Monday, July 11, 2016

The BFG **1/2 (2016)

The BFG, the summer release of 2016 everyone is talking about and no one is going to see. 

Based on Roald Dahl's book and a script by E.T. screenwriter Melissa Mathison, The BFG will be remembered as a minor entry is Spielberg's canon. I'm sure Spielberg fanatics will watch The BFG and conclude he went back to the well, a redux of E.T. and Hook.  I would agree.

The story follows Sophie, an orphan girl abducted by a "Big Friendly Giant" into his magical land. Played by Mark Rylance, who won a best supporting Oscar for Spielberg's Bridge of Spies last year, manages to capture some humanity in a CGI performance. Sophie helps the BFG get the courage to stand up for himself.  Big bully giants give him a hard time. Their friendship is the crux of the film, but it never quite hits the right emotional note. They never become soul mates like Elliot and ET, it's more of an imaginary friend type dynamic.

And the story takes some odd turns. First we are introduced to the BFG's world and the ogre giants who inhabit it. The middle section just meanders into some false conclusions. Then the last act shifts to straight up slapstick comedy, even some unfortunate scatological humor. 

In saying that, I should keep in mind Spielberg made the movie for children. The kids in the theater seemed to have a good time with The BFG.  And after watching such drivel as Independence Day: Resurgence, I appreciate a movie made with the care and vision of a true artist. 

1 comment:

  1. I agree that the story takes some odd turns. I wasn't a huge fan of the final third or so. Otherwise, a lot of the film was likable enough.

    - Zach