Review by Vives Anunciacion
Directed by Rob Letterman
This idea went a little too far. May lightning strike those who propose a sequel.
I don’t have anything against modernized adaptations (or ‘interpretations’) per se, except the really nasty ones like this. Honestly I’d be more lenient if the title didn’t bear resemblance to the main character of the original – something like She’s A Man instead of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night which is what it was based from, or 10 Things I Hate About You which was actually The Taming of the Shrew, but told in 1999. And that West Side Story is Romeo and Juliet.
In contrast, Jack Black’s production (he is executive producer) is simply idiotic, the same idiotic idea as that proposal to make a comedic Green Lantern starring Jack Black, long before Ryan Reynolds came into the picture.
Jack Black plays Lemuel Gulliver (same name as the main character in the classic literary piece), a lowly mailman for a publishing house who gets assigned to write a travel piece about the mysterious Bermuda Triangle so he can make a good impression on the travel editor he has a crush on.
He goes, gets swept away by a storm into the teeny tiny island kingdom that is Liliput (or Liliputia, it’s inconsistent.) He pretends to be someone he is not, blah blah blah and in the end, the moral of the story is, to get the girl you want, be honest. Which is totally not what Jonathan Swift’s satire is about, but should be okay had the film been REALLY FUNNY but it is NOT.
Supposedly, Travels to Several Remote Nations of the World written in 1726 was Swift’s rebuttal to the optimistic view of human nature in Robinson’s Crusoe written by Daniel Defoe in 1719. The original Gulliver’s Travels was a parody to the (then) emerging literary format of travelogue and the granddaddy of novels.
At this point, the film techniques in Hollywood are almost beyond reproach, so to that I can say that the effects in Gulliver’s Travels The Movie are pretty good, considering. One thing the movie got correctly that is similar to the books: his fate is reversed when he becomes the Liliputian in the land of giants (Brobdingnag). Toilet humour, green jokes, and endless referrals to Fox franchises Star Wars, X-Men and Avatar will remind people that this movie is about selling toys to kids who are 30 years old who talk with the vocabulary of a college fratman.
And if I may do so bluntly suggest to parents to send their kids to the library and force them to read the books in print and not download them into the Kindle.