"Jack the Giant Slayer" is a generic big budget studio movie - all visual effects and noise without anything memorable.
That's really surprising because it's directed by the talented Bryan Singer, re-teaming with writer Christopher McQuarrie. They made "The Usual Suspects" together - an ingenious crime drama. They've also got a great cast, but there's very little in this new movie that's original or even unique. It feels like it could have been made by anyone.
It's the generic story of a poor boy who falls in love with a princess and needs to rescue her. Jack, played by Nicholas Hoult, has to climb the stalk that sprouted from magic beans and carried the pricess up into the sky. Working with the king's men, including Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci, Jack finds a land in the sky overrun with giants.
These CGI giants look like poorly constructed relatives of Gollum from "Lord of the Rings." And they talk like pro wrestlers.
My favorite scene finds McGregor joining other pigs in blankets ready to be cooked alive, but why isn't the rest of the movie that much fun? The rest that passes for humor involves flatulence and booger picking, which the kids might like. So there's that.
Here's what's good: the final quarter involves a giant siege on a castle, which makes fun use of the 3D effects.
The end of the movie awkwardly leaves the door open for sequels. The chances of that are about jack squat.
EPPLER'S RATING: * * 1/2
Out of five stars