The problem with the "Jack and the Beanstalk" story, of course, is that the first thing the protagonist does is trade valuable livestock for a handful of beans that a stranger convinces him are magic. Everything Jack does after that has to be framed with a single question: Well, what did you expect? This is the dumb motherfucker who thought legumes were valuable currency. The new Hollywood retelling of "Jack and the Beanstalk," Jack the Giant Slayer, doesn't do away with that beans-for-cow trade, although in this version, the animal Jack trades away is his family's only horse, which arguably makes his decision even more idiotic and irresponsible. Nicholas Hoult, then, plays a fine Jack: He's dumb as a post but likable enough, not to mention unbelievably pretty.

Pretty, dumb, and likable essentially sets the tone for Jack the Giant Slayer...

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