In all my time reading comics, I’ve read my fair share of stories that have made me emotional or made me cry, but none have left me emotionally wrecked the way I Kill Giants, a 2008 Image limited series by Joe Kelly and Ken Niimura, did. It’s a high fantasy coming of age story that combines the fantastical with the real world and comes together to make a truly great tale. So when Joe Kelly announced that a movie adaptation was in development, I was beyond excited. This story had the potential to be the definitive fantasy movie for a new generation. While it remains to be seen whether or not this movie will actually reach that status, it certainly reaches the level of quality that the comic does.
The story was already fantastic, so that wasn’t really a question, but the acting really takes this to another level. Madison Wolfe brings an extra layer of awkward charm to Barbara, the giant killer, that makes her a little more likeable than in the actual comic. Sydney Wade portrays Barbara’s new friend Sophia and does a good job in the role; but this movie really shines when Wolfe is paired with Imogen Poots and Zoe Saldana, Barbara’s sister and guidance counselor respectively. Poots in particular makes the character of Karen, Barbara’s older sister, almost infinitely more likeable and she was a likeable character to begin with. Not to be outdone by the acting and story is the cinematography, which is breathtaking at times. The CGI also perfectly complements the rest of the picture, combining with the sets and locations to create a gorgeous movie.
The only real problem is that the movie made one specific change to the comic story that doesn’t necessarily detract from the quality, yet makes the story in the movie feel a little more cliche. Another smaller problem isn’t with the movie itself, but rather with the marketing. The trailer for this movie is rather deceptive, portraying this movie as much more of a fantasy adventure story than the drama with fantastical elements that it actually is. Otherwise, it’s a near-perfect indy movie adaptation of a near perfect indy comic, though it is difficult to recommend this movie unreservedly. As fun as it seems in the trailer and in any description of the story, this is a dark and heavy story that’s full of many more tears than laughs, but has enough fun, cool action to prevent this from becoming a drag. 4.5/5 Giant-Killing Hammers.