GULLIVER'S TRAVELS (Rob Letterman)
The jokes are pretty funny, if you are easy to please like me. Yes the jokes are lowbrow humor and trying-to-be-hip, but they are funny. I laughed out loud several times.
The story of this ultra modern, totally bastardized, has-that-NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM-feel retelling of Jonathan Swift's famous classic is another topic for discussion. Bombarded with hypercommercialism (including a face time for Fox's blockbuster films), a penchant for the song and dance and just about any cliche you can think of, GULLIVER'S TRAVELS fails to rise above its mediocre being simply because it relies on everyone kidding around. While seeing Emily Blunt and Billy Connolly and Chris O'Dowd in hijinks puts a smile to your face, the overall impact of the sloppy script makes the experience less enjoyable.
So the filmmakers rely on eye-popping visuals and Jack Black's charisma. There goes the formula.
Stop me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that red robot resemble the alien from MONSTERS VS ALIENS (which was also directed by Rob Letterman), the one which was greeted by the U.S. president?
GULLIVER'S TRAVELS caters specifically to the young adolescent crowd, who can easily be manipulated by the advent of 3-D, toilet humor, and pop culture references (Guitar Hero, anyone?) It clearly states who it's for, and for that we cannot blame the movie for being clear. The film maintains to be funny because of the clash of big and small, and more importantly, the cultural differences. You can always find something funny when different ideas, people, scenarios collide, and GULLIVER'S TRAVELS capitalizes on that, yet if you're just going to rape your movie with Hollywood cliches, then you lose focus, rendering the film a sad output in the end.
This is better than Jack Black's last film, the awful YEAR ONE (which must be in the cinematic textbook of fiasco), if that's any consolation.