MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: ***(out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Lemuel Gulliver is a slacker who works in the mailroom, secretly crushing on travel editor Darcy. After swindling his way into a travel assignment, he is swept off in the Bermuda Triangle to the land of Lilliput, where the inhabitants are only six inches tall. He is first seen as a beast, then as their protector, though Gulliver soon learns that he cannot fully escape his former life to live in this bizarre fantasy world.
WHAT I LIKED
I still am conflicted with this movie. On one hand, it annoys me, though I attribute much of that to Jack Black’s shtick. On the other hand, I’ve watched it a couple times with my kids, and I see they enjoy the hell out of the movie. This makes it hard to evaluate because it does provide an appropriate and enjoyable entertainment experience for the kids. But yeah, adults aren’t going to like it in the same way.
“Gulliver’s Travels” is a pure kids film, and it retains the satirical nature of the original book, though with a much updated delivery. There’s a certain amount of bizarre respect I have for the movie for recognizing that. Even I thought the crass golden shower sequence in this film was a work of a hack going for the cheap laugh, and then it was pointed out to me that this actually comes from the original story (though I’m not sure it made it’s way into the “Classics Illustrated” comic book adaptation).
Like the “Tarzan” stories, which amounted to nothing more than cheap pulp fiction of the day, “Gulliver’s Travels” has been held up as an untouchable classic and given more reverence than it probably deserves. And so when Jack Black makes a crass, stupid, sometimes incomprehensible film out of it, it’s not that far off base.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
My biggest struggle with “Gulliver’s Travels” is that I’m not a Jack Black fan. I never have been, and I don’t think I ever will be. A little Jack goes a long way, and there’s a lot of Jack in “Gulliver’s Travels.”
While the film retains the satire of the original story, it goes too far with the pop culture references. Sure, they’re funny in small doses, but they’re just laid on so thick here.
Still, ultimately, this film is harmless movie that slides under the heads of most people evaluating it professionally.
The three-disc Blu-ray set also includes a DVD and Digital Copy disc. Special features includes a gag reel, deleted scenes and several short featurettes: “Little and Large,” “Jack Black Thinks Big,” “Gulliver’s Foosball Challenge” and “War Song Dance.”
The Fox Movie Channel also provides several clips including “In Character: Jack Black,” “In Character: Jason Segel,” “World Premiere” and “Life After Film School: Rob Letterman.”
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Kids and hardcore fans of Jack Black.