27 November 2011

Movies: Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels (2010) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1320261/

Family-friendly comedy

If you're expecting a film adaptation of Jonathan Swift's classic 1726 satire you're in for disappointment. If you're expecting a modernized adaptation of the same, again, sorry. If you're expecting a Jack Black movie starring Jack Black being Jack Black, you got it right on the nose.

Gulliver (Jack Black) works in a newspaper mail room, has worked there for 10 years, has no ambition but to show up to work every day and play Guitar Hero between cart runs around the building. And he has a crush on travel editor Darcy. When a new mailroom hire is promoted to Gulliver's boss after one day, Gulliver finally gets enough courage up to ask Darcy out, but fails and volunteers to write a travel story about the Bermuda Triangle. He copies travel stories from various travel guides to pad a 'portfolio' to qualify for the assignment, then heads down to pilot a rental boat into the Triangle. Of course a mysterious waterspout picks up his boat and drops him off in Lilliput. A land of people that are 1 to 2 inches tall by our measure.  And there's shenanigans.

As mentioned before, Jack Black as Gulliver. Amanda Peet as Darcy. Billy Connolly as the Lilliputian king, Emily Blunt as the Princess, Jason Segel as Gulliver's new best friend Horatio.
Mostly effective to slightly less than effective CG integration of actors of various dimensions. Sometimes the ratios seem off.

It's a dumb movie, much as I expected it would be. But it is entertaining too. Probably a funny movie for the kids. I mean, what do they know? They don't have the expectations adults have when it comes to entertainment.
Yes they do hit on some aspects of Jonathan Swift's stories, but for the most part it is what you imagine it would be when you take an 18th century classic, ignore its satirical core, modernize it to 20th and 21st century pop culture references (yes, both), put Jack Black as the central character and let him loose.  It isn't Jack Black's best film either, just sortof there.
But I kinda liked the film anyhow, even though it wasn't a surprise on any level. I expected dumb but entertaining, that's what happened. It made a decent Saturday afternoon time waster film and didn't make me angry for having watched it by the end. So that's good.

No comments:

Post a Comment