Despite a hip cast and writers whose credits include "Shrek" and "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," the family comedy "Gulliver's Travels" didn't set sail like Fox had hoped. Based on the timeless Jonathan Swift novel, Jack Black mugs his way through the film's 86 minutes, which supposedly features bad special effects, bad one-liners, and well... bad pretty much everything.
For its debut weekend, "Gulliver's Travels" came in seventh. That's behind the umpteenth weekend for "Tangled," Narnia, and even "Yogi Bear." Yikes. Want to know why Gulliver sank? Let's take a closer look at the movie and the critiques.
Here is what 20th Century Fox says:
"In a modern, 3D family comedy take on the classic tale, Jack Black (star of 'Kung Fu Panda' and 'School of Rock') is Lemuel Gulliver, a lowly mailroom clerk at a New York newspaper. After Gulliver bluffs his way into an assignment writing about the Bermuda Triangle, he goes there only to be transported to an undiscovered land, Lilliput. In this fantastical new world, Gulliver is, at last, a bigger-than-life figure -- in size and ego -- especially after he starts telling tall tales, taking credit for his world’s greatest inventions, and placing himself at the center of its most historic events. Gulliver’s position is enhanced even further when he leads his new friends in a daring battle against their longtime enemies. But when Gulliver loses it all and puts the Lilliputians in peril, he must find a way to undo the damage. Ultimately, Gulliver becomes a true giant among men only when he learns that it’s how big you are on the inside that counts."
Here is what reviewers say:
"The movie was needlessly converted to 3D. The images are not blurry and distracting as some 3D conversions have been, but neither are they terribly impressive, adding nothing but a few extra dollars to the price of a ticket." - David Germain, ABC News
"The script's failings are compounded by the bland visuals. The best that can be said about the CGI is that it is competent, and that at no point was I sat thinking, 'This was done against a blue screen.' But what could've been a visual feast simply isn't. The design of Lilliput is, at best, flat, and no amount of post-production 3D can solve that. The 3D is barely noticeable here. Not for the first time, this is the sort of film where 3D could've given the film a real boost, but instead it feels like an unnecessary excuse to wear 3D glasses, which merely added to the discomfort of the experience." - Pete Dillon-Trenchard, Den of Geek
"Rather than enhancing the dramatic size differences, the addition of 3D merely draws attention to pic's heavy use of greenscreen." - Peter Debruge, Variety