Gulliver's Travels

Film, Action and adventure
Gulliver's Travels

Like so many abridged versions of

Jonathan Swift

’s classic eighteenth-century novel, director

Rob Letterman

’s baggy adaptation eschews the writer’s extended travelogues in favour of debarking on the island of Lilliput and pretty much remaining there for the duration.

The camera first alights on the mailroom of the New York Tribune where one Lemuel Gulliver (

Jack Black

) continues his menial job as a postman. Conscious of, but happy with, his social standing among the newspaper’s high-flying bigwigs, Gulliver is nevertheless persuaded by a fellow colleague to improve his lot. So, using entire chapters plagiarised from Time Out and Fodor’s travel websites, he persuades

Amanda Peet

’s editor Darcy – for whom, of course, he has the hots – to commission him to do a write-up. She then sends him off to the mysterious and dangerously stormy Bermuda Triangle…

And so we set sail towards the main bulk of the storyline, as Gulliver washes up on the shores of an island occupied by a race of six-inch-high little people. At this juncture the film dances into Monty Python territory with pompous Regency characters flapping about spouting frivolous dialogue – none more so than Chris O’Dowd’s hawkish Graham Chapman-like general.

The film has a high old time playing with its clash of cultures but as a piece of storytelling it’s all over the place. Scenes crash into one another as if the whole structure was developed on the fly; we even get a bit of ‘Transformers’ thrown in for bad measure – and not one, but two romantic subplots. Black rolls out his amusing ‘School of Rock’ shtick a couple of times and there’s one especially comical homage to ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’. But mostly it veers between the very mildly chucklesome and plain not funny. Youngsters will doubtless enjoy the sight of a galoot galumphing around a model village, but the script is so dispiritingly slipshod that even they’ll be egging it on towards its foreseeable conclusion.

By: Derek Adams


Release details

Rated: PG
Release date: Sunday December 26 2010
Duration: 87 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Rob Letterman
Screenwriter: Nicholas Stoller, Joe Stillman, Jonathan Swift
Cast: Emily Blunt
Amanda Peet
Chris O’Dowd
Jason Segel
Jack Black
1 person listening

Truly, truly awful. Clearly this was put together purely as a money making excercise. How depressing. 2 hours of my life I will never get back.

Can't believe the film industry is allowing the release of such a terrible screenplay, with bad 3d and special effects - and even worse, why do such eminent actors endorse the making of the film by allowing themselves to be associated with it. A total let down from every perception. Keep your money, buy the book and let your own imagination do the work!!!

This movie was excellent! On the adverts it looked quite babyish but its a really good film. Jack Black was amazing too!!!!!!! Great movie!

My daughter and I went to see this film recently and we both came away very disappointed. Considering the quality of the cast the acting was quite poor, the story line disjointed and very few laughs. I usually like Jack Black but this was not one of my favourite films should have stayed at home and watched TV.

Gullivers travels, in hindsight I wish that I and my seven year old had not bothered to travel to the cinema or part with the better part of fifteen quid to watch this film. The story or what there was of it stumbled from one ridiculous premise to the next, the appearance of a stray from one of the transformer movies being one of the narratives particular low points. If the cast, crew and production team were to hold their hands up and say sorry we did it for a bet or for the money then I'll forgive them just this once, don't do it again. However if this is not the case then they should all be ashamed of this woeful film.

Not surprise this bombed in the states, should have believed the reviews, this film stinks and acting is terrible

Saw this film with my eleven year old daughter. It was ok, we chuckled a a few bits but mostly it was pretty ordinary. Thing that disappointed us was that it was billed as a 3D film (and we paid extra for this feature) but there were very few if any real 3 D effects. I'm of the opinion this is being used to con more money out of the viewer.

I thought this film was really good. Great entertainment for children and adults. Well worth a watch.