Jack Black has managed to bring his energy and infectious enthusiasm to many movies and 'Gulliver's Travels' is no different. With a strong cast and an age-old tale behind director Rob Letterman, this film should have been epic. Yet when you look past all the Hollywood effects and the insanely altered storyline, you are left with a pretty bare film. Luckily, Black saves the day once again with his dry wit and ability to keep you glued to the screen.
He plays Gulliver, a mail room worker who is madly in love with travel editor Darcy (Peet). After a talking down from a man half his age, Gulliver finally decides to pluck up the courage to ask her out. However, before he gets the chance to do it, she mistakes his advances as an application to write a travel piece. Before he knows it, Gulliver is on a boat on his way to explore the Bermuda Triangle.
Anyone with even the slightest knowledge of the original 'Gulliver's Travels' will be pretty sure that there were no references to Times Square and 'Star Wars' in the book. However, this modernisation seems to work. One of the funniest sequences is when Black fools the inhabitants of Lilliput into believing that his life resembles a movie, even convincing them that he died on the Titanic. Although the alterations will anger some 'Gulliver's Travels' fans, the script fits and suits Black perfectly.
While this is not a tedious adventure film - and the kids will thoroughly enjoy it - there could have been more laugh-out-loud moments and adult humour thrown in to entertain the parents. There are some cheap gags but not enough to sustain a 90-minute film. Emily Blunt convinces as the Princess of Lilliput, but is underused. As for the use of 3D, it is unnecessary, and only adds extra cost to the ticket.
Black is his usual eager self, out to impress with his effortless humour. And while he succeeds, it feels like there's something missing here, as Gulliver's time in the mail room is much more amusing than his travels. That shouldn't be the case.
A good film for a post-Christmas family outing, with an entertaining ending and patches of humour.