Gulliver’s Travels (PG)
Dir. Rob Letterman
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
Hear that rumbling, is it thunder, is it heavy traffic? No, that’s the
sound of Jonathan Swift (author of the original 18th century classic
novel) turning in his grave as Rob ‘Monsters and Aliens’ Letterman
brings a lumbering slapstick modern day adaptation of Gulliver’s Travels
to the big screen.
Jack Black stars in the title role as lardy loser Lemuel Gulliver a little
guy who's been underachieving all his life. Stuck in the same dead-end
corporate mailroom job for the last 10 years, Gulliver spends his time
pining for his sexy journalist boss Darcy Silverman (Amanda Peet) but
lacking the balls to actually ask her out.
Everything changes when he inadvertently signs up to write a travel piece
for the newspaper about the Bermuda Triangle – and has to travel out
there for an ‘on the location’ report. No sooner has he set off when
Gulliver gets sucked into a weird whirlpool and wakes up in the land of
Lilliput where he’s a giant in size to the tiny Lilliudian natives.
After the iconic being roped down by teeny ropes and apparatus (probably
the biggest reference to the original tale) the story veers off into
movie, game and music nerd fanboy reference heaven.
Massive Gulliver proves his worth to his new insect sized hosts, after
initially imprisoning him for being a ‘beast’, by trashing an enemy
invasion force. Cue hero worship from the little people, who begin to
worship him – so Gulliver takes full advantage, getting them to build
him a luxury apartment, act out Star Wars plays for his amusement and
generally goof about (as Jack Black has been doing for his entire career).
Throw in a romantic subplot about commoner Horatio (Jason Segel) trying to
woo the lovely Princess Mary (Emily Blunt), and a standoff against uptight
Chris O'Dowd's General Edward which leads to an unlikely transformers
style smack down of giant chubby man versus giant mech armour machine.
Sure the special effects work well and everybody appears to be having a
good time – even though the plot criminally wastes its comic rich cast
who include Billy Connolly, James Corden and Catherine Tate. So for a film
that I was convinced would rocket straight into my top 5 worst films of
the year, this is actually a fun cheesy kids film that passes the time in
a not too offensive manner.
High praise huh!?
Not going to make my 'Top 10 Films of 2010' though
Darkmatters rating: öööööö (6 very big asses out of 10)
Darkmatters quick reference guide: Action 6 / Style 6 / Babes 6 / Comedy 6 / Horror 3 / Spiritual Enlightenment -2
"Emily Blunt - a princess worth wooing!"