Published Thursday, 21 March 2013
He's the mighty general of the giants in Jack The Giant Slayer, a boy's own blockbuster adventure based on the classic fairytale.
But who is this two headed monster speaking in a cracking 'Norn Iron' accent? Well, it's not Finn McCool or Cu Chulainn, Liam Neeson or Jimmy Nesbitt but believe it or not it's the waifish and wonderful Bill Nighy. Never mind Love Actually this is Larne verbally.
Once upon a time Hollywood was not interested in fairy tales. But just like comic books, they have proved to be the perfect big screen adventures for the 3D generation and bumper box office. Time to wake these sleeping giant stories.
So, following hot on the heels of Red Riding Hood, Snow White And The Huntsmen, Mirror Mirror and Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters comes Jack The Giant Slayer.
The nimble Nicholas Hoult plays Jack, the farm boy with his head in the clouds who, while at the medieval market, swaps his old nag for a bag of magic beans. "Don't get them wet," he is warned. But before you can say thunderstorm, an almighty beanstalk has sprung up to the sky and Jack's adventure begins.
Unfortunately, his great green shoot of discovery has unwittingly reignited an ancient war between mankind and a fearsome race of giants. Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land that they once lost. "Are you ready? Fee, fi, fo, fum. Onward and downward," yells General Fallon as the giants descend the beanstalk.
Fighting for a kingdom and its people and the love of the brave princess (played by fresh faced Eleanor Tomlinson). Jack comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend. And gets the chance to become a legend himself.
Joining Jack are Ian McShane as benevolent King Brahmwell and Ewan McGregor as noble knight Elmont. Reprising his dead pan Obi-Wan-Kenobi performance from Star Wars, McGregor once again struggles to convince south of the border. Why can't Scotsmen do English accents?
In fact, why can't Scottish actors do any other accents at all? Sean Connery anyone? Fellow Trainspotting co-star Ewen Bremner as Wicke fairs no better with his 'wick' English accent so decides instead to focus on a series of ridiculous faces.
Delighting in the role of the buck teethed pantomime villain is Stanley Tucci as Roderick. A wonderfully wicked creation, part Peter Sellers, part Terry Thomas. "You thought you were the hero of his story, don't you?" Roderick ruefully tells Elmont "We all think that."
But full credit here must go to director Bryan Singer who returns to the fine form of X-Men, Apt Pupil and The Usual Suspects. Jack The Giant Slayer is a perfectly paced, witty, rousing adventure. If you take the kids, it's sure to be a happy ending.
Jack The Giant Slayer (Cert 12a) opens on Friday 22nd March.