Steven Spielberg has always been a staple for Hollywood magic on screen. With films like E.T. The Extra Terrestrial or Jurassic Park, awe surrounds the films he is directly involved with. With very few missteps during the height of his career in the 1980's and 1990's, going to see a Spielberg film became an event unto itself. Over the past decade, his films seem to be more personal than ever, directing films for mature audiences in order to tell the stories he wishes to tell. Finally coming back to his roots of magic in film, The BFG had seemed like his triumphant return to his classic form. Does The BFG retain the magic that Spielberg is universally known for?
Enjoyable, But Not Groundbreaking
While this film does not break any new ground, I will say that I was able to enjoy this film for the most part. That being said, this film is a definite disappointment. Feeling like build-up to a payoff that never occurs, The BFG is the type of film that takes the time to express it's exposition, leaving you wishing for sequences that never happen.
'The BFG' Movie Plot
Being raised in an orphanage since a very young child, Sophie, being the curious girl that she is, sneaks a peak out her bedroom window one night to find that the tale of giants is real. Taken from her group home by one of the giants, she quickly gains a friendship that will last a lifetime. Hiding from evil giants, exploring the dreams of others, and helping the giant to speak well, this film should have been ripe for an adventurous ride.
Praise For The Actors
Ruby Barnhill, in her breakout performance as Sophie, did a very good and believable job in the environment she was given and Mark Rylance is terrific as the big friendly giant. They are the reason I enjoyed watching this film, as the unbelievable plot was made much more by their screen presence.
Sadly, the film is majorly bogged down with far too many scenes of them talking to each other, followed by slow montage sequences to show the passing of time. These scenes seemed to slow the film down exponentially, creating a very odd vibe. The pacing is definitely where the film suffers the most.
The Pacing Feels Slow
Taking it's time, the story makes it's audience believe it is building to something that may just leave you in awe, but when side plots occur with unexpected characters and farting jokes happen in order to bring levity, it becomes confused with what type of film it wants to be and what audiences it wants to appeal to. Is this film for adults? Not really. Is it for kids? Moments are, but no. Simply due to the fact that I am a film fan in general, I was able to find quite a few enjoyable moments, but that was sadly all I could take away from this film. Being a huge fan of Steven Spielberg, I was hoping for something much more meaningful than what was presented here.
Final Thoughts On 'The BFG' Movie
In the end, The BFG takes you on a strange, yet intriguing journey, that takes forever to set itself in motion, and ultimately does not go anywhere interesting. Having an abrupt ending and no real conclusion in my opinion, this is a one off for me. It has it's moments in the script, the music is by far the best part, composed beautifully by John Williams, but it is nothing more than watchable entertainment when you have run out of great Spielberg films to watch. I enjoyed it for the most part while in the theatre, but I do not foresee any rewatch-ability. The BFG has heart, but it does not know what to do or where to go with it. Recommended to Spielberg fans, but this is sadly not a film to bring in an audience.
Review By: KJ Proulx