I hunt giants! I find giants! I Kill Giants!
Director : Anders Walt
Cast : Madison Wolfe, Zoe Saldana, Imogen Poots and Sydney Wade
I became aware of “I Kill Giants” a few weeks ago and it intrigued me ever since. It reminded me a bit of “A Monster Calls” from last year and whilst I wouldn’t go as far as saying I enjoyed that movie, it was decent enough and so the concept could be explored with similar movies.
In a time where I am struggling to find films that I don’t know to review, it was refreshing to find one that I was not only excited about, but also was relatively unknown by most, especially in my native UK, where it got the ever delightful “straight-to-DVD” treatment. As far as I am aware no cinemas in the UK showed it, which was a bit of a surprise.
Oh well, let’s see if it was worth the wait to see and whether it deserved a cinema release.
Social outcast Barbara (Wolfe) is part of a struggling family, but she is completely distracted by that by the fact that she fights giants in secret. One day she realises that a giant is nearby and lays her traps, eventually managing to find it. She however fails in her attempts to trap and kill it. Meanwhile, she is being counselled by Mrs Molle (Saldana) at school because of her anti-social behaviour.
Several days later she accidentally opens a box that is designed to only be opened a specific time, and this causes a huge disturbance. Meanwhile, she finally makes a friend in the form of Sophia (Wade), and eventually starts taking her along on the hunts for giants, explaining the lore.
But what did opening the box actually do, and more importantly, does Sophia actually believe Barbara about giants?
So did it deserve a cinema run, or was straight-to-DVD correct?
This is a movie where I look at it from a visual standpoint and I am impressed. If you were going to buy the Blu-Ray or 4K then you would be in for a visual treat. Visually it is stunning and interesting, but it has one glaring flaw that ultimately ruined the film for me……quite possibly the worst lead character I have had the misfortune to watch in a long time.
The lead character Barbara, is horrendously unlikable, so much to the point where she almost single-handedly ruins the entire movie. She is rude, self-righteous and completely self-absorbed. For example, early on in the movie it is implied that her sister Karen is struggling to cope and loses her job, breaking down sobbing, all whilst Barbara is watching, and yet she just walks away in a “this is your problem, deal with it” sort of way.
She spits on people, turns off the power when her brother and his friends are playing video games and dismisses someone who actually tries to be friends with her. There is a throw away line of “people who get close to me get hurt” just before the half hour mark, but I genuinely think that is a line designed to make you forget how ridiculously written this character really is. Don’t try to pretend you’re being a dick to protect other people, you’re really not.
Her patronising nature is horrible and she openly calls everyone else dumb by her standards. It’s no wonder no-one wants to be her friend. I can’t recall hating a lead character so much. She makes the film completely unwatchable. She is the 2010s equivalent to Dakota Fanning in the “War of the Worlds” remake. Don’t try and make me feel sorry for her by showing that she has bullies because whilst bullying is never an issue to take lightly, she does absolutely nothing to make her likeable and you can definitely see why people would treat her like they do.
Now I’m not going to go as far as saying I hated the movie, but she takes up a very hefty chunk of it and because of that I will go as far as saying that I severely dislike it. Now, if it I were to rank all of the movies that I had reviewed during my time doing this site (more than four years now for context) then this would be nowhere near the bottom ten. It would definitely be in the bottom half though….and comfortably so.
Take out the main character and you actually have a decent effort, unlike the films that would feature in the aforementioned, but the negatives definitely outweigh the positives here. It attempts to build some lore and has a “are they real or just in her head” element to it, but that is about as interesting as I found it.
An otherwise promising movie ruined by one of the worst lead characters I’ve ever had the misfortune of watching.
If you see this for £5 at your local supermarket, buy something else.