Jack The Giant Slayer (Blu-ray Review)

jack bluJack the Giant Slayer tells the story of an ancient war that is reignited when a young farmhand unwittingly opens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants.  Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack, into the battle of his life to stop them.  Fighting for a kingdom, its people, and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend—and gets the chance to become a legend himself.




Teenage farm boy Jack (Nicholas Hault) lives a fairly ordinary life.  He is sent into town to sell a horse and cart but has a run in with a fleeing monk who trades him a bag of beans for his horse.  Jack is unimpressed with the beans and his uncle is downright angry.  The monk promises Jack that he can exchange those beans for riches and the only instructions are not to get the beans wet.   Back home the beans tumble under the floorboards of their modest home where they get wet and sprout a giant beanstalk leading to a land of giants.  Jack has recently had more than one encounter with the princess Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) who ends up caught in Jack’s house as the bean stalk sends it into the sky.

Jack volunteers to rescue the princess.  He is joined by the King’s Guard Elmont (Ewan McGregor), Lord Roderick (Stanley Tucci) and others on the long journey up the beanstalk.   At the top of the beanstalk is a world of angry giants lead by the two headed Fallon (Bill Nighy and John Kassir).  For over a thousand years a war between the giants and the humans has been raging.  In the past the giants were controlled with a crown that has been hidden for generations.  Thanks to Jack and the beans, the giants once again have access to the world of men below.  Unfortunately for the humans – the giants see them as lunch.

Once again, high expectations leave me disappointed.  The film is well cast and well acted but the story missed the mark for me.  It didn’t take itself too seriously, but didn’t make it to the league of similar movies like The Princess Bride nor did it go in the opposite direction into the realm of the epic category like one of the Lord of the Rings movies.  I will admit that my expectations were probably unrealistic as I had been expecting Lord of the Rings on a beanstalk so I was already starting off on the wrong foot.

While the special effects are believable and the giants are well done, I also had a hard time getting into the story.  One of the significant issues for me is that I never quite bought into the love story between Jack and the princess.  Another is the bumbling giants that often fail to be as menacing as they should be.  I don’t want to see silly giants, I want to see scary.  I had hoped for a movie with the epic nature of Lord of the Rings combined with the darkness of Underworld.  A movie that felt like a really long big budget episode of “Grimm” would also have been great. Despite all that the production value is high and there was clear effort taken in some very small details.  I liked all of the actors in their roles and I wish that the rest of the movie was equal to their talent.

However, as I’ve only seen the film once, my opinion may change with repeat viewings when my expectations are in check.  After all, at least two of my all time favorite movies were ones that I hated at first.  This may be one of those movies where I have to get past my expectations to realize that it’s a different kind of movie, and one that I may grow to love.


Although the film was available in 3D I was only given the 2D version for review.  The good news is that the Warner Brothers’ 2D 1080p presentation is impressive.  The computer generated giants are realistic in many ways and the visual detail on the characters and the scenery is significant.  The color palette is both rich and deep throughout and the detail is striking.


When the giants roar Fee-fi-foe-fum the DTS-Master Audio 5.1 track really might shake your living room.  The story wasn’t quite what I hoped for but if you close your eyes and listen to the giants you will have no trouble with authenticity.  The cracking of the beanstalk, the raging water and battle scenes are part of an outstanding audio presentation.  Your rear speakers will join the side channels in providing booming sound that amazingly does not dwarf the dialogue (no pun intended).


For a big budget film, I expected much more quantity in the supplemental features.

  • Become a Giant Slayer – The viewer climbs the beanstalk to search for the behind the scenes featurettes.  The interactive aspect is briefly amusing, but eventually frustrating as you attempt to watch all the featurettes which include the following topics:
    • Know Your Enemy
    • Suiting Up
    • Attack Tactics
    • The Magic of a Beanstalk
    • How to Zip
    • Giants’ Kitchen
    • Saving the Princess
    • Defending Your Kingdom
  • Deleted Scenes – Five deleted/alternate scenes, with the final visual effects absent.
  • Gag Reel – A three minute, unexciting set of outtakes.


It looks good and it sounds great but it failed to intrigue me.  The opening animation started the film out on a bad note for me and the film continued to slide downhill from there.  I will however, put this one on the shelf for six months and then watch it again, in the hopes that next time I can enjoy the movie without my previous expectations detracting from the film.

Order your copy today!

jack blu


Comments are currently closed.