Jack Black is back in another movie that features him as a giant man-child (literally). The actor knows his schtick and he rarely strays from that therefore his latest release Gulliver’s Travels is right up his alley. The unnecessary 3D film takes on a classic adventure tale and updates it for a new generation, but according to the latest critic reviews it destroys the source material and is nothing more than an hour and a half of empty jokes and slapstick.
Here’s what critics are saying around the net…
On Jack Black’s Acting:
Black had to perform many scenes in front of a green screen and it shows: he squints, stares and rolls his eyes, as if unsure of where his fellow actors are meant to be. They were probably hiding in a studio broom cupboard, embarrassed at the wooden dialogue they had to deliver. And at having to share the set with James Corden. [The Telegraph]
On Black’s version of Gulliver:
The film turns Swift’s hero into the male comedic mainstay of the day — a schlubby, pop culture-obsessed man-child with no prospects and tics and references where a personality should be. Which is to say: Jack Black. The joke is obvious, and Black has used his maniacal, delusional grin to make it for years: I think I’m way bigger than I am. And yet Gulliver’s journey yields a little more than the basic, bland yuk of a mail-room jockey who can barely look his comely co-worker (Amanda Peet) in the eye becoming a terrifying and potent giant in cargo shorts and Chucks. [Movieline]
Jack Black is uniquely funny, but his Gulliver is the worst kind of Jack Black loser: He plagerizes Frommer’s to get his original travel-writing gig, he claims to be president (with Yoda as his vice-), and he advises Horatio to be aloof with his true love so she’ll think he’s cool. His redemption involves no difficult moral choices other than a single act of bravery. And in the end, he inexplicably gets the girl (Amanda Peet!) while his ambitious co-worker is reduced to mail-room slacker facing Gulliver’s condescension. [Paste Magazine]
I believe the intentions of Rob Letterman and the writers Nicholas Stoller and Joe Stillman were good, but this particular road to hell is a massively uneven one, with misstep after misstep and at the end all we have is an inexplicable song and dance number. There is no definitive adaptation of Swift’s classic novel and while a family-friendly comedy starring Jack Black was never going to delve into the satirical depths of the source material there’s no excuse for this comedy wasteland. The film aims low and fails to meet its potential at every turn. It could have been a lot of fun, but the good time the cast were having on set failed to make the journey back from Lilliput. [HeyUGuys]
The story is so slight — Lilliputian, really — that the clever visual effects continually dominate “Gulliver’s Travels.” Black tugging an armada of Blefuscian ships or simply strolling among the sand-castle-sized buildings of Lilliput are far more interesting to watch than any of the exchanges he and the little people have among themselves. [ABC News]
“Gulliver’s Travels” wastes the talents of Segel, Peet (thanks to “Please Give,” she has the honor of being in one of the year’s best films as well as one of the worst), Blunt, and the exceedingly funny British TV star Catherine Tate, who gets Brobdingnagian servings of nothing to do here. Since he’s playing the villain and spared much of what the script (by Joe Stillman and Nicholas Stoller) considers to be comedy, O’Dowd winds up as the film’s MVP by default. [HitFix]
Will you be seeing Gulliver’s Travels this weekend?