Size most definitely does not matter in Jack’s Black’s latest laugh fest, writes Rhian Morgan.

Anyone bored to tears by the ubiquitous Orange ad trailer for the film (which seems to have been assaulting eyes and ears at a multiplex near you for at least six months) should put their concerns aside – the film is a lot funnier than the ad suggests.

The story begins in modern day Manhattan, where Guitar Hero-loving Lemuel Gulliver (Jack Black) has been stuck in a dead-end job, secretly lusting after travel editor Darcy (Amanda Peet). Provoked to action by a mean-spirited new recruit, the portly postie impresses her with a plagiarised sample of writing and gets sent on an assignment no-one wants to the Bermuda Triangle.

On the way, he is plagued by a storm and ends up on a beach surrounded by mini people – the Lilliputians - who first denounce him as The Beast before gradually being won over by his tall tales of grandeur focusing on his supposed exploits on the Millennium Falcon and a near-death escape from The Titanic.

As you can imagine, this version of Gulliver’s Travels bears little relation to the original Jonathan Swift 18th century satire, though reference is made by reproducing Lilliput as a miniature 18th century England, with overly mannered subjects providing much of the comedy.

And, despite a lot of toilet humour on the part of Jack Black, this is a family-friendly film that will have children giggling throughout at the naughtiness. Plus, the action speeds along quicker than a dog chasing a ferret, so they will have little chance to become bored.

But will their parents be entertained as well? From the fantastical opening credits of Manhattan filmed through a special camera lens so it resembles a miniature city, to the beautifully realised Lilliput, the film looks amazing and certainly engages your attention.

At first glance, the unlikely alliance of Billy Connolly, Catherine Tate, James Corden and Emily Blunt as the royal family seems disastrous but actually works well, with Tate’s performance thankfully kept to a minimum.

The true star is Emily Blunt’s suitor, General Edward Edwardian, who is played brilliantly by Chris O’Dowd as a stiff-upper-lip Englishman. This may be a time-worn practice by Americans, who seem to think the epitome of British humour is embodied in Hugh Grant, but O’Dowd’s performance is spot on – a perfect foil to Black’s childish exploits. From his hilarious stand-off in his first encounter with Gulliver, right through to his evil machinations, his comic timing is excellent. And he also works well alongside Blunt who gives a deliberately wooden performance as a spoiled princess.

At times, the film does seem chaotic and rushed – and the last 15 minutes is pure cheese. But really, do you expect anything else from a happy holiday children’s movie? This version was never meant to withstand too much critical scrutiny and should be judged as such, with the love story between Darcy and Gulliver particularly unconvincing and stereotypical Hollywood.

After all, this was never aiming for big things at the Oscars. But, for a funny tale about a big man with a big heart surrounded by small people, I’m sure it will bring in big bucks at the box office over the school holdays.