‘I Kill Giants’ Doesn’t Inspire the Way its Built To

by Christian Ramos on March 22, 2018

in Print Reviews,Reviews

 [Rating: Minor Rock Fist Down] 

Every year, it’s as if Hollywood studios still want to capitalize on the success of the Harry Potter franchise by turning some random children’s novel into a movie and every year their hopes dwindle. Look at the poster of I Kill Giants and you will see on the top, “From the producers of Harry Potter”. Let’s just get it out the way, because in no way is this movie as magical or spellbinding as it thinks it is.

I Kill Giants, based on the graphic novel of the same name and directed by Anders Walter and produced in part by Chris Columbus (again, Harry Potter), tells the story of Barbara Thorson (Madison Wolfe of The Conjuring 2), a troubled young girl whose only solace is preparing herself for an inevitable giant attack. She goes around wearing rabbit ears on her head much like Louise from Bob’s Burgers and carries with her homemade devices to spot the giants of the world. Some of the giants are in her own forest-like backyard, and they threaten to destroy humanity. She’s mocked, belittled, and humiliated in school many times to the point that things eventually get violent.  Barbara is guided by new friend Sophia (Sydney Wade) and school counselor Mrs. Molle (Zoe Saldana), who wants Barbara to open up to her and understand why she is convinced giants are real.

It is hard to get a grip on this movie, and one of the main problems in this is Barbara herself. She is a troubled individual, but the movie does nothing to help you rally to her side and support or defend her in any way. The moments of bullying she faces are about the only time you want to help her ,but other than that she’s staunch on her opinions of giants, and even harms the bond she created with Sophia – the only classmate who stands by her side at times. There is something going on with Barbara that the movie decides to hold back. It makes you wait again and again for some sort of realization on why Barbara is afraid, and why one of the only “normal” things she’ll talk about is baseball from decades ago.

This movie was a lot better when it was called A Monster Calls, a very similar story released last year. The two films share a common bond in that the two main characters are lost in this world with nobody to help them except the monsters around them. I believe there are word-for-word similarities in the stories, and that irked me a bit. Even in the climax of I Kill Giants when we realize what is with Barbara’s hidden family situation, it feels underwhelming. There is so much buildup that by the time all is said and done and Barbara goes out to actually face the giant she has long feared, you’re relieved the movie is almost over.

The poster of this movie looks overall pretty dang incredible. I think it would have been a better adaptation as an animated feature in the style of anime or other non-2D forms that studios make these days. It is a lot of story to take in and to feel for Barbara. Nobody in the cast really excels to give an incredible performance and that’s disappointing. I like a story with kids discovering a different side of themselves, but this one is just a , giant derivative letdown.

Christian Ramos is a recent graduate of KU with a B.A. in Film & Media Studies. When he’s not watching movies, he likes to brag about the pointless Oscar trivia he knows, remembers that time he dressed as Steven Spielberg for Halloween and shows off his tweet that Julianne Moore liked.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 AnswerChica March 24, 2018 at 2:56 pm

You must be unaware that “I Kill Giants” pre-dates “A Monster Calls” – which was derivative of the superior, award-winning “I Kill Giants.”

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