I heard about this movie briefly earlier in the year – Jack Black as Gulliver in Gulliver’s Travels. He has been in quieter, more contemplative roles before and at first glance, I thought this could be one of those films. Then I saw the poster.
|20th Century Fox|
It was then I knew that this wasn’t going to be a thoughtful representation of the original books. The trailer itself then wasn’t a surprise, but it was a disappointment.
The thing is, I like Jack Black. Tenacious D (the music, the series and even the movie) is great and High Fidelity is still one of my favorite films. Plus, the cast includes Chris O’Dowd, who is amazing in BBC’s The IT Crowd. But Gulliver’s Travels looks like more shlock in a crowded room of more shlock. They took a novel that looked critically on Western Civilization and made a really stupid movie.
I know there is a place for funny-in-a-stupid-way films, but why do there have to be so many made for children? And why did they have to rip off a classic, respected novel? In the last few year, we’ve gotten Toy Story 3, Up, Ponyo, The Secret of Kells and recently, Tangled. Smart kids movies are not only possible, but also successful. And bonus, those films will help teach a new generation the importance of great storytelling.
Moral of the day: Make more good films for children, Hollywood!