Review: Gulliver's Travels
|Starring||Jack Black, Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, Catherine Tate, Chris O'Dowd, James Cordon|
|Release||25 DEC (US) 26 DEC (UK) Certificate PG|
If you haven't guessed already, Gulliver 2010 is the loosest of adaptations. Whilst Swift's novel was a satirical look at human nature which parodied various travellers' tales, this reinvention is re-jigged as a 3D holiday movie and hangs off Jack Black's usual School Of Rock Shtick. So expect laziness, obnoxiousness and a tendency to say 'Awesome'. (*yawns*)
In an effort to impress travel editor Darcy (Amanda Peet), magazine mailroom guy Lemuel Gulliver (Jack Black), aided by some plagiarised work courtesy of TimeOut, agrees to take an assignment to investigate the mysterious Bermuda Triangle. But after getting caught in a storm while at sea, Gulliver wakes up in Lilliput, a charming, picturesque little kingdom populated by two-inch tall British television personalities.
Being a big man in a small town, Black lords over proceedings in his usual, over-enthusiastic manner. If you like that, fine, but if his rock-horned man-child persona grates on you, then you're in for a long 90 minutes. This is Black's show, with everyone else in danger of being trodden on by his giant, hoofing Converse.
Jason Segel, with his convincing British accent, and Emily Blunt's clichéd Princess manage to put up a decent fight with Black for screen time. Chris O'Dowd's dastardly Army General actually is lucky enough to smack Gulliver with the help of the aforementioned Transformer, but he's merely acting out what we're all thinking.
However, it's Billy Connolly and Catherine Tate that suffer the most, getting pushed aside with little to do. Except from a rather amusing chat with O'Dowd, Connolly is barely required, whilst Tate's well-stacked chest gets a bigger part than she does.
So with underwritten roles, unashamed product placement, pointless 3D stuck on as an afterthought, lazy gags, an embarrassing song and dance number, a rushed ending, plenty of plot holes and unanswered questions, this re-imagining really doesn't do Swift's novel any favours - as if it was ever going to.