Wednesday, 29 December 2010

REVIEW: Gulliver's Travels

Yes, they called me President the... awesome. You're killing me Jack Black.

Now I haven't read the original Jonathan Swift Gulliver's Travels. But something tells me this isn't the most faithful adaptation, because the movie I just saw doesn't quite fit the description ' Satire of human nature' that Wikipedia tells me it is. Because I just saw a movie where a tiny person disappeared into Jack Black's ass crack and was never seen again. Seriously. Holy shit, 2010 has seen some terrible, terrible films but Gulliver's Travels has got to be up there with the best of them. A thoroughly reprehensible piece of shit, where a movie studio spent 150 million on a series of sight gags. But they're, like, really small and he's really, really big. Plus he's fat so that shit has DOUBLE MEANING. Jonathan Swift can take his satire of human nature and suck on that stuff. They saw the Avatar joke right?

Ergh. Jack Black is not an actor opposed to selling out. He seems to make one odious studio release after another, diluting his persona and appeal a little bit more each time, until we reach this. Where he has at the most hollow and anaesthetized version of himself he has yet to play. Its depressing, because I liked Jack Black once, and theoretically I still do. But this does not help me make my case. Call it his Ace Ventura 2: When Nature Calls. But what is done with Black is somehow less egregious then what is done with Jason Segel, stuck in a half straight-man, half nothing role that just dies on screen, and I refuse to blame Segel for that because I know how funny he can be. Its just this movie has worked very hard at casting funny people and trying its darndest to make them as plain as possible. A misguidedly game Emily Blunt turns up to be the punchbag for a few clueless princess jokes that would have felt tired when the original Shrek came out. I guess Chris O Dowd is the only one to emerge with any credibility, his villain being the only source of any half-chuckles the movie may bleed out of you.

But this is bullshit no mistake, insultingly sanitised with super broad and super obvious reference humour and existing only as a visual experiment, with a super thin and predictable story sketched in on a CGI lunch break. It's just for lack of a more fitting word, awful. It's the kind of film that speaks to the worst of modern film-making, particularly for kids. I can't imagine neither the dumbest kids nor the frattiest adults finding anything to enjoy in this almost pathetic excuse for a film.

Rating: 2/10

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