2/3/11

GULLIVER'S TRAVELS - REVIEW


As Jonathan Swift uncomfortably rolls around in his grave, Jack Black brings us this loose (and I mean LOOSE) adaptation of Gulliver's Travels along with one of the most unnecessary all-star cast since the original Casino Royale.

Story-wise, this is all set in modern day with Black's mail room guy making his way to the Bermuda Triangle and ending up in Lilliput where Chris O'Dowd's villain captures him. But after saving the King (Billy Connolly) with his piss, he becomes a national treasure. And instead of making realizations about his own society, like the original story would have it, he uses Lilliput as his own personal toys and everyone seems Ok with that.

There's a lot of things wrong with Gulliver's Travels: the story is slight, the whole thing is barely amusing, the effects work but are unimpressive, the cast is underused, Black tries too hard and, worst of all, there are so many plot holes I can't even name them all. Gulliver's phone has unlimited power? He pulls his shorts down COMPLETELY when he pees (who does that?)? The Lilliputians can build anything but they can't build him a boat straight away? They build a giant, super advanced Transformer with some robot book Gulliver had? What? We're meant to assume Avatar exists, Kiss exists, Guitar Hero exists...but Jonathan Swift's novel doesn't? Oh, and EVERYONE'S OK WITH BEING TREATED LIKE SOME FAT MORON'S PERSONAL TOY COLLECTION!!!

Then there's the cast: Connolly and Catherine Tate barely exist, James Corden's presence is pain incarnate, Amanda Peet is bland and annoying and Emily Blunt actually says "Boosh!". To be fair Blunt's naive Princess was pretty fun early on at least. Jason Segel makes a decent harmless buddy to Gulliver but the writing is so awful he barely exists either. Only Chris O'Dowd is genuinely fun and does really well as the clueless villain. Oh and the final "War, What is It Good For?" rendition: HORRENDOUS.

ONE scene is genuinely funny, when Gulliver gets stuck in a psychotic little girl's dollhouse, I can't remember many other equally entertaining moments. This is one of Black's worst efforts (I prefer Envy) but kids might enjoy it...the poor fools...

I suggest Ted Danson's TV Movie Gulliver's Travels instead. At least it wasn't made by complete Yahoos!

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