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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Darkmatters Review: Gullivers Travels

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!"

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