Wolfe slays: An ‘I Kill Giants’ film review

4.42 over 5 stars.

If I were a giant, I would have run for my life. For Barbara Thorson surely can slaughter such hideous beasts.

“I Kill Giants” indeed has the potential to take the audience by storm. With one swift swing of her Norse mythology-inspired war hammer, Madison Wolfe has convincingly portrayed our protagonist’s strong character. It is thanks to her superb acting prowess that the fantasy-slash-psychological-thriller film’s story was able to effectively convey its deep message to the viewers. Despite some of the computer-generated imagery (CGI) not being too jaw-dropping, the movie remains to be a sight to behold.

The Story

4.50 over 5 stars.

Staying true to the graphic novel of the same name, “I Kill Giants” narrates the brave conquest of one weird nerd whose fashion statement involves sporting bunny ears even at school. You see, our girl Barbara Thorson (Madison Wolfe) is on an out-of-this-world adventure – she hunts and slays giants to safeguard her humble town. Her actions make her unlikeable by her classmates, especially Taylor (Rory Jackson). It all changes though when a new neighbor comes into town.

If Barbara can be easily spotted through her headpiece, well, one can surely not miss Sophia (Sydney Wade) in a crowd with her bright yellow jacket. Fresh from England, Sophia meets Barbara at the beachfront where she tries to befriend her. Our protagonist seems aloof at first. However, she soon opens up to her about the horrendous tale of the giants, and begins to bring her on her quests.

Aside from Sophia, a new personality intrudes into her life. School shrink Mrs. Molle (Zoe Saldana) finds herself too curious about our heroine. She exhausts all of her efforts to break into Barbara’s protective ward. At many points, she almost succeeds to. But then, something always goes wrong.

Barbara constantly senses evil lurking around every corner, and this drives her to do unimaginable things. Thus, Mrs. Molle sees her as a troubled child. Well, in fact, she is. Her family is actually close to its breaking point. Her older sister Karen Thorson (Imogen Poots) is at her wits end, trying to keep her family intact. Barbara refuses to carry a good conversation with her, and seems to be terrified of something hiding in the upstairs bedroom.

As the film progresses, Barbara feels that the darkness is becoming stronger. She cuts school, and goes on to set up booby traps in the forest which may aid her in killing all the giants that will come her way. However, with each passing minute, her friends Sophia and Mrs. Molle grow more concerned about her. They set off to look for her, bring her back to reality, and help her face the true giant that looms in front of her.

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Barbara faces a giant. Photo from the Internet Movie Database.

On the outside, “I Kill Giants” looks like an exciting adventure film which kids may enjoy. But it’s not. There is undeniably more to its story that dares explore one thing that many children like Barbara’s age may not be able to comprehend, and I dare not spoil you what that is.

Barbara escapes into the fantasy realm in order to run away from the impending darkness that threatens her household. As a coping mechanism, she projects herself as a strong woman who is undaunted of the wrath of giants. Yet, she is just one fragile little girl who is still unable to embrace the fact that one scary giant is about to take everything from her.

What I also love about the storytelling is how it builds up the suspense. At the beginning of the film, the mystery sparks one’s interest. Soon, the ember lights up, and the audience clamors for the big reveal. I absolutely liked this aspect as it kept my eyes glued on the big screen whilst wanting to know the truth. Kudos to screenwriter Joe Kelly, who actually penned the novel’s story also, for a job well done!

The Sights and Sounds

4.10 and 4.08 over 5 stars, respectively.

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Barbara is prepared to strike. Photo from Den of Geek.

There is nothing out of the ordinary in the film’s CGI and scoring. In truth, some of the CGI lacked that awe-inspiring appeal. It only begins to pump adrenaline towards Barbara’s two separate fights against different giants. However, the final battle was somehow anti-climactic. The action sequence was meh.

The Starrers

5.00 over 5 stars.

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(From left to right) Rory Jackson, Madison Wolfe, Imogen Poots, director Anders Walter, and Sydney Wade at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. Photo from the Getty Images.

 

Yes, the cast deserves a perfect score from me. Every single one is just fit for her role. Rory Jackson’s Taylor is one school bully who will always get to one’s nerves. Imogen Poots was also believable as the family’s trying-hard breadwinner Karen Thorson. Zoe Saldana’s eyes speak the fact that Mrs. Molle is sincerely concerned about our lead’s welfare. Sydney Wade has shown the viewers that Sophia is that one friend who will stay true even if she is led astray.

Of course, Madison Wolfe is worthy of all my praise. There is not even a single flaw in her portrayal of Barbara Thorson’s character. The audience can certainly feel how she displays herself as a brave warrior despite being distressed inside. I love how she is able to reconcile with her inner giant, and realize the real truth that she is stronger than she think she is.

Film Score Board_I Kill Giants

Overall, “I Kill Giants” is one movie that is absolutely worth watching. Well, what would you expect from the persons that brought the “Harry Potter” saga into movie houses?

In the end, my right thumb goes up for the film’s splendid story, while my left for Madison Wolfe and the rest of the cast. So, cheers to director Anders Walter for this one-of-a-kind work of art.

Slayyyy!

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“I Kill Giants” (2017)
Genre: Fantasy, Psychological Thriller
Directed by: Anders Walter
Starring: Madison Wolfe, Imogen Poots, Zoe Saldana, Sydney Wade, Rory Jackson
Philippines release date: 21 March 2018

This blog post’s featured image is from Subscene.

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