Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
Mary F. Pols,
The movie feels so much like a video game that your fingers instinctively itch to do something, though a Jack video game isn't one we'd really want to play.
Simply in terms of efficient storytelling, clear logistics and consistent viewer engagement, Jack is markedly superior to the recent "Hobbit."
New York Times:
This finally is just a digitally souped-up, one-dimensional take on "Jack and the Beanstalk," capped by the kind of interminable blowout that makes many big-studio entertainments feel as long as the last Oscars.
Wall Street Journal:
Jack's problem is that he's a commoner, but the movie's problem is that its script is commoner still, an enchantment-free pretext for animated action, straight-ahead storytelling and ersatz romance.
There's more to this Jack and the Beanstalk adaptation than Fee-fi-fo-fum.
It's stuck in a big-budget-movie middle ground - not quite thrilling enough to be an action movie, not quite funny enough for a comedy - and, once you've pondered the impressive size of the beanstalk, there's not much else there.
The film spends a great deal of its focus on fights that stretch out to Lord Of The Rings length, but without LOTR-level effects or panache.
If you thought the tale ended when Jack clambered back down from the skies, then you haven't given it as much thought as Singer.
By the time the giants have descended the beanstalk and laid siege to the king's castle, and the boiling oil comes out with the flaming arrows and the flying flaming trees, it's like: Enough already.
Jack the Giant Slayer is slight, but consistently amusing.
Christian Science Monitor:
Not awful, not wonderful, Jack the Giant Slayer is a midrange fairy tale epic that's a lot more ho-hum than fee-fi-fo-fum.
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com:
Unlike Peter Jackson with the overstuffed The Hobbit,[director Bryan]Singer shies away from the epic and settles for entertaining. Sometimes that's more than enough.
The director, Bryan Singer, works more anonymously here than he did in the X-Men films. Jack the Giant Slayer feels like it could have been made by anyone.
[M]ay get you habitually reaching for your PS3 controller to jab the cut-scene skipping "X" button
Forget that Giant Slayer feels photocopied and is entirely unnecessary. It's just not exciting.
Los Angeles Times:
There may never have been a Jack tale that delivered so little pleasure for so many dollars as what we have here.
San Jose Mercury News:
This grotesque world is imaginatively, magically rendered with heavy stone architecture and a dreary lack of adornment. It's such an intriguing place that you wouldn't mind staying a bit longer.
"Jack the Giant Slayer" is the kind of old-fashioned, entertaining fantasy-adventure you once saw regularly in theaters.
At its heart, the film is just a simple fairy tale, an epic reduced to an engaging adventure of a bedtime story.
New York Post:
This digitally tricked-out fairy tale makes for a reasonably engaging kids' fantasy, but at best we're talking about a junior varsity "Lord of the Rings."
It's fast paced, energetic, and enormously likeable.
The action is a little too intense for very young children. But for everyone else, including cynical grown-up critics who didn't think they'd ever give a Fee, a Fi, a Fo or a Fum about this movie, it's a terrific adventure.
Jack the Giant Slayer proves the axiom "If you can't make it good, make it 3D."
San Francisco Chronicle:
What's the point of making a movie with a 9-year-old boy's sensibility, then including just enough violence to garner a PG-13 rating?
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
It feels like a film made by a committee, for a demographic rather than an audience. It's a tale full of sound and fury (and flying bodies) signifying nothing.
Globe and Mail:
While it's fine for a director to explore his childhood inspirations, you hope he would bring something a bit more personal to it.
Although it often feels there's more of mechanics than the muse keeping Jack the Giant Slayer going, this sprightly fairy tale reworking is full of beans, smartly written and packs plenty of fun.
A mash-up of old-school heroism, pantomime villainy, starstruck lovers and post-'Shrek' archness, it's more exhausting than exhilarating.
Fee-fi-fo-fum, this fairy-tale retread is pretty dumb.
Singer evokes another era of fantasy filmmaking when the illusions before our eyes were created in an artist's studio rather than a computer lab. It's more Jason and the Argonauts than Shia and the Transformers.
New York Magazine/Vulture:
It's fast, rousing, and blessedly brief - under two hours instead of, say, nine in three bladder-straining installments.
"Jack" seems designed to appeal to a very narrow, and possibly illusory, demographic: the mature moppet.