Fi-Fie-Fo-Fum, Jack the Giant Slayer is dumb

Fi-Fie-Fo-Fum, Jack the Giant Slayer is dumb

Sophia Kim, Staff Writer

Jack the Giant Slayer has all of the necessary ingredients to create an epic fantasy: magic, a power hungry villain, a princess, and a hero.  Unfortunately, Jack the Giant Slayer chose to play it safe and settle for a mildly entertaining movie full of clichés.  It’s truly a wonder how the movie scored second place in the box office.

Jack the Giant Slayer puts a twist on the classic folktale, Jack and the Bean Stalk, using the same plot but incorporating a longer, more adventurous story.  Jack (Nicholas Hoult) is still a poor farm boy who must fight a giant to win the heart of the beloved princess (Eleanor Tomlinson).  In this retelling, Jack accidentally reignites an ancient war between a race of giants who have quite the appetite for human flesh.  What’s more, the giants’ leader, General Entin (Ralph Brown) is hellbent on having Princess Isabelle devoured by giants because she is the descendant of King Erik.  He is the ancient legend who brought peace to the kingdom by creating a magic crown from a piece of a giant’s heart, which gave him the power to control the giants.

The magic crown was a nice touch, keeping in line with the fantasy adventure genre that tends to incorporate a single enchanted item capable of defeating the evil overlord.  Unfortunately, this plot device also contributed to the anticlimactic ending.

There is no final showdown between Jack and General Entin, and despite the cumulating tension and excitement, not a single dramatic battle scene between the warring races occurs.  This is the equivalent of omitting the final duel between Harry and Lord Voldemort in the final Harry Potter movie.

For the record, Jack slays a giant once.  Once.  And that giant was old and tended the kitchen, unlike the other terrifying warriors.  Princess Isabelle was the film’s biggest disappointment.  She initially came off as an independent, self-preserving girl who needed the right guy to sweep her off her feet and bring her into a new world.  However, other than repeat the line, “I’m looking for an adventure,” Isabelle doesn’t do anything to distinguish herself from the stereotypical damsel in distress.

Isabelle isn’t trained martially in any way like Mulan, or practiced in archery like Melda, but if she wanted to take control of her own life—as she told her father—she could have fought for her love and tried to convince the King to let her marry Jack when he saved her the first time.  Instead, she acts like a defenseless cliché princess.

The humble, peasant hero saving the beautiful princess from the evil scheme of an older, less-appealing suitor to take over the kingdom is already an overdone plot, and Jack the Giant Slayer fails to do anything special with it.