Every once in a while I get to be a really cool mom – the kind of mom who takes a kid to the movies on a school night (and not just any movie, but a see-it-before-anyone-else screening). I get bonus points when the movie screening is for a highly-anticipated movie like Jack the Giant Slayer, which my 13 year old has been eager to see. Honestly, I hadn’t seen any trailers for the movie and had virtually no opinion going into the screening, so my motivation to go was heavily fueled by her enthusiasm.
About Jack the Giant Slayer
Here’s a little synopsis of the movie, based – obviously – on the Jack and the Beanstalk story:
An ancient war is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants.
Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack (Nicholas Hoult), into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom and its people, and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend… and gets the chance to become a legend himself.
Acclaimed filmmaker Bryan Singer directs the 3D epic action adventure “Jack the Giant Slayer,” starring Nicholas Hoult (“X-Men: First Class”) in the title role. The film also stars Eleanor Tomlinson as Princess Isabelle; Stanley Tucci (“Captain America: The First Avenger”) as the deceitful Lord Roderick; Ian McShane (“Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” HBO’s “Deadwood”) as the besieged King Brahmwell; Bill Nighy (“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”) as the giants’ leader, General Fallon; and Ewan McGregor (“Star Wars,” “The Ghost Writer”) as palace guard Elmont.
Check out the trailer:
Like I mentioned at the beginning, I knew very little about Jack the Giant Slayer before sitting down in the theater to watch it (which I love, actually). I honestly wasn’t expecting much out of the movie, but figured that I would enjoy a couple of hours of entertainment regardless. I’m happy to say I was not only entertained, but I found myself really getting in to the characters and the story. Plainly put…I liked it a lot.
There were moments that I found myself grabbing the side of my chair, hoping that the movie reps sitting next to me didn’t notice and think I was a wimp. The 3D effects on the beanstalk really got to me (anyone else out there a little scared of heights?). The movie was full of intense fighting scenes, a simple romance, and twists that caught both me and my daughter by surprise.
Is the PG-13 rating safe for my kids?
I noticed that, although the movie has a PG-13 rating, there was hardly any language. The PG-13 rating is officially due to the “intense scenes of fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief language.” I would have to agree with the rating, with the side note that I really appreciated a PG-13 film that is not full of foul language.
My 13 year old daughter was perfectly comfortable with the level of fantasy action and violence – I would be comfortable bringing my 12 year old son to see it in the theaters as well. However, because of the intensity and scare-factor of the giants and fighting scenes, I would not recommend taking kids younger than 11 to see it in the theaters. I know my two younger kids, ages almost-8 and 10, would enjoy watching the movie on DVD at home. It’s always less intense on the smaller screen…
How was the acting?
My favorite character, by far, was Elmont, the king’s guard, played by the handsome Ewan McGregor. While he was a secondary character, his role was strong and I felt like he tied a lot of the other characters together. Nicholas Hoult and Eleanor Tomlinson gave solid performances as Jack, the infamous fairy tale character and Isabelle, the princess longing for adventure. Stanley Tucci and Ewen Bremner, as Roderick and Wicke, the movie’s antagonist and his side kick, seemed more geared towards the teenage crowd and were more comic relief for me than anything else.
Should I see Jack the Giant Slayer in 3D?
I used to be anti-3D movies, but I admit that 3D is growing on me. While I enjoyed the 3D effects in Jack the Giant Slayer, I would probably opt to see it in 2D and save the couple of dollars to put towards a bag of popcorn. I do like my movie popcorn…
In the end, I was pleased with the movie and surprised by how much I enjoyed myself. I would recommend it for a fun date night movie, and specifically for the teen crowd. Another (huge) bonus for me was the fact that the movie was only 114 minutes long. Yes, that is LESS than 2 hours (when did all movies become so long?).
Jack the Giant Slayer opens in theaters TODAY, March 1
Note: I was provided 2 seats to a screening of Jack the Giant Slayer in 3D, but all opinions about the movie are mine.
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