“I Kill Giants” is one of those movies that I thought I was getting one thing with, but then throws a twist at me in the third act that completely turns my expectations on their head. And I have to say that I was so invested in what I thought I was getting (fantasy adventure in the real world with magic and giants) that when I found out the truth (no magic, just metaphor) I was upset and disappointed.
There wasn’t anything wrong with the movie, mind you. I was engaged and loving every minute of it up to that point. The problem I think was more a personal one than an overall movie problem.
“I Kill Giants” follows teenager Barbara Thorson (Madison Wolfe) who is convinced giants are real and keep coming to her hometown, so she must take up arms to stop them. She has learned traps and what the giants like to eat to lure them into said traps and she watches the skies for omens to get a heads up of their arrival.
She lives with her older sister Karen (Imogen Poots) and brother Taylor (Rory Jackson), and her best friend is new girl in school Sophia (Sydney Wade). But Barbara spends more time building traps and preparing for war than she does spending time with any of them. She carries around her “Warhammer” with her in a small zippered pouch which she only pulls out to fight a giant. When she does finally unsheath it, it is most impressive.
The special effects in this movie are great and really help pull you into the magical part of this movie. Madison Wolfe is also a force to watch here. She is the star and commands your attention in almost every scene. There is a guidance counselor played by Zoe Saldana who helps move the plot along, but her character is very subdued compared to what Saldana usually plays. Still, she does a good job here and helps sell the emotional stuff at the end.
But that’s alright because Barbara and her story is the most compelling thing going on here. And that is probably why I’ve become less upset each time I think about it. The twist comes into the third act and makes you look back at the rest of the movie in a different way. The twist totally works and I applaud them for making us think about sadness and pain in a different way. I was just wishing that one time we could have a movie like this that really is just about a giant-hunting teenager and not have it be a metaphor about sadness or loss.
Even so, it turned out to be a pretty terrific movie with a good cast and a lead actress that you can’t stop watching, or rooting for. If movies continue to get made like this I will continue to watch them.
I give this movie 4 out of 5 stars.
“I Kill Giants” is not rated and has a running time of 104 minutes. It is now streaming on Hulu.