Mailroom slacker Lemuel Gulliver (Jack Black) works in a huge Manhattan editorial office. He spends most of his time quoting movies, playing Guitar Hero, and wishing that gorgeous hotshot travel editor Darcy Siverman (Amanda Peet) will notice him. One day, Gulliver realises that he has spent the best part of ten years doing nothing with his life so to impress Darcy he takes on a minor assignment investigating strange goings-on in the Bermuda Triangle. During the trip, Gulliver's boat is caught up in a strange oceanic vortex and flung into a strange other-worldly kingdom known as Lilliput. Here the inhabitants are no bigger than insects and Gulliver appears as a fearsome giant. Soon he befriends the King (Billy Connolly), the Queen (Catherine Tate), the Princess (Emily Blunt), and an honourable prisoner (Jason Segel). But a slimy and untrustworthy military man, General Edward (Chris O'Dowd), refuses to buy Gulliver's tall stories and plots to rid the land of this new giant once and for all .
The fact that Jack Black is merely playing Dewey Finn from School Of Rock, and transposing the character to another film, is just the beginning of this film's problems. The overall acting talent wasted here is enough to make a grown man cry. Connolly fails to raise a single smile as the Lilliputian king, while Blunt (whose career so far has been refreshingly sure-footed) is reduced to the level of a ditsy bimbo. This will do her career no favours whatsoever. Segel, Peet and especially O'Dowd are all equally guilty of frittering away their talents in moronic roles. In terms of finding positive things to say about the film, at least the special effects are pretty good, and there are infrequent amusing moments (mainly references to other films, or sprinklings of toilet humour). Overall, though, that's about as positive as I can be. There's absolutely nothing wrong with the concept of modernising Jonathan Swift's novel, but not if it's to be reduced to this level of cheap vulgarity and simple-minded storytelling.