I KILL GIANTS is based on a critically acclaimed graphic novel published back in 2008. The screenplay was written by the comic’s writer, Joe Kelly, whose work has stretched into Marvel properties, BEN 10 and the BIG HERO 6 TV series. So I’m a little uncertain about what went wrong in the creative process because of how mundane I KILL GIANTS is at times with a twist ending you’ll see at the beginning of the movie, that is if you’ve ever seen WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE or A MONSTER CALLS.
Barbara (Wolfe) spends her days crafting traps and weapons to combat, what she believes to be, giants from another world. They haven’t attacked yet, but she suspects they’re just on the horizon, ready to invade and destroy her livelihood and the town she lives in. Her vivid imagination stems from playing a little too much Dungeons and Dragons. Although we rarely see her interact with her siblings in a non-combative way or any friends, so I’m curious as to whom she is playing the tabletop role playing game with.
A new girl at school, Sophia (Sydney Wade), takes interest in the peculiar Barbara. Barbara is hesitant to befriend the new girl from Leeds, but openly shows Sophia her monster traps and talks about the imaginary creatures that only she can see. Most of these creatures are heavy foreshadowing or themes to the unspoken unfortunateness happening in Barbara’s life. That stuff is sometimes interesting if you’re aware of what the movie is building to. If you’re actually expecting the giants, monsters and shadows to be real, you’re watching the wrong movie.
Even though I understood what was transpiring on screen, I was a little disappointed at how much the film drags and beats viewers over the head with visual allegories. Maybe it’s because a test audience was befuddled. It doesn’t help that Barbara isn’t the most relatable character because of her continual awkwardness that isn’t likable or enjoyable, but instead comes off a little mean.
She also attempts to keep the one person that’s trying to understand her, Sophia, at arm’s length of her life. Sophia makes way more attempts at befriending Barbara than any rational person should after being ditched, hit and avoided. I guess it’s because Sophia is also a relative outsider, but the film never really hints at that. There’s also nothing that really shows the audience why Sophia originally gravitates towards Barbara. They do seem to be a good fit in terms of friendship, and I wish the movie had spent a little more time building that companionship.
The acting is decent for what it is. The child actors are believable when bullying or sorrow comes up. Wolfe, who I don’t remember in THE CONJURING 2 or KEANU, gives an incredible performance. At her age and with this performance, she should have a lot more meatier roles heading her way. I KILL GIANTS is at least trying to do some good, but its target audience may not get it. This is a film about growth in the face of perseverance and opening yourself up to others. A tween audience may have eaten up that message, if the movie was in better hands. Outside that demographic, I KILL GIANTS offers nothing of sustenance.
Video: (1080p HD Widescreen 2:39:1) It’s a visually wonderful film and it always impresses me how good CGI can be on small budget films. It all comes through clearly on this blu-ray.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1) There were no problems with the audio.
The Making of I KILL GIANTS (5:39): The cast and crew talk about what it was like to work on set. We don’t really learn about the creative process.
Anatomy of a Scene (4:52): This feature is about one of the battles between Barbara and a “giant.”
I KILL GIANTS Graphic Novel: Chapter 1: From what is shown in Chapter 1, this is based on a visually impressive comic, but you don’t really get the feel of where it went wrong in the writing process.