Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Despite CGI overload, the first trailer for Bryan Singer's Jack the Giant Slayer shows character.

Against all odds, I was actually somewhat amused this this trailer.  Yes the film looks CGI-heavy, even to the point where realistic effects don't quite look real.  And yes the story is a somewhat formualic 'save the princess' narrative.  But as with Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (which was also sold as a 'save the hot girl' adventure), character counts.  So I am amused by Ewan McGregor and his ridiculous hair.  I am pleased that Eleanor Tomlinson A) doesn't seem to spend all that much of the film in a cage and B) isn't forced to go hard-core 'feisty'.  And I am tickled pink by the idea of Stanley Tucci as a bemused villain, with just enough camp to be entertaining but not seemingly inclined to go full-tilt ham.  Nicholas Hoult doesn't make much of an impression, but the straight man is often forced to be earnest while everyone else has fun in his presence.  Bill Nighy, Ian McShane, Eddie Marsan, and Warwick Davis round out the gang, so it certainly seems like director Bryan Singer got quite a few respectable names to go all Dead Man's Chest for the occasion.  The shifting release dates and title changes should point to doom ahead.  And the fact that Bryan Singer decided to return to the X-Men franchise is perhaps the grimmest signal of all.  But despite myself I am somewhat pleased at what I saw.  Am I the only one?  Jack the Giant Slayer opens from Warner Bros. in 2D and 3D on March 1, 2013.  It certainly looks more fun than Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and/or Oz: The Great and Powerful.  But as always, we'll see.

Scott Mendelson         

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