Gulliver’s Travels

Gulliver’s Travels

(PG) Fox DVD/BD

There is an object lesson among Jack Black’s trademark humour in this re-boot of the classic story by Irish writer and clergyman Jonathan Swift.

Swift’s book is “an inquiry into whether men are inherently corrupt or whether they become corrupted,” and this theme is entertainingly explored in this version.

Black stars as Lemuel Gulliver — a perpetual underachiever and wannabe travel writer at a New York newspaper.

Gulliver is happy to remain head of the mail room but is humiliated into making a move when a new young mail room employee is promoted ahead of him. He plagiarises a travel piece to finally get an assignment and is sent to Bermuda.

A storm-tossed voyage lands him on an island inhabited by tiny folk called Lilliputians. After a rocky beginning, the gargantuan Gulliver becomes an inspiration to his new twenty-centimetre-tall friends.

His stories of his inflated importance lead him to become King of Lilliput — but he will soon find that lying about his achievements will put all of Lilliput in danger.

One could argue that Lemuel is inherently corrupt at the beginning of this film, though his redemption certainly comes when he realises that his truth stretching will have dire consequences.

Black’s humour is an acquired taste but this is a film the whole family can enjoy.

Adrian Drayton

 

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