Movie review: Jack the Giant Slayer

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From the February 28, 2013 edition

For a movie featuring 3-D giant attacks and the name of the greatest thrash metal band ever in its title, “Jack the Giant Slayer” is surprisingly boring.

It’s hard to find a pulse in this movie. That the special effects are all cranked out of a computer is commonplace, but the screenplay also seems to be the result of running a fairy tale through some Script-o-Matic software.

Adding to the disappointment? It’s directed by Bryan Singer, the man responsible for kicking off the “X-Men” film franchise (as well as “The Usual Suspects”).

The story is basically an actioned-up version of the fairy tale. You’ve got your Jack (Nicholas Hoult). You’ve got your beanstalk. You’ve got your giants.

With no real characters to warm up to, we’re left waiting to see giants. When we finally do, we’re left feeling like we’ve seen this whole thing before.

The overuse of CGI is the biggest flaw here. The animated giants never quite feel real enough — I prefer the considerably lower budget “Trollhunter” in this regard. And even when the battle scenes get epically large, it feels like a watered-down version of what the “Lord of the Rings” series already did.

There’s a reason “Jack” is being released in March instead of summer. More like “fee-fi-ho-hum.”