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Don't really know why but before its release this movie was kind of giving me a bad vibe. I wasn't really looking forward to it and wasn't expecting much good from it either. But there was no need for any that though, as it later turned out. This simply is one enjoyable and also rather good, old fashioned, adventure movie.

It's actually kind of refreshing to see a fairytale, that's actually set in ancient times. Unlike most other recent genre attempts, this movie doesn't feel the need to update or even urbanize its classic tale and all of its characters. Sure it has plenty of additions to its story but it's at least not done to update it for modern times, or to reach a different sort of audience with it.

It still obviously remains a far from perfect movie though. In some ways it still disappointing, such as most notably with its earlier mentioned story. It's a bit of a shame that all of the additions don't really add enough and the movie actually sort of feels overwritten. I can understand why film-makers would feel the need to overcomplicated things with its story and throw in a bunch of side-plots and multiple different characters but I feel that in this case the movie truly would had benefited from a more simplistic approach and story. A princess goes missing in the land of the giants. A group of men brave goes after her. The group of men battle the giants. The group of men rescue the princess and go home...the end! Or well, that's how the story should have been in my opinion. There really was no need to throw in all of the power struggles, betrayal and war elements in my opinion, since it only distracts from its main story and the core of it. It would have felt right for the movie to have revolved around Jack and the giants but above half way through it starts to become apparent that the movie is trying to do way more than just that, which was all quite unnecessary in my opinion. I was enjoying the movie good enough as it was already and the story developments only took away some of the fun of it.

Nevertheless, this remains one perfectly watchable and also enjoyable adventure movie, with some of the classic genre ingredients in it. There is plenty of action to enjoy and also plenty of fun with its story and characters. All of the characters actually work out quite well, even though some of them were still unnecessary for the movie in my opinion.

Probably the foremost reason why most of the characters still work out so well is because they are being played by some fine and likable actors. I was especially fond of Ewan McGregor and Stanley Tucci in this, maybe all the more so because they were playing some roles you don't often see- or expect to, see them play.

It's also a good looking movie. I was kind of afraid that the CGI would distract from the movie but the movie actually benefits well from its visuals and computer effects. Still it's kind of disappointing and ineffective to see a bunch of CG creatures battling a bunch of human characters. I don't know, it's sort of killer for the tension, since it's all obviously something fake that you are watching on the screen. I kind of wish they would have used some more practical effects at times, also to more 'humanize' all of the giant characters. Sure, they are voiced by some great actors but they still really never come to live as characters as well.

But even so, this movie was much better than expected and I also still had plenty of fun with it as well, despite of all of my criticism toward it.

7/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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