When one of the giants in Bryan Singer’s fairy tale rethink flavours his sausage roll (complete with human-being filling) with snot, at least he gives his snack its own taste.
Singer has fun splicing together Jacks of both The Beanstalk and Giant Killer variety,but he struggles to hawk up that vital ingredient: the stamp of identity that might have put down sturdier roots at the box office.
Instead, Singer hacks a brisk, brusque adventure route through old foliage. But the result misses the soul he gave X-Men or, on a relative off-day, even Superman Returns.
It’d take more than magic beans to make Nicholas Hoult’s farmboy Jack and Eleanor Tomlinson’s “feisty” princess Isabelle more than pallidciphers, especially as her “feistiness” translates as “needs rescuing all the time”.
Ewan McGregor enjoys playing Han Solo to Hoult’s Luke as the knightly Elmont, but there’s a lack of spark at the film’s heart and a lack of enlivening laughs elsewhere – despite Stanley Tucci’s ham-panto efforts as Isabelle’s conniving intended.
The tonal wobbles extend to the land of the giants, where fart-gags and man-squishing leave you wondering who Singer’s aiming at: ankle-biters or mid-teens?
But you won’t care as the final ruckus slams in, a late rush of super-sized fun where singer relishes the chance to fling windmills, melt flesh and invoke The Lord Of The Rings. Extras include a Hoult-hosted ‘climb the beanstalk’ interactive Making Of, plus bloopers of him being bothered by a cat.