This movie got panned by the critics; unfairly, in my opinion. While unlikely to go down in movie history in any way, it was fun and entertaining. The entertainment value comes from three things: a familiar plot hook, a clear story arc, and sympathetic characters.
To start with: the plot hook. Nearly everyone has heard some variation of Jack and the Bean Stalk, a well-known and beloved fairy tale. And for good reason. Who wouldn’t sympathize with Jack, a poverty stricken, brow-beaten young man with no prospects for the future? Yet the plucky young hero succeeds against the odds thanks mostly to his, well, pluck.
Secondly: the story arc. Many a great idea has been less than great because of a jumbled story line, leaving the movie goer confused. The first example of this that pops into my head is Pirates of the Caribbean part 3. Jack the Giant Slayer, while deviating from the classic tale, follows traditional lines with an ending to leave the viewer satisfied.
Thirdly: the characters. Have you ever read a book or seen a movie whose main character you just couldn’t stand? Wuthering Heights was that way for me. I just didn’t care about Heathcliff and Catherine – I wanted them both to jump off a cliff and end my misery. Not so with Jack and the Beanstalk. The main characters are immediately likeable.
One thing the movie did not do well, however, was the costumes. I mean, seriously? Golden armor?
image from IMDB
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