May 2, 2014

Review: Jack the Giant Killer (2013)

The Asylum has a really good thing going. Any big Hollywood blockbusters that they deem will be a success, they come with up with a close approximation of the title and release it direct to video at the same time. Most of the money they make is either from people making the mistake in thinking that they've found a real copy of a major Hollywood production or it's people like me who have a bizarre fascination in seeing these train wrecks. They're even able to coax some semi-major actors who are past their prime to be a part of these films. This time around, Ben Cross of Chariots of Fire and Jane March who starred with Bruce Willis in Color of Night from 1994 accept tainted Asylum cash.

There's a whole lot wrong with Jack the Giant Killer and that's pretty easy to see without even starting the movie. Is that a dinosaur on the cover? Since when have there ever been dinosaurs in the classic tale of Jack versus giants? See the sword he's holding? Jack never once wields a sword the whole time because the movie is set during the 40's or 50's. I think so, I honestly don't even know. It's a little difficult to tell because the costume design is inconsistent and just plain awful.

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Genre: action, fantasy
Directed by: Mark Atkins
Produced by: David Michael Latt, David Rimawi, Paul Bales, etc.
Written by: Mark Atkins
Music by: Chris Ridenhour, Andrew Morgan Smith
Running time: 87 minutes
Production company: The Asylum
Distributed by: The Asylum, Edel Media & Entertainment, TV4
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: N/A
Box office: N/A

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Ben Cross, Jane March, Jamie Atkins, Vicki Glover, Harry Dyer, Tanya Winsor, Julian Boote, Jon Campling, Steve McTigue, Robert Boyle, Noel Ross, Nigel Peever

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Synopsis


The story is, Jack finds some beans and is eventually brought to the land of the clouds. He finds that the giants of the land have been totally killed off and dinosaurs are all that remain unchecked, wreaking havoc everywhere. The threat worsens when these dinosaurs are transported to earth for nefarious purposes and Jack has to find a way to stop them.

Review


So there really are absolutely no giants whatsoever in a movie that advertises a character killing giants. Brilliant. Director Mark Atkins doesn't let the lack of giants get his production down though. He succeeds in making the dinosaurs as terrifying as possible by employing 8-year old kids to design these frightening beasts. The CGI is so bad that your jaw is guaranteed to drop. Sequences with these majestic animals consists of a shaking camera pointing at some landscape, while a cartoon dinosaur comes charging forward.

The acting if you want to call it that is pitiful, especially when it comes to the climactic action scenes with the CGI dinosaurs. It's pretty obvious that they're staring at an empty field feigning surprise and fear when the director instructs them to. Even worse, the score lacks any sort of power in its attempt at overcompensating for the lack of spirit in the acting department so it all comes off as very underwhelming.

None of this is surprising though. The Asylum has cemented its reputation as a con artist of movies and quite honestly, I want more. Probably the most ridiculous aspect of this movie is Jack building some sort of manually controlled Transformers robot that is as ridiculous as it sounds. It's a dumb contraption that has no place in its setting.

Jack the Giant Killer as far as seriously bad movies go doesn't have that "so bad it's good" quality though. The lack of effort shows so clearly and I'm absolutely sure that someone could have made a better picture with the budget that was allocated to this mess. These kinds of bad movies live on in infamy but Jack the Giant Killer is just purely bland and effortless as bad movies go. Whether you like good movies or bad movies, Jack the Giant Killer is not either so just avoid it and save your time.

Rating


2/10