There are big, tall, terrible, fleshy, bulbous-headed giants in the sky-- and, eventually, on earth-- in Jack the Giant Slayer, X-Men director Bryan Singer's big-budget, gently revisionist, 3-D spin on "Jack and the Beanstalk." It's a journey facilitated by the eponymous Jack (Nicholas Hoult), the naïve farm boy who trades his horse for magic beans that sprout up like some unholy tincture of Miracle-Gro and HGH, putting both Jack and an intrepid princess (newcomer Eleanor Tomlinson) face to face with mankind's potential extinction. The story is hardly original or surprising, but the supremely confident Singer lends Jack an enjoyably old-fashioned showmanship that recalls a time when movie illusions were created by hand rather than by computer. Hoult (Warm Bodies) makes for an appealing lead, with the hesitant milk-fed smile of the young Tom Cruise and an unforced chemistry with Tomlinson. Simply put: Any five minutes of this is preferable to all of The Hobbit.
Bryan SingerNicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Eddie Marsan, Ewen Bremner, Ian McShane, Christopher Fairbank, Simon Lowe, Mingus JohnstonDarren Lemke, David Dobkin, Christopher McQuarrie Dan StudneyNeal H. Moritz, David Dobkin, Bryan Singer, Patrick McCormick, Ori MarmurWarner Bros.