Loosely based on the classic tale by Jonathan Swift, this Jack Black vehicle bears little resemblance to the original novel, as you might imagine. Instead, it uses the premise as a backdrop for a series of comedy set pieces.
One of the best ways to judge a film like this is to tally the number of moments that make you cringe. And here, there are actually very few, despite the potential cringeworthiness posed by the casting of British comedians James Corden and Catherine Tate. In fact, the British supporting cast adds much to this film, in particular Chris O’ Dowd who makes an appealing spoilt child-like baddie, and Emily Blunt, whose princess character is a cut above other roles like this. She is feisty, independent and funny – and she knows what she wants. Blunt plays it with relish, while Billy Connolly makes a welcome addition as the king.
The biggest criticism is reserved for the bizarre inclusion of Brobdingnag – the land of the oversized people. The scenes here are so brief that the whole episode would be better excluded entirely. It has little bearing on the rest of the plot, although it does provide one of the film’s funniest moments, involving Black dressed in dolls’ clothes and a toy soldier…
In a film that sees humour in a giant Jack Black urinating on a miniature palace and a teeny weeny Billy Connolly, you know the level of comedy to expect but ultimately, Gulliver’s Travels is a relatively entertaining family movie, ideal for the Christmas holidays.