JACK BLACK AMANDA PEET EMILY BLUNT JASON SEGEL BILLY CONNELLY
There are movies and there are movies that work as nothing but torture devices. Gulliver’s Travels, which is very loosely based on the book and the old miniseries starring Ted Danson, finds it's way to Jack Black, who not only stars as the title character but also produced the movie. It’s nearly insufferable to watch from beginning to end. Not one laugh will escape from you as Black botches joke after joke with his typically humorless routine. Even worse is the appearance of Blunt (The Adjustment Bureau), who up until now has gotten herself cast in mostly respectable projects.
Lemuel Gulliver (Black) is a mail room clerk for a magazine with some big ideas and no ambition. When he finally gets up the nerve to try and impress travel editor Darcy Silverman (Peet), whom he has had a crush on for ages, he is given the chance to write a puff piece in an area in the Bermuda Triangle. Gulliver finds himself warped into a very strange land where the inhabitants are no bigger than his fingernail. At first, he is considered a giant beast and is bound by the army protecting the land of Liliput. Met by the king (Connelly) and his daughter (Blunt), Gulliver tells tall tales of where he came from and quickly changes the medieval town into a modern society.
What’s wrong with this movie is everything. The script is stuck between a cartoon-like story and material that children wouldn’t be interested in; therefore, Gulliver’s Travels has no audience. With a whopping $112 million dollars, this movie, which aimed for holiday box office, came up way short by taking in only $42 million domestically. It was a movie that came and went because no one cared about seeing a giant and unfunny Black try and change a society of little people. The director, Rob Letterman, who has only done animated films up until this point, clearly overestimated his target audience.
Black has been virtually absent from motion pictures since 2008’s Tropic Thunder; besides his Kung Fu Panda voice, the once popular comedic actor has turned into a bore. The biggest problem with this project was the fact that it was green-lit in the first place. Who honestly thought this would work? Besides one “boo-ya” moment from Blunt’s princess character, Gulliver’s Travels is a movie you just crave to see end. While Black is far from finished in Hollywood, let this be a lesson that material can often determine whether or not a movie is good, not the past success of it's star.
Final Thought – Insufferable and lame.
By: Dustin Chase W.
Editor: Michael Woody