We have all made stupid decisions at least a few times in our lives. For me, this list is rather long. Yeah, perhaps the permed bangs (and only the bangs) in junior high weren’t the best idea. And drinking dozens of margaritas with my fish tacos didn’t exactly make me feel great the next day. Don’t even get me started on the purple sequined prom dress, driving with a flat tire down gravel roads, or inhaling while eating a powdered sugar-dusted brownie (thus causing what my uncle diagnoses as “powdered sugar lung disease”). Those weren’t exactly the shining moments of my life.
Now, I realize that I will continue to accumulate these moments over the years—I just hope not to have a repeat of the home perm again. Recently, I made another stupid decision: I watched Gulliver’s Travels in its entirety. Damn. That’s 85 minutes of my life I’m not going to get back. At least I can say that the only reason I did so was because I was on a plane and had nothing better to do. Yeah, I am not buying my excuse, either.
Gulliver’s Travels stars Jack Black as the title character, Travels (just kidding—he’s Gulliver, duh). Gulliver is just your average guy who works in the mail room, plays Guitar Hero, and has a crush on the travel editor (Amanda Peet) in the building. You know the type. Somehow, he gets a travel assignment in the Bermuda Triangle. Heck, if I knew it was that easy to get writing assignments, I would have honed my Guitar Hero skills long ago. Needless to say, the trip didn’t go as planned. Gulliver finds himself shipwrecked and on an island full of tiny people. Stuff happens, as it tends to do; and Gulliver makes a few friends (and an enemy played by Chris O’Dowd), gets shot in the stomach with hundreds of little cannonballs, wears a dress, and fights a giant robot. Just your typical day in the Bermuda Triangle, I suppose.
After watching this film, I came to the conclusion that I am not really a fan of Jack Black. I thought I was. I mean, I liked School of Rock and Kung-Fu Panda all right, but I thought he was pretty irritating in Gulliver’s Travels. Take for instance the scene where Gulliver tries to put together a sample of his writing in order to earn the approval of the travel editor. This was just a montage of him doing stupid things—one of which was dancing around with that little jig with his shirt pulled up over his face while he rubbed his nipples. So that’s how you overcome writer’s block. Who knew? Gulliver ends up plagiarizing articles anyway, so the whole scene was rather pointless—although, now I may just have a new strategy to help with my writing progress (the silly dancing with the shirt pulled up, not the plagiarizing).
I felt like the whole film was trying too hard. Most of the jokes seemed forced. Perhaps they should have let the story shine through and have the “funny moments” add to the story, instead of the jokes taking center stage. Yeah, I know it is a comedy, but it just didn’t work for me. I will admit, however, I did chuckle a few times during the film—and all of these laughs were a result of some clever lines from Chris O’Dowd. OK, I am probably biased here because I love, love, love The IT Crowd, but these were the only parts I liked in the movie.
Also, I was very confused by Jason Segal’s character. At times he had an English accent, and other times he didn’t. Heck, there were a few lines where I swore it was a Jamaican accent. So confusing. I was really bummed about this as I wanted to like him in this film (as I’m all about HIMYM ). Doh.
If you are a Jack Black fan, there is a good chance you will enjoy Gulliver’s Travels, and I apologize for raining on your parade. Maybe it was the recycled stale air in the plane or the lack of leg room that made me cranky when I saw this film, but I just can’t recommend it. So, I guess I can say that adding Gulliver’s Travels to my queue wasn’t the brightest idea I’ve ever had. It ranks right up there with buying a pair of Hawaiian shorts for my dog. I think I had a similar expression on my face when I was done with Gulliver’s Travels.
Thanks for reading and have a super duper day!
Netflix Queue: 488