Sunday, January 9, 2011

Gulliver's Travels - A Movie Reviewed

So if I ask anyone if they know about the story of (Lemuel) Gulliver, most people could identify with the tiny people of Lilliput taking a grown man prisoner... but beyond that, most people wouldn’t have a clue – as most people havn’t read the original story. This is what (I believe) the writers had hoped for with Jack Black’s latest film.

In a nutshell: we have a failure in life who’s been a slacker since as long as he could remember when he’s granted an opportunity to potentially make something of himself. Upon setting off on a trip to write about the “mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle”, he’s caught in a freak-storm only to wake up as a prisoner of little four-inch tall people in a land called Lilliput. Throw in a princess who’s heart is torn between two men, a warring nation bent on conquering the Lilliputians, Star Wars, and a severe case of ‘Doctor Hitch’ syndrome (with a dash of KISS) and you have the modernized version of Gulliver’s Travels!

I sat in the theatre thinking “Great, another Jack Black flick where he tries far too hard to make us all laugh.”, but I was fairly impressed with the quality of the movie. It’s not his standard “throw a joke out every three seconds to see if people like it” routine. I didn’t bother paying attention to the rating of the film before popping into the film nor did I overly pay too much attention during the preview to notice either. After coming out from the film is when I found the PG label on it which stunned me. Black doesn’t normally do kids-type movies – but in a nutshell, this is definitely a family/kids movie; but this shouldn’t discourage you from seeing this at all. It’s an amusing and cute take on the idea of a man being captured by tiny humans.

+ Humor great for all ages
+ Great underlying message
+ Visual effects were well-done for the film
+ None of the acting was forced – very natural
+ Billy Connolly (‘nuff said)

- A number of the jokes were groaners/far too predictible
- There really wasn’t anything to garner a PG rating (they could’ve added a few better jokes or twists)

Bottom-line: The movie isn’t the run-of-the-mill Jack Black film.. it’s very tame compared to what he usually does and he’s definitely held back with what was written for him – but even in tame comedy, there’s something to be had by all ages with this take on a classic. If you don’t really have anything on your agenda and want to pass some time, I recommend it.

3.0/5 stars.

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