December 25, 2010
Review - " Gulliver's Travels " - (in theaters) By Roland Hansen
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Directed by: Rob Letterman
Starring: Jack Black, Amanda Peet, Jason Segal, Emily Blunt, Chris O'Dowd,
Gulliver's Travels is a comedy adventure film loosely based on a 18th-
century fantasy novel of the same name. All I can say is that this new spin-
off of the classic Gulliver's Travels is an entertaining voyage amidst a
seemingly deadly rapids of critics negative reviews.
Lemuel Gulliver (Jack Black) has been working in the mailroom of a big
publishing company in Manhattan, New York for ten years. He has a crush
for the editor for travel stories Darcy Silverman (Amanda Peet) and
unintentionally applies for a travel writing job when he tries to ask her out on
a date. Through cut and paste from websites like Frommers and Time Out,
Gulliver manages to impress Darcy and is sent to Bermuda as Darcy knows
a man who knows the secret of the Bermuda Triangle. Gulliver who has
never operated a boat before, take a boat out to find the mysterious
Bermuda Triangle. Gulliver then encounters a heavy storm and ends up
ashore on a beach on the hidden island of Liliput, home to a population of
industrious, yet tiny, people.
Long story cuts short, Gulliver is tied up by the Lilliputians, led by General
Edward (Chris O’Dowd) and is shortly being referred as ‘The Beast’.
However, after saving Princess Mary (Emily Blunt) from the kidnappers and
Lilliput’s King Theodore (Billy Connolly) from a fire by urinating on the
castle, Gulliver is suddenly being regard as Lilliput’s hero.
Sounds too familiar? Well, the trailer has shown us most of the scenes from the movie and as if the movie is not predictable
enough, the movie seems like a parody rather than an adaption. After all, the film makes fun of Star Wars, Titanic, and
Transformers and has a scene where an R2-D2 look-alike robot converts into an ‘Ironman’ look-alike robot. Gulliver's
Travels' visual graphics are okay. With some nice looking CGI effects (e.g. robot controlled by the main antagonist).
Jack Black seems to do much better in films
where he plays a supporting character over
a starring one. ‘School Of Rock‘ was an
exception, but it’s been the only one for him.
The film does not claim that it is a movie that
directly adapts the Jonathan Swift's classic
Gulliver's Travels, so expect the unexpected
as this modern adaptation deviates from its
origin and transforms into something bite size
comedic film that you either hate or love.
Throw Jack Black into the picture and what
you will be getting is just that. Though it would
be very informative and entertaining to watch
a film adaptation that is very close to its classic novel roots, you won't have that opportunity in this movie. A more family
friendly comedy adventure featuring Jack Black's brand of humor.
Black does well as the main character, while Peet gives one of the most likable turns of her career. Supporting them greatly is
Blunt, who is terrific as the princess, and Segel, who gives a great turn as her lovelorn suitor. The love story between humble
peasant Horatio (Jason Segel) and beautiful Princess Mary (Emily Blunt) was sweet and genuine. Peet didn't have much to
do but she's as bright and clear as ever. Blunt had a bit more of a role, and she carried it off well.
Overall, Gulliver’s Travels largely fails as an
adaption but does entertain with its juvenile
humors that will produce some giggles here
and there. It’s like a gigantic Cartman from
South Park but without a foul mouth in a live-
action film. Well, that’s Jack Black, alright.
It's worth a look-see but don't really expect