Jack the Giant Slayer – Family Adventure with Romance

June 27, 2013 24 Comments

Whether or not it’s clever, anything that smacks of “fairy tale” means this moviegoer will see it. Whether or not Jack the Giant Slayer is clever entertainment doesn’t seem to matter in the end. A meet-cute and happy-ever-after is all I need.

Jack the Giant Slayer (2013) Film Review

Fate is about to entwine the lives of a simple farm boy and a princess. When he treats her like a treasure to protect instead of the future ruler, Princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) is done with her father (Ian McShane), and his rules. Or so she thinks. This time she determines to prove her mettle which leads her straight to the home of Jack (Nicholas Hoult).

As children, Isabelle and Jack were told legends of when giants and magic beans dictate a land without security. That is until Isabelle’s ancestor bans the giants to a land where they could no longer be a threat. Years later, Jack has ends up with a satchel full of beans – something he has no idea the value of what he holds.

Isabelle’s plans suddenly go array when the pair become trapped in Jack’s home by a giant stalk bursting through the floorboards. With the princess in danger, Jack sets off to rescue her, fighting unexpected enemies and secrets in the journey to return her to her throne.

Some fairy tales seem to get all the luck. While everyone gushes over princesses and princes, the underrated gets lost in the shuffle. Fortunately, thanks to ABC’s Once Upon a Time, there’s a fascination with the beloved fables. Fresh spins on them is en-vogue making this the time to embark on an adventure. With little marketing but an impressive cast list, this recent adaptation may have escaped everyone’s notice.

FILM REVIEW | Alice in Wonderland (2010) – Tim Burton’s Fantastical, Colorful World

To be honest, the first ten minutes of the movie underwhelm. While I like it fine, a “spark” is missing. Where’s the adventure? The excitement? It may not be the most familiar story in my repertoire but anything that involves a young man climbing up a beanstalk deserves (or demands) more than the script puts in. It isn’t long after this that someone whisks Isabelle into the sky and Jack gets a knock on the head for his troubles. Most of the film unfolds in the “forbidden land” where the giants roam. Even once the adventure starts rolling, the speed doesn’t amp up. Or not as expected.


Jack the Giant Slayer

There is still lots of entertainment value at play, which makes us wonder if Jack will succeed to save a friend or if he’ll smuggle Isabelle out. Even with all these moving pieces, things play conservative. Fortunately Jack’s character is a character who’s well developed. He starts out as a farmer with no expectations, and he becomes a noble hero. This compels the script to betterment, especially considering it had to splice the story to share part of its principle with a female character, one that originally had no female counterpart.

Perhaps what this movie does best is the humor. It’s fun, and inject this magic in all the right places; some of which is likely spontaneous. The cast also impresses. It’s safe to say Hoult has become one of my favorite silver screen actors. I saw him play “dead” (Warm Bodies), and step comfortably into the role of a beastly superhero (X-Men). Now I enjoy his take on an iconic titular character. Though it’s not as prevalent as a storybook, the romantics between Jack and Isabelle is sweet. I like the actress’ who plays Isabelle; her fragile beauty and acting suit the part. Ewan McGregor and Stanly Tucci also appear.

I do enjoy this movie, but can admit the screenplay gets a little silly sometimes. One example is Isabelle looking as if she’s spent hours with a makeup brush (after traumatic events) or the few bits of sappy dialogue. Really, I appreciate the movie even in these instances since it never considers itself “epic” nor does it try to pawn itself off in that vein. In fact, really there is a lot of tongue and cheek humor during which the script pokes fun at itself. There’s an adorable end (up until it goes contemporary on us – don’t ruin a good thing, writers!) and impresses when it wisely steers away from political disaster. Like any good fairy tale, alls well that ends well even minus the few story squabbles.

In short, this is a delightful little adventure.

(Disclosure: this post does contain affiliate links; if you buy anything through these links, I may receive a small percentage of the sale at no extra cost to you. Read the disclosure page for details.)

You can purchase Jack the Giant Slayer on DVD or rent or own, digitally on Amazon Video.

Before Demelza (from #Poldark), Eleanor Tomlinson played a princess in this cute #fairytale! Click To Tweet

(Parental concerns: there’s some “gory” violence with the giants though nothing too awful. Giants consume humans (briefly the camera shows a body hanging out of a mouth) as are animals, and one man is nearly baked; there is some crude humor. Profanity may be in the script a time or two, nothing horrible. The film is PG13.)

About Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

Rissi JC

amateur photog. #bookblogger. downton abbey. inspys. internet-photo-shy. writer. the aspiration is to someday write professionally. a girl can dream, right?

All posts


  • Ruth A. June 27, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    I liked Nicholas Hoult here, but until I saw Man of Steel I thought this movie was the biggest mess of 2013. ;)

    • Rissi June 28, 2013 at 3:02 AM

      LOL! Bet 'Jack' is glad to have shed that distinction. ;)

      Do you think you'd ever watch this one again, Ruth? I think a second viewing will improve my opinion since I'll know what to expect. Much like Mirror Mirror, I found 'Jack' a fun bit of entertainment.

  • Sierra June 27, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    That does sound like a great cast :) My friend saw and said it was pretty good. Based on her thoughts and your review I'll have to get this one into my dvd player pretty soon :D Thank you!

    • Rissi June 28, 2013 at 3:04 AM

      I know, right!? That cast list continually impressed me – I didn't even realize who some of them were until the credits at the end and of course then I was like, duh!.

      Hope you enjoy if/when you get a copy, Sierra. It was fun!

  • Ella June 27, 2013 at 2:54 PM

    I'm a sucker for fairytale movies so I am planning to watch this.
    You said in the review you thought it was silly sometimes. Is it less silly than say ,Mirror , Mirror?

