"shockingly crass and yet another Jack Black production, another episode of The Jack Black show"
Gulliver's Travels is a family 'comedy' based loosely on the famous Jonathan Swift 1726 novel that poked fun at 18th century travel and society in general, and was mysterious and almost dark in it's satire. None of this however, has been translated into Rob Letterman's modern day twist on this classic tale, of course this was never to be expected in a kid's film, but the result is still shockingly crass and what we are left with is yet another Jack Black production, another episode of The Jack Black show.
Jack Black plays, shock horror, Lemuel Gulliver, another t-shirt wearing, air guitaring, under achieving postal worker in a New York newspaper. Although happy in his lot, Gulliver soon feels the pressure to start stepping up his game when a new employee gets promoted above him in less than a week, and of course, to impress a girl, why else. Darcy Silverman (Amanda Peet), is the travel editor at said newspaper,and in an effort to get her attention, Gulliver confesses his desire to be a travel writer and boasts of all the amazing pieces he's written. Suitably impressed Darcy asks to see an example and so off to Google trots Gulliver and cuts and pastes hundreds of travel articles and passes the whole lot off as his own. It works, and Gulliver is soon sent off on his first assignment about Bermuda. Unfortunately for Gulliver he is soon sucked into a swirling Vortex and awakes on a mysterious beach surrounded by hundreds of two inch tall people in Victorian dress, who have tied this 'Giant' down like an aggressive beast.
This place is called Lilliput, and is ruled by a jolly King Theodore (Billy Connolly) and is joined by his beautiful daughter Princess Mary (Emily Blunt) and his wife played by Catherine Tate. They treat Gulliver with suspicion at first but predictably soon learn to love him, mainly because he lies and tells them stories of his important status back home, and makes the tiny people put on plays depicting his 'life story' which are actually just scenes from Star Wars and Titanic.
As the story moves on, we are forced to watch a self absorbed pantomime starring Jack Black, where the jokes are all pop culture references and American slang, which we are meant to find funny in the face of the stuffy British Victorian people of Lilliput. However the humour just ends up being childish and predictable, not clever enough to entertain the grown ups, but still inevitably lost on the kids. However some of the acting is superb despite the script, notably Emily Blunt, whose dry sense of humour and impeccable comic timing as she purposefully pokes fun at her own character, along with her admirer played by Jason Segal, whose endearing and heartfelt performance stands out as one of the few redeeming parts of the film.
If you're a fan of the Jack Black school of acting, and easily impressed by green screen antics, then this film might actually entertain you, but unless you have children, I wouldn't recommend it.
GULLIVER'S TRAVELS HITS UK CINEMA'S ON THE 26TH DECEMBER 2010.