January 4, 2011
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Jack Black is back on the big screen and bigger than ever, pun intended. Here is the inevitable 3-D update of Jonathan Swift’s classic story. But where the original took us to magical lands, this film gives focuses on one.
Black stars as Gulliver, a mailroom worker for The New York Tribune. His life is a dead-end and his crush ignores him. His attempt to ask her out ends up with him having to prove himself as a writer. With the help of an obviously shameful con, he gets the chance to write about Bermuda. On his journey, he ends up in The Bermuda Triangle and ends up in the strange Lilliput where he is hundreds of feet taller than all the other residents. First considered a beast, and then its protector, Gulliver becomes a resident and commander of the Lilliputian Army.
Where the original story had Gulliver explore four vastly different worlds, here the focus is just on the first one. With its PG rating, the film is clearly geared towards children. The family friendly nature does cramp Black’s style a little bit, but the film is mostly an easy going and enjoyable experience. Like when Disney remade Around the World in 80 Days, the execution pales in comparison to the original piece, but the film satisfies the basics. The 3-D conversion doesn’t really enhance the picture. Had the film done more with it, or taken us on all of Gulliver’s Travels, this would have been a lot more exciting. A decent film for the family, 2.5 out 0f 5 stars.