Premiering this last Saturday on HBO was 2010’s “Gulliver’s Travels”, starring Jack Black, Emily Blunt, Jason Segel Amanda Peet and Chris O’Dowd.
Did you ever prejudge a movie, only to find out you were wrong?
You know, you see the trailers and the commercials or you read the reviews, and you think, “This movie looks terrible,” but then when you actually watch it you find yourself liking it and you have to admit it’s not all that bad?
Well, you don’t have to worry about that here, “Gulliver’s Travels” is every bit the steaming pile of crap you imagine it is.
Jack Black stars as a mailroom clerk who fibs his way into a travel writing assignment while trying to impress the travel editor at the publication he works for. Whilst on this assignment (boating solo through the Bermuda Triangle), he runs into a “Perfect Storm” level storm, and his boat gets caught in an enormous water spout. When he’s awakened, he finds himself roped down on a beach, by Lilliputians – miniature people – a la the classic tale.
Unfortunately, that’s the only time the word “Classic” should be used in conjunction with this movie.
Once he lands in Lilliput, Gulliver quickly becomes a hero by urinating a giant stream of urine on a fire that threatened the life of the King. Yup, you heard me. Of course, he promptly becomes their hero, and a celebrated figure in the realm. Of course, he feeds that adulation by regaling the Lilliputians with exaggerated tales of his exploits, stolen from famous movies. The tiny people rebuild their culture around his BS, but of course, eventually the truth comes out, and Gulliver is forced to prove his worth for real.
This movie is brimming with stilted performances, horribly pathetic attempts at comedy, and G rated lame level action sequences. It’s laden with pop culture references it doesn’t deserve to use. This movie is not worthy to use a Kiss song, or include Star Wars references so prominently.
Jack Black is in Jack Black mode here. Doing all of the schtick you’ve come to know
and love, rocking back and forth from foot to foot in that side to side hopping he calls dancing, playing air guitar, “winging it” by making up nonsense stories… He even gets to “sing”. The funny thing is, you can tell his heart isn’t in it. Normally, I’d call such a performance “mailing it in”, but it was so obvious he had no enthusiasm for the role, I wonder what the true story of how he got involved with this dung pile is. Watching him in this movie, I felt as if someone had a gun trained on him and was telling him, “Be funny, Clown…”