March 11, 2013 -- The fairy tale of Jack and the Beanstalk has been turned into a live action romantic adventure in this big budget movie about a farm boy who dreams of romance and adventure. After getting his hands on some magic beans, he gets his wish.
Jack (played by Nicholas Hoult of “Warm Bodies”) is languishing away on his uncle's farm. His uncle considers him a worthless dreamer. Jack dreams of adventure and would love to get away from the farm. One day, Jack is sent to town to sell a horse and some other items, but he is distracted by a beautiful princess, Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson of “Alice in Wonderland”) and ends up selling the horse to a monk for some magic beans.
One of the beans accidentally falls on the ground under the farmhouse and gets wet. An enormous beanstalk sprouts, lifting the entire house into the heavens, along with Jack and Isabelle (who just happens to be there at that time). Jack and Isabelle find themselves in the land of man-eating giants who have a grudge against humans.
Jack escapes, but Isabelle is imprisoned by the giants. Jack returns with a rescue party led by the brave knight Elmont (Ewan McGregor of “Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith”) and Roderick (Stanley Tucci of “Captain America: The First Avenger”) a member of the royal family. Far from being a simple rescue, however, the plot gets complicated by a magic crown, treachery and an attack on the royal castle by whole horde of giants.
Jack proves to be a brave and resourceful fellow, worthy of the hand of the princess, and that farm horse he tried to sell turns out to be faster than a lot of the royal steeds. The message of the film is as familiar as the story of Jack the Giant Killer: You don't have to be born of royal blood to be worthy of a princess and even the lowliest farmer is capable of courageous, noble deeds.
The acting and the screenplay are solid and the special effects are of high quality. Director Bryan Singer (of the first two “X-Men” movies) has a good track record with big budget action films like this, and does a fine job here. Why this film isn't getting better reviews and why it isn't doing better at the box office is a mystery to me. Maybe people assume it is a children's movie because of the title. Who knows? Sometimes good films flop and sometimes bad films make a lot of money. This film deserves a better fate. It rates a B.
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