Rousing adventurous fairy tale

Jack the Giant Slayer Warner Bros. Rating: PG 114 minutes

We all know the story, but until special effects advances made it possible, it was hard to tell the Jack and the Beanstalk tale in any way on screen except in animation. Many of us remember the 1947 Disney version, featuring Mickey Mouse and Goofy, fondly.

But now comes Jack the Giant Slayer with live actors and some terrific special effects.

The story is embelished and enlarged in the film. Nicholas Hoult (Marcus in About a Boy) plays Jack. He goes to town to sell a horse (and also meet the princess played by Eleanor Tomlinson) and comes home with some special beans. Up grows the beanstock and Jack climbs it with soldiers to rescue the princess, who is looking for an adventure. There they find the land of not one, but a whole tribe of fearsome giants and barely escape with their lives before becoming involved in a fantastic war with the behemoths.

Ewan McGregor plays the faithful knight and Stanley Tucci is hissable as the mugging villain. Bill Nighy has fun voicing the grotesque two-headed leader of the giants: they are really nasty and crude. Director Bryan Singer (X-Men) and a group of writers including Christopher McQuarrie have nicely refurbished the old fairy tale, with surprising plot twists.

Perhaps it goes on too long but it is mostly a fun and rousing adventure and solid family film, although probably too scary for young children.

Rating: four deer out of five

New on Video

The Master, despite Oscar nominated performances by Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman, may be 2012’s most boring movie.

Alf Cryderman is a Red Deer freelance writer and old movie buff.

Just Posted

Neonatal nurse practitioner joins NICU care team

Babies requiring specialized care at Red Deer Hospital have extra set of hands caring for them

The old Greyhound Bus Depot is being demolished

The Red Deer building has been around for decades

Official torchbearers for 2019 Canada Winter Games announced

Canada Games officials open time capsule from Grande Prairie Games in 1995

Alberta Health Services, United Nurses of Alberta reach agreement to settle union grievance of nursing staffing shortage

Settlement includes the designation of 11.7 full-time-equivalent Registered Nurse relief positions

UPDATE: Two 12-year-olds have been found safe in Airdrie

Public tips were received which led the RCMP to locate the children this morning

UK lawmakers reject Brexit deal in 432-202 vote

House of Commons votes against the deal struck between Britain’s government and the EU

WATCH: World-renowned illusionist, magician, escapist performs in Stettler

Matt Johnson performs two sold-out shows at Stettler Performing Arts Centre

Olivia and Liam top list for Alberta baby names in 2018

Premier Rachel Notley announced the top baby names in Alberta in 2018; Loki didn’t make the cut

Edmonton Police charged 236 people with auto theft in 2018

Police states many of the thefts are crimes of opportunity

Woman’s complaint leads to sexual assault charge against Calgary priest

Malcolm Joe D’Souza, who is 62, has been charged with one count of sexual assault

Saudi teen who was granted asylum in Canada says she’s a lucky one

Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun was fleeing abusive family back home

New migrant caravan sets out from Honduras for U.S.

Caravan has about 300 people, mainly women and children

British Parliament nears historic vote on Brexit

A ‘no’ vote would throw British politics into further turmoil

Most Read