Gulliver is a little man, with big dreams. I suppose those dreams consist of lying his way into the writing assignment of a lifetime…to find the Bermuda triangle. Usually I don’t find frauds so affable but we just can’t help it with Jack Black. He has what Zach Galifanakis doesn’t – the ability to be extremely goofy (like Galifanakis) but not off-putting (unlike Galifanakis) and appeals to audiences all over the world…and apparently Lilliput too.
If you are familiar with Jonathan Swift’s “Gulliver’s Travels,” then about half way through this trailer you realize that we’re probably not going to see any of our hero’s other journeys, like to Brobdingnag, Laputa, Balnibarbi, Luggnagg, or to the Country of the Houyhnhnms (really? Not the Houyhnhnms?!). That’s just fine by me. The first “travel” is the most referenced anyway, and for a reason – it’s the most fun. Just don’t be surprised if the writers borrow from some of the other stories, and drop them here and there throughout the movie.
Black does his usual buffoonery, which probably is the only thing that would endear a giant 12 times the size of your population. He eventually gives his word…again…that he will defend his new found home but I’m sure in the end everyone will learn a lesson about getting along. Oh, yeah…there’s a love story too – one in the real world involving Black and Amanda Peet, and one in Lilliput, that no-doubt mirrors Black’s longing for, and lack of attaining, his dream girl. Gulliver rounds out the cast with Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Billy Connolly, and The State’s Joe Lo Truglio.
So, will it suck?
Nah. Gulliver is a classic story that always pleases. And it’s perfect for Christmas, because parents might enjoy Black’s brand of roguish antics, but not as much as they will love being able to drop off the kids off for a couple of hours for a much needed respite. Kids will love Jack Black - remember seeing Ace Ventura: Pet Detective in the theaters? Grown-ups groaned the same way about Jim Carey’s schtick back then but to us, it was a comic awakening. Sure Black is relying on the same old same old, but it’s still kinda funny, and will be waaaay better than Ted Danson’s go with his 1996 made-for-TV version. Gulliver’s Travels is brought to you by the same director who did Shark Tale and Monsters vs. Aliens and the same studio responsible for Night at the Museum, so you know the jokes and gags will be spot on for the kiddies, and maybe a little humor in there for the adults who take them to see it.