Jack the Giant-Killer has been with me as long as I can remember. As a very young child, I had a storybook of the old English legends of the Cornish youth’s adventures. And I’ve read the same book to my own children. Jack now has his turn at the silver screen, with the film Jack the Giant-Slayer, in theaters now. I saw it, and was disappointed. Here’s why.
The movie is set up to appeal to adventure-seeking children (and their parents): lots of action, scary giant creatures, death-defying leaps into the air, even a fairy-tale romance between a princess and a scrappy up-from-nothing farm-boy. The movie retains the scrappy little guy versus the behemoth narrative, with its “the bigger they are, the harder they fall” lesson, so often associated with David the biblical giant-killer.
But the movie misses, I think, the element that made the old stories so compelling in the first place. The movie obscures the way Jack, in the old stories, usually defeated the giants: not just with grit and luck and determination, but with trickery.
[Read the rest of the article at Moore to the Point.]