A forgotten Ewan McGregor fantasy film is killing on streaming

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Ewan McGregor may have played a fan-favorite Jedi Knight, but this fantasy film has him playing a very different character.

By Nathan Kamal | Posted

Ewan McGregor finally reprized the role of Obi-Wan Kenobi in a self-titled Disney+ series this year, after decades of being considered pretty much the best thing about the George Lucas-directed Star Wars prequel. Once again we got to see Ewan McGregor swinging a sword (albeit of the laser variety) and we got to see him being such an elderly and uncertain dashing knight of the Jedi variety. However, between Revenge of the Sith in 2005 and Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ewan McGregor starred in Another Kind of Fantasy Film: 2013 Jack the giant slayer. Although it flopped at the box office and received mixed reviews at best, the film is currently in the top ten most streamed films on HBO Max, which is an unexpected resurgence for a film.

Jack the giant slayer stars Ewan McGregor as Elmont, Captain of the King’s Guard in the Kingdom of Cloister, a distant and ancient land. Jack himself is played by Nicholas Hoult and is a young and honest farm boy, who is first seen in the film as a young boy being told the legend of a battle long ago against giants. formidable. It seems that these giants came from a mysterious realm in the sky and invaded the cloister, until they were turned back by King Erik and his magic crown. The latest king in the present day is Ian McShane (wearing large golden armour), who plans to marry his adventurous daughter Isabelle (Eleanor Tomlinson) to Lord Roderick (Stanley Tucci). Although Tucci basically exudes malevolence from every pore and distrusts Ewan McGregor and everyone in the world, the otherwise intelligent Ian McShane has complete faith in him.

Ewan McGregor

Nicholas Hoult, being noble and kind-hearted, trades the horse he was supposed to sell to try and save his family’s farm for a handful of beans from a desperate monk. As one might guess, the beans turn out to be magical, they grow a huge bean stalk to pierce the clouds themselves, and there are giants up there. Wicked and evil giants, who yearn for revenge for their defeat long ago. Eleanor Tomlinson finds herself stranded in the Realm of the Giants, Ewan McGregor is tasked with bringing her back, Nicholas Hoult and Stanley Tucci accompany her (along with a knight played by a strangely cast Eddie Marsan), and more people than you know think. home movie are eaten alive.

Jack and the Giant Slayer is a very strange movie, but that doesn’t make it an interesting movie. It is largely a combination of elements from the fairy tales “Jack the Giant Killer” and “Jack and the Beanstalk”, both of which are hundreds of years old and of uncertain origin. On the other hand, this particular Ewan McGregor film was written by Darren Lemke, Christopher McQuarrie and Dan Studney, from a story by Lemke and David Dobkin. Most Hollywood movies have more people working on the script than are acknowledged in the credits, but the more credits there are, usually the more complicated things get behind the scenes. Apparently director Bryan Singer was interested in creating a darker, more adult-oriented version of the fairy tale, while New Line Cinema wanted a more family-friendly PG-13 story. The difference seems to have been split and, as usually happens, being neither hot nor cold ends up giving you a lukewarm product.

Ewan McGregor

There are sometimes elements of a more interesting film in Jack the giant slayer. Ewan McGregor is cast against type as a strong-jawed action star type; while he can largely pull it off, there’s something a little odd about seeing him play something from a benevolent Gaston of Beauty and the beast. Periodically there are brief beats that feel like the idea of ​​this sort of hero is being gently mocked, but nothing substantial. Even weirder than Ewan McGregor’s casting is the film’s extended ending, which reveals that over centuries, if not millennia, the crown of control of the giants has become the crown of St. Edward, the ancestral jewel of the British Royal Family currently on display at the Tower of London. Why anyone involved with the film felt it necessary to top off this fantasy story in which Ewan McGregor stabs Stanley Tucci in the foot with a dagger by hinting that Prince Charles can control giants is anyone’s guess.

Jack the giant slayer reportedly lost up to $50 million for New Line Cinema and currently owns 52% on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite the amount of skill and technical skill involved (except for the giants opening animation, which is so bad you have to believe it to be seen), Jack the giant slayer is a weird, crippled movie on every level. But still, it’s climbing the HBO Max beanstalk if you want to see it.

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