Big Jack Black goes down in Gulliver’s Travels (2010)
Gulliver’s Travels is given a 21st century touch up in Rob Letterman’s 2010 comedy of the same name.
The film stars Jack Black, Jason Segel, Billy Connolly, Emily Blunt and Amanda Peet in this loosely based comedic adaptation Jonathan Swift’s classic story.
Set in modern day New York, Lamuel Gulliver (Jack Black, the voice behind Po in Kung Fu Panda) heads the mail room of a New York newspaper and although he likes to talk, he cannot actually speak out when it really matters. However, when newcomer Dan (T.J Miller from She’s Out of My League) gets promoted over him, one day into the job, he tries to pull himself together by talking to Darcy Silverman (Amanda Peet), the newspaper’s travel editor – which has had a crush on for 5 years.
Unfortunately, he loses it and makes up some notion of wanting to become a travel writer. He also falsifies his travel adventures by plagiarizing from Frommer’s and Time Out which lands him the task of going to the Bermuda Triangle and writing about the legends and its secrets.
During the trip he runs into a storm and ends up in Lillput, and that’s when the fun begins.
Swift loyalists must accept the fact that this film, although bearing the same title and similar plot, has been very loosely adapted by the creative team of Joe Stillman and Nicholas Stoller. Sure enough, there are resonance of Percy Jackson & the Lighting Thief, especially the free adaptation and modernization of classics.
Jason Segel who portrays Horatio, Gulliver’s friend on Lilliput, reflects Gulliver in a much smaller term, literally. When we first meet him he is imprisoned for looking at the Princess (Emily Blunt) whom he is secretly in love with. However, unlike his gigantic friend, he has the will to act but the inability to talk and together they teach other about what it takes to be big both in word and deed.
There are many laughs in the film like when Gulliver puts out the castle fire by pissing on it or when the town’s people re-enact scenes from films like Star Wars and Titanic, all the while thinking it is Gulliver’s life story.
This lose adaptation should not be considered as a cinematic version of Swift’s story but a more freely adapted comedy, and will guarantee you a trip unlike any other you’ve experienced.