Big fun in Lilliput
Another Jack Black vehicle, but one he drives so well – the contemporary adaptation of Jonathan Swift’s classic novel about the chap who gets washed up on the land of the tiny people. In the movie, Gulliver is the guy from the mailroom who never expects to ascend to higher office, and is paralysed in his (in)ability to ask out Darcy, the travel editor (Amanda Peet). Fibbing his way to an assignment that sees him shipped off for 3 weeks into the Bermuda Triangle, Gulliver is washed ashore in Lilliput where the natives are quaintly dressed in old-fashioned garb and speak in proper English accents.
Black’s performance is nothing new or special, but his general likeability as something of an everyman, and his passion for all things musical, make him especially watchable as he tricks the Lilliputians into believing he is the President of the Island of Manhattan, betrothed to the beautiful Darcy Silverman. He performs various heroic feats (by means only of his size and girth) and befriends the cast of mainly British actors/comedians – Chris O’Dowd (having graduated from TV’s “The IT Crowd” with distinction) a standout.
Bottom line is, this film isn’t about the complicated story, or the witty script, or the method acting – but somehow it’s a really enjoyable, all-ages, family-friendly gig. From Gulliver’s live-action computer game of the band Kiss, to his coaching Jason Segel’s peasant in the art of wooing Emily Blunt’s princess, amusement abounds, and as the waters carry Gulliver back to his real world, we almost want to be left behind.