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December 24, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Many critics are delivering a Swift kick to the behind of Gulliver’s Travels, which opens wide on Saturday. The 300-year-old tale has been modernized with digital technology, simplified for the younger set, and enhanced with post-production 3D.Gulliver’s Travels is one of those movies that falls between complete disaster and loads of fun,” writes Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times. That also describes how the critics view the movie, most of them siding with the “complete disaster” assessment. Wesley Morris in the Boston Globe calls it “a migraine inducement.” Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer describes it as “murderously unfunny.” New York Daily News critic Elizabeth Weitzman concludes that the main problem with the movie is that the director and writers “dispense with the intelligence and edge of their satirical source, content instead to rely on the slouchy charisma of their star,” Jack Black. In the Toronto Star, Linda Barnard adds that the 3D “does little beyond giving the impression we’re watching the movie through a View-Master, while lightening your wallet by a few extra bucks for a ticket.” And A.O. Scott in the New York Times writes his entire review as if it were an email message he had received directly from Jonathan Swift in the 18th century: “For myself, I was but seldom inspired to peals of true laughter, though I did relish that part when Mr. Black, confronting a fire raging in the Palace of Lilliput, douses the blaze through heroic use of such means as Nature has provided him. This was, indeed, the only moment at which it seemed that the temperament of the Picture corresponded, in some degree, to my own.” On the other hand a few critics appear to be enchanted with the film. For example, Kyle Smith in the New York Post writes that Black succeeds in making the movie “nimble fun.” And Rick Groen in the Toronto Globe and Mail sums up: “This is a movie that, despite its best efforts to fail, doesn’t — somehow, traces of the original magic endure.”