    • Rissi June 28, 2013 at 3:06 AM

      As am I, Ella! Can never resist a new fairy-tale even if it is a bit silly. What's great about 'Jack' is it knew it wasn't "epic" and didn't care. The humor poked fun at things and I liked that.

      …hmm, less silly than Mirror Mirror…? I think so. There were more "serious" moments, I suppose.

  • Kellie June 27, 2013 at 5:54 PM

    Fairy-tale? Same here, haha. :)

    Been wanting to see this one, I should get on that soon. :)

    • Rissi June 28, 2013 at 3:07 AM

      Happy fairy-tale journeying, Kellie! If you see it, as always I'd enjoy your impression of the film. I thought it was fun and enjoyed that it never took itself too seriously. :)

  • Hannah Elise June 27, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Sounds interesting, and I kind of want to watch it now! And Ewan McGregor … aw :) I've loved him ever since I saw him in Star Wars.

    • Rissi June 28, 2013 at 3:09 AM

      It was a whole lot of fun, Hannah! Happy watching if you do check it out.

      I've only seen Ewan in one or two things but he was WAY fun in this. He even gets his "moments" to prove loyalty and heroism even though he's not the hero. :)

  • Evelyn June 27, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    I'm normally not to interested in fairy tale movies (well, I love EverAfter), I'm not exactly sure why.. but this one sounds sorta interesting. Even if it may be a little cheesy. =)

    • Rissi June 28, 2013 at 3:11 AM

      Ooo! I am a sucker for Ever After. It's definitely one of those "keeper" movies.

      We all enjoy something different, Evelyn – and thank goodness for that! It makes life interesting. :) If you do watch 'Jack,' I sure hope you get some laughs out of the experience.

  • Bluerose June 27, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    I can't keep myself away from fairy tale movies, so I'll have to watch this one no matter what! :)

    • Rissi June 28, 2013 at 3:12 AM

      *high five*

      Neither can I, Bluerose. Bet you and I could share a TON we both liked. :)

  • Charity June 27, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    The trailers made this film look terrible, but I really enjoyed it. My only complaint is near the end — as a girl who loves girl-power endings, I wanted to see the heroine don the crown and control the giants, not Jack. He'd already proven himself a hero — let her have that moment.

    • Rissi June 28, 2013 at 3:16 AM

      Prior to seeing this movie, I think I saw its first trailer preceding Warm Bodies which of course, I watched only a week or so prior to 'Jack.' That particular trailer made me laugh and go, "ooh! I want to see this!"


      See… I liked that Isabelle didn't don the crown. Maybe it was because I expected her too and it was a surprise to see Jack holding it…

      Small as it was, that took me by surprise.


      Either way, the movie was really fun! :)

  • Jack June 27, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    I've wanted to see this since hearing about it before it came to theatres. I still haven't 8-P I plan to rent it as soon as possible, though I am under orders to rent The Eagle first.

    • Rissi June 28, 2013 at 3:19 AM

      Well, we don't want to challenge those orders! ;)

      When you do finally get to see 'Jack,' I wish you happy watching! It's fun even with the flaws. I like to say, what movie is perfect? None! Each just vary in their degree of disappointments and for a Friday night movie, I thoroughly enjoyed this one!

  • Kara June 28, 2013 at 7:00 AM

    I'd read before that it's not a perfect movie. But it sounds pretty fun nonetheless! I've enjoyed several lesser known and perhaps unpopular films over the years. So I'm hoping the day will come quickly that I get my chance to watch this. :)

    • Rissi June 28, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      It is, Kara! Who needs perfect anyway, right!? ;)

      Definitely one that I'll likely own someday. Like you, I enjoy discovering the "lesser-known" movies also. It's more fun that way.

  • Rosie Wilson June 29, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    This one is one my family wants to see, we just haven't gotten it yet. Lol! Glad your review is mostly positive! :)

    • Rissi July 1, 2013 at 9:38 PM

      It was fun, Rosie! I think your family would enjoy it – my mom LOVED it. Definitely plan to enjoy re-watches. :)

      Let me know what you all thought of it.

  • Tory July 2, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    Overall I liked this one… It did lack something, but if you can overlook that you will be able to enjoy what it does have… Oh, and I totally loved the contemporary ending!!! lol ;)

    • Rissi July 3, 2013 at 1:23 AM

      Being honest, I probably shouldn't say that the last scene "ruins" the film, Tory but… the fairytale happily-ever-after girl in me liked the scene of Jack with his family – and that was enough. I didn't *need* a tacked on scene. Either way, it was fun even in the flaws. :)

    Leave a Reply

    (Enter your URL then click here to include a link to one of your blog posts.)

    Bonjour and Welcome!

    Welcome | thank you for visiting and reading. if you like, you are invited to join our conversations and follow along – join us.  You’re most welcome.
    Read more about Finding Wonderland

    ps: please excuse the “disorder.” you can read more about Finding Wonderland’s changes, new follow options and why archive posts are a mess in my “Disorder + Feedback” post!

    Finding Wonderland Elsewhere!

    Finding Wonderland in your Inbox!

    Subscribe! Have Finding Wonderland's new content sent to your inbox; sign up for our once (or twice) monthly round up of new content. If you'd like to have this newsletter sent to your inbox, you can enter your email address here. Please note, this does require a sign-up confirmation via email, and that email may be sent to a junk or spam folder.

    RSS Feed

    Enter your email address:

    Shop our Etsy Store



    Some of the links on this blog are affiliate links, which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive (a small) compensation. This compensation comes at no additional cost to you.

    Rissi JC (RissiWrites.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

    All written content (unless noted) is © Copyright Rissi JC and Finding Wonderland (RissiWrites.com).


    %d bloggers like this: