As fate would have it, I happened to end up watching two movies starring Nicholas Hoult, better known for his character “Beast” in the X-Men First Class movies. Pretty much back-to-back, I ended catching “Jack The Giant Killer” and “Warm Bodies” where he played “Jack” and “R” respectively. So, I’ll tackle them from least to pleased.
Jack the Giant Killer (2013)
Using my favorite ‘hood colloquialism: Hot garbage. This was a dumb film almost from the start. Now don’t get me wrong, this movie was never made to be played for or taken seriously, but it fell into the same trap I believe The Brothers Grimm (2005) nose-dived into – it lacked any depth and tried to confuse you with lots of action and CGI to throw you off the steaming pile of poo it was. I surmise that it stunk up the joint with its pitiful attempt at franchising. If there was one saving grace, it was that the most interesting characters in the movie weren’t the humans at all, but the two-headed giant clan leader, Fallon, and the bushy-headed, broad-browed, Fumm. In just their relatively short stints on the screen; they had more depth and soul in their machinations than just about any character in the film. I will also give credit to Ewan McGregor (Elmont) who played a humorous straight-man/cavalier knight. It wasn’t until the end credits rolled that I realized that my additional distaste for the movie lay at the hands of favorite Director/fecal receptor, Bryan Singer. This is one franchise he pretty much killed.
On THAT note….
Warm Bodies (2013)
There’s a part of me that loves this movie a lot, but a nagging part that something is missing from this movie as well. I haven’t quite put my finger on what’s missing, but the story never felt quite complete at the end. I’m guessing it’s because I really wanted to understand some of the physiology that lead to the genesis of his bubbling emotions and ultimately the spark of revolution at the end of the film. With that said though, this movie surprised me by the very thing that Jack the Giant Killer lacked – its heart. This odd love story about a stereotypical, brain-eating zombie who falls in love a girl, but who also happens to have just eaten her boyfriend was pretty cute, charming and funny in its own dark way. Okay – I’m just going to let you sit with that thought for a moment.
This grisly, yet whimsical modern-day fairy tale didn’t get enough love from folks like me or the general audience. Coming on the heels of the zombie craze started by shows like AMC’s “The Walking Dead” or even more recently, Syfy’s “Z Nation”, this was one for the young, macabre and lovers at heart.