The vast majority of fantasy/comic book/ superhero fi lms these days seem to be aimed squarely at adults. There aren't many that have children as the target demographic (Thor is one exception), so it's nice to see a reasonably wellmade fi lm like Jack the Giant Slayer set its sights squarely on 8-13 year old boys.
Nicholas Hoult (Warm Bodies, About a Boy) plays Jack. He unwittingly plants the seeds for the beanstalk, which results in a princess (Eleanor Tomlinson) being trapped in the realm of man-eating giants (the scariest of which is voiced by Bill Nighy). There's also a treacherous nobleman (Stanley Tucci) and other standard fantasy trappings.
The fi lm isn't groundbreaking, but for most of its running time, it's agreeable, old-fashioned fun. It doesn't have the postmodern winking at the audience or self-important dreariness of many recent fantasy fi lms. There's an odd, unnecessary fi nal scene, but overall the fi lm works. It doesn't reach the heights of director Bryan Singer's fi rst two X-Men fi lms, but it's good for dads looking to take their sons to a fi lm they can both enjoy.