted into a giant beanstalk, taking the Princess into the Kingdom of the Giants. Things take a turn for the worst when the Giants figure out a way to come down and wage war with humanity. The story itself is decent enough. The giants early on are painted as legitimate threats. The whole CGI flashback was a bit odd in a live action movie, but it got the point across. At its core, the story is a fairy tale. It has a handsome young guy rescuing a lovely princess from perils and in the end they get married. (Which was very nice to see.) The best scene is the very first Giant scene. The camera angle, the way it moved and snatched up one of the men like nothing, it successfully captured the threat of these guys, Sadly after that they started to lose their mystique.
Jack, portrayed by Nicholas Hoult, is an alright protagonist. (Sadly despite the title calling him a Giant Slayer, he only slays three giants in the course of 114 minutes.) Though, the film doesn't really focus on character development at all. The movie is less about Jack and more about the events happening around him. This is not a bad thing, but character development is rather weak. The lovely Eleanor Tomlinson portrays Princess Isabelle, solid character. But, her plot of not wanting to do an arranged marriage has been done already recently in Brave. It's truly a shame the movie couldn't give her more of a role, she seems like a fighter but was caged up, then on the run for the majority of it. King Brahmwell was a pretty mediocre character. His lines sometimes felt forced, such as not appeasing his daughter. Elmont, the Captain of the Royal Guard, is definitely one of the best characters, with a fun personality. Roderick, the antagonist for half the film, was pretty generic. Thankfully he's killed off so there can be an actual villain to write home about.
The Giants is the main reason why we're here. They don't disappoint early on, but by the end you've just about had it with them. There's only two notable ones, Fallon and Fumm. Fallon is the true antagonist, and ironically had the best acting performance. His opening lines to the Princess were fantastic and pretty funny. Sadly, he is brought down by his second extremely annoying head. Seriously, was there a need for it? And that is the interesting problem with the film. The comedy scenes are greatly juvenile and pretty much out place in what should be a serious story. The climax is mildly exciting, the scene with all the Giants emerging from the forest was pretty cool. It is kind of anticlimactic when Jack comes out with the crown however. The soundtrack is pretty mediocre, you will not remember any of it after you're done watching.
Overall, Jack the Giant Slayer is this year's Battleship, just a little better than the latter. Some scenes are great, such as the beanstalk sprouting and taking Jacks house, the very first scene with a Giant, and some of the climax. Ultimately however it's just another action movie with little redeeming qualities. It's somewhat fun, but lacking substance.