2017 will see me watching some films that I have never seen before and then writing about them. It will be a series of columns cleverly called, “2017 First Watch.”
Bryan Singer’s career this century has been so defined by his involvement (or sometimes his lack of involvement) with the X-Men film franchise that it can sometimes be hard to remember that he directed two non-superhero films in the past seventeen years.
The most recent one was the bizarrely normal fairy tale-like, Jack the Giant Slayer. While shot and edited with the usual neatness and precision of a typical Bryan Singer film, it was truly unnerving to watch this film unfold in a purely traditional manner.
There is a commoner boy (the earnest Hoult), a stifled princess who needs to be saved (Tomlinson), an overbearing king (McShane), and a schemer scheduled to be married to our princess (Tucci).
Beyond the genuinely charming supporting performance from Ewan McGregor as the king’s top knight, nothing about this film sticks out as above average or particularly notable.
For a film with a deep roster of talent in front of and behind the camera, this project felt like a missed opportunity to do something cool and unique within the traditional fairytale structure.
Recommendation: This film is quite skippable, but it was competently made enough to not make it a total waste of your time.