Fee-fi-fo-fum, this fairy-tale retread is pretty dumb,” says Variety‘s Justin Chang about Bryan Singer‘s Jack the Giant Slayer (Warner Bros., 3.1). What happened to the Bryan Singer of yore…the hip clever guy who made The Usual Suspects, Apt Pupil and Valkyrie even? God help us but this is the world in which we live right now — a world in which the only films that seem to get funded are (a) aimed at the submental, milkshake-slurping family trade and (b) aren’t in the least bit “execution dependent.”

“Feeding the recent appetite for revisionist screen fantasies (Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirror Mirror, Once Upon a Time), Jack the Giant Slayer feels, unsurprisingly, like an attempt to cash in on a trend, recycling storybook characters, situations and battle sequences to mechanical and wearyingly predictable effect,” Chang comments. “A disappointment coming from the usually more distinctive Bryan Singer, the Warners release will struggle to score the mammoth returns needed to recoup its not-inconsiderable budget, with an indifferent 3D conversion unlikely to offset f/x fatigue even among the youngish audience being targeted.”