“Jack the Giant Slayer”
Rated PG-13: Intense sequences of fantasy action violence, some frightening images and brief language
Running time: 1 hour, 54 minutes
Who’s in it: Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci
What it’s about: After farm boy Jack (Hoult) trades the family horse for some magic beans, he accidentally grows a towering beanstalk that could reignite an ancient war between men and giants. He joins a team of brave knights to climb the beanstalk and rescue a beautiful princess (Tomlinson) from the hungry giants.
Verdict: Except for a few moments thrown in to gain a PG-13 rating, this is an old-fashioned family adventure fantasy along the lines of “Jason and the Argonauts” and “The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad.” Director Bryan Singer (“The X-Men”) plays the material at face value without shrinking from its corny vi! rtues, and the cast charms by playing it straight. The CGI giants are fearsome villains, and visual effects featuring the beanstalk are imaginative. The thrill-packed finale goes on too long, though, which is a symptom of current action movies.