Rated: PG Reviewed by: Frank Release date: December 22, 2010 Released by: Twentieth Century Fox
Gulliver's Travels is not what we expect as a typical Jack Black film he's a literary character here and even with adjustments to the story line he plays the character as it is on paper, but his way.
Given Black's over the top comic performances I suspect he would have been more fun in Brobdingnag where Gulliver would be smaller than everyone rather than Lilliput where Black ends up. He uses his size to his advantage as he saves the little ones including the princess (Emily Blunt) by blowing back cannon balls from his large belly at the attacking fleet and destroying their power to capture Gulliver's adopted allies the Lilliputians.
For kids there are a couple of bathroom jokes which will get the giggling going and the story works well enough but not great.
Amanda Peet plays Darcy Silverman a travel editor where Gulliver works before his trip to Lilliput. Gulliver has eyes for her but fears rejection and doesn't ask her out. When an opportunity to write a travel column comes up he convinces her to allow him to work on the project. His work is good but copied.
As in most of this quality of film, it all works out in the end mostly because of what he learns during his stay in the little world. Even when he is Gulliver, Jack Black is Jack Black and we look for him to shine through the character. His large stomach and stubby stature dominate his presence even when he is 10 to 12 times larger than the Lilliputians. He bumbles and cheats when he's just a guy in the mail room but during his adventure his stature rises and so does his strength and commitment to help his new little friends.
If Gulliver's Travels 2010 isn't a great film one can fall back on the cartoon features that plays before the film. It's about wonderful little Scrat in Scrat's Continental Crack-Up in which the Ice Age character is willing to destroy the Earth to save that special nut.
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