Published on April 6th, 2018 | by voxx0
I Kill Giants
Out: 6 April
Length: 106 minutes
Director: Anders Walter
Cast: Zoe Saldana, Madison Wolfe, Imogen Poots, Sydney Wade, Rory Jackson
Plot: 12-year-old Barbara Thorson (Wolfe), a social outcast, struggles with her normal everyday life, so in order to keep away from real life issues she escapes into a fantasy world of magic and monsters.
Danish Director Anders Walter’s directorial debut ‘I Kill Giants’ is many things; an adaptation of Joe Kelly and J.M. Ken Niimura’s graphic novel of the same name, a tale of fantasy monsters meets real life monsters, a portrait of a child’s imagination, and a fearless tackle of darkness or the rage, via the fear and the inflicting pain of a child’s emotions, and the final result is as starkly magical as it is heartfelt. Happily landing it a place among the legacy of magical realism, siding J.A. Bayona’s A Monster Calls and any of Guillermo del Toro’s works – it’s a film that will fill your heart to bursting thanks to its powerful story that will likely hit you with and unexpected wallop. Count us in…
Creatively, it bears a slight resemblance to ‘A Monster Calls’, based entirely on Joe Kelly’s own graphic novel – who conveniently also wrote the script – so there’s already a powerful connection between the two stories, which Kelly and first-time feature director Anders Walter handle sensitively. As well as being a powerful portrayal of the realm of monsters and a highly imaginative girl, it also deeply cuts the power of storytelling. Albeit completely shrouded in fantasy, it always keeps its feet firmly placed on the ground, blending a well-crafted bridge between the childlike wonder of imagination and deep mature feelings. And this is mostly due to Madison Wolfe’s magnetic performance, that shines through in both settings. In her world of her imagination she’s essentially a hero, who with her trusted Thundermaker (a giant spear-like weapon forged from the trees of the forest and the horn of an ancient being), finds, hunts and kills giants. Outside this world she’s a social outcast who shows massive confidence, from setting her ingenious traps, through standing up to adults to brushing past bullies with sharp-wit. Still, the other performances from Saldana, via Poots and newcomer Sydney Wade are great too, but ultimately this is Wolfe’s film from start to finish.
Though, whether ‘I Kill Giants’ should be classed as a children’s film or an adult’s film is completely uncertain. Through the magical fantasy world of the giants there’s sometimes a chance that it’ll play too young for the eyes of adults, while some of the film may prove to be too emotionally raw for younger viewers. However, it’s not the giants that are the real monsters here. That would be the grief itself. That’s why, if you let the film in, there’s an unlikely chance to find a dry eye in the room.
VERDICT: Part fairy tale/creature feature/domestic melodrama, it’s a stunningly faithful adaptation that’ll hit with an unexpected wallop.
- By Corey Denford