Neil Fox’s films: Jack The Giant Slayer, The Croods

Jack The Giant Slayer
Jack The Giant Slayer
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Jack The Giant Slayer

This ambitious but ultimately flawed addition to recent fairytale modernisation films is directed by Bryan Singer.

But it’s hard to find anything you would class as reminiscent of the man who brought the world The Usual Suspects or X-Men and X-Men 2 within this very standard fantasy blockbuster.

The film takes the classic tale as a springboard for CGI and huge set -pieces, war and battles and serious faces from troubled figures of lore.

Nicholas Hoult is Jack, a simple farmhand who inadvertently opens up a portal into giant land. All hell breaks loose, causing him to try to stop the old rivalry destroying everything. Loud, big and clunky, it has a few redeeming moments but overall you just feel it should have been slayed at the development stage and Singer handed a script less beige and more rage.

The Croods

Continuing the ancient, fairytale-esque thread is a family animation about a road trip with a difference.

It’s taken by a prehistoric family and Dreamworks hope it will do for them what Shrek did a long, long time ago. I don’t think it will, because despite the voice cast, which includes Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds, it’s awkward and doesn’t know what it’s central thread is.

The father-daughter relationship is the most interesting plot line, but it’s never given room to breathe as the film-makers try to spread the potential laughs and drama as thinly as possible to please as many as possible.

Stolen

Nicolas Cage reunites with Simon West, who directed him in Con Air, but neither can replicate the magic of that hit. A guilty pleasure at best as he plays an ex-thief racing to find his kidnapped daughter who is somewhere in the boot of a taxi. The plots get thinner, as does his hair, and as does our patience with this talented but so frustrating star.