I know I run the risk of stating the obvious here. Gulliver’s Travels with Jack Black does not deliver the messages in the book. It’s obvious because most reviews show that most people aren’t expecting it to. Still, even those who expected your typical Jack Black movie are giving it a 6/10 or less. That’s about what I think of the movie. It focuses on CGI instead of the human perspectives that shine in the original written work.
The film was directed by Rob Letterman (Shark Tale, Monsters vs Aliens …). His work on this film marks a departure from animation and I don’t think he ever leaves the gate. It plays more like a wild-eyed cartoon than an intelligent comedy. He spent more time directing tiny cannonballs into Jack Black’s CGI tummy and then flexing them back at the little people than he did making sense of anything in the original story. That’s a shame.
The 2010 movie is, in a nutshell, about Lemuel Gulliver, Jack Black, who is basically a loser clerk in the mailroom of a newspaper. The beginning of the movie shows laboriously how Gulliver will never amount to anything beyond the mail room. Amanda Peet plays Darcy Silverman, a professional byline writer who Gulliver seeks to impress through lying and plagiarism. Bear in mind, none of this has anything to do with the original Gulliver’s Travels.
Gulliver ends up being assigned his first big correspondent trip to the Bermuda Triangle. There, he has encounters with small people. Really small. In the book, this is used as a metaphor to show how perspectives can change when our size changes. In this movie, it’s just crazy antics with miniature and giant plastic devices. It was sort of cool when they used a giant iPhone, but not cool enough to stop my yawns.
Other stars in the film include Emily Blunt, Jason Segel, and Billy Connolly. If you like to see these actors whether the script and acting is good or bad, go see Gulliver’s Travels. If you are hoping to see a side-splitting comedy that uses intellectualism to tickle your funny bone, you’ll wind up empty after this one. Do yourself a favor and make a gamble on Tron instead. I wish I would have.