Film of the Week - Jack the Giant Slayer

Undated Film Still Handout of Jack The Giant Slayer. Pictured: NICHOLAS HOULT as Jack. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Warner Brothers. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

Undated Film Still Handout of Jack The Giant Slayer. Pictured: NICHOLAS HOULT as Jack. See PA Feature FILM Film Reviews. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/Warner Brothers. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature FILM Film Reviews.

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The English folktale of Jack And The Beanstalk is given a smart CGI-heavy makeover in Bryan Singer’s fast-paced fantasy.

Based on a script co-written by Usual Suspects scribe Christopher McQuarrie, Jack The Giant Slayer takes the familiar story of magic beans and a blood-thirty behemoth as the foundations for a delightfully old-fashioned tale of derring-do replete with a boo-hiss villain and swooning damsel in distress.

A storybook opening sequence recounts the legend of King Erik, who defeated the giants and banished them to their kingdom in the clouds with the help of his magical crown.

Jack The Giant Slayer establishes a cracking pace and there are few pauses between the breathlessly orchestrated set pieces, including a first encounter with the giants viewed through Jack’s eyes as he holds his breath underwater.

Parents may want to view the film before unleashing very young children into this fairytale realm because the violence is quite strong for a 12A certificate, including at least one member of supporting cast losing his head between a giant’s festering teeth.

Bloodshed isn’t gratuitous and Singer keeps most of the dismemberment off screen or blurred in the background.