Monday, January 2, 2017

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG (2016)
Rent The BFG on Amazon Video
Written by: Melissa Mathison (screenplay), Roald Dahl (book)
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring:  Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Bill Hader
Rated: PG

My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!

Sophie meets the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his appearance, is a kind being and outcast by the other giants because he doesn't eat children.

It's a cute enough feel good movie, but there isn't much here for adults as it's a story that's been told many times before. The message is that scary looking giants aren't always that bad and a child can accomplish great feats. It's boring because I feel like I've seen this movie before. Instead of building the relationship between the BFG and Sophie for a payoff at the end, it's just scene after scene of computer generated filler.
Skip it.

It's Spielberg so you expect more. He's made so many classics that even an average movie feels like a miss for him. The main character is a little girl and both she and the giant are outcasts in need of a friend.

This story is underwhelming. I've seen Jack and the Bean Stalk so many times across movies and cartoons that this isn't fresh. This giant isn't mean, he's friendly, which puts him at odds with the other giants. While the BFG is the runt of his village at only twenty four feet, it's easy to predict what the other giants will do.
This doesn't do enough to pull me in. The frequent flatulence jokes are an easy laugh, but I expected something more clever. While kids will probably enjoy this, Spielberg has created movies that work on both levels.

While Mark Rylance's motion capture for the BFG is well done, a movie has to be more than spectacle. The movie's reliance on computer generate imagery hurts it. The BFG's funny speech pattern and ability to craft made-up words make him likable enough, the bond between him and Sophie never felt real. The movie tells me it's there, but never shows it.

The BFG finally stands up to the giants despite being a runt, in part due to fear of Sophie getting hurt and also the destruction of his life's work when they invade his hut. This concludes with Sophie hatching a plan to get rid of the mean giants. One of the better sequences is the BFG visiting Buckingham Palace, but it doesn't overcome the rest of the movie. I never had a connection to the characters like I have had in previous Spielberg works.

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