ADVENTURE; 1hr 54min
STARRING: Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Eleanor Tomlinson
Onward and up, up, upward: Hoult
As orphaned 18-year-old farm lad Jack in X-Men director Bryan Singer’s rockin’ fairy-tale tweak, Jack the Giant Slayer, Nicholas Hoult gets to climb a magical beanstalk with McGregor (armoured courtliness as king’s knight Elmont) and rescue his spirited, soul mate princess (Tomlinson as Isabelle) from the meaty grip of a horde of pugnacious giants. It sure beats pen-pushing for a crust.
Jack is a highly unlikely slayer of anything, being bookish with an inconvenient fear of heights. And with an incognito Bill Nighy at the helm, these computer-enhanced big guys are something else: skyscraper-colossal with gnarly skin, putrid teeth, terrible personal habits and even worse dispositions. They’re also all about “the sweet nectar of revenge,” which is never a reassuring mindset when you’re stuck in their bleary sights, although it does make for great, way-larger-than-life audience value. Bigger isn’t necessarily better, but the blood and thunder of Singer’s deranged day of reckoning is a rollicking shout-out for the little guys.