The BFG – Review (Spoiler Free)

Story

A girl named Sophie encounters the Big Friendly Giant who, despite his intimidating appearance, turns out to be a kind-hearted soul who is considered an outcast by the other giants because, unlike them, he refuses to eat. To save the children of our world from the other giants Sophie and The BFG must come together and unite with some other spoilers to defeat them.

Good

Everyone raved about Mark Rylance in Spielberg’s ‘Bridge of Spies’ but I have not yet seen that so to my knowledge this is my introduction to Mark Rylance and I got to say he perfectly inhabited what I thought the BFG would be like. Though I hadn’t seen anything with Mark Rylance I have seen the 1989 version of ‘The BFG’ so I did have that in the back of my mind but Mark Rylance is now my official BFG. This is some of the greatest motion capture ever put to film, it took every little detail on his face and put it into the motion capture performance and I now this is said with every new motion capture performance but why shouldn’t it be said. Technology is advancing all the time which means we would get better motion capture so this is up there with the greats. The greats are Gollum and Caesar… and the BFG now.

Ruby Barnhill as Sophie is a great Sophie and a great young and up and coming actress. She was adorable throughout the entirety of the film but there were downsides to her performance. Hey, she’s a child she is going to have some tweeks when it comes to her acting and notice this is in the ‘Good’ part of the review so this is all feedback for improvement. A few moments were off with her line delivery and she did seem a little too cool when interacting  with a massive giant. But that’s most likely Spielberg. I’m calling you out Steve! Muhahahaha! Plus I swear to God she looks unintentionally into the camera at one point. Don’t remember when but I remember something like that happening.

Considering how (for the majority of the film) the only real thing in it is Sophie, the second component out of the two that carries the film is the excellent animation throughout. Not for one second did I not believe the environments were real or that the BFG wasn’t either. I was like “Ok, a child and a giant are there in front of me and there is no animation used either”. The animation is on the same level as ‘The Jungle Book’, maybe even better than it. I didn’t like ‘The Jungle Book’ as much as the rest of the world seemed to so it may just be me. There’s one particular sequence with a tree and lots of colours which had me in awe of the animation.

Bad

I did say the animation was excellent for the BFG… not so for the other giants. The animation for them was poor and you could tell they put more thought into the animation of the BFG than the bad giants. But, rather it be that they put more effort into the BFG than them so can’t complain about that. They aren’t in it that much so it doesn’t bother me that much. But that is another thing this film does wrong. The bad giants aren’t in it that much at all which leads to them kind of being side characters than the villains of the film which I thought they should be and what I thought they were going to be. They were also quite lacklustre characters and lacklustre villains whenever they were on screen. Un-like the original ‘The BFG’ the villains in this film weren’t threatening and the giants in the original haunted my nightmares. Yes they didn’t haunt my dreams, they haunted my nightmares which makes them twice as worse.

The humour in this film was a bit awkward. I heard it was like that before going in so I could see why. I think it was an issue with comedic timing and lines that could have been changed differently to get a better comedic reaction from an audience. I can’t think of an example so yes. I also think if the laughs paid off better it would meant that the film didn’t drag as much as it did. Yes, pacing issues is what is wrong with this film, scenes went on for a long time when I just wanted the plot to move on. The film is two hours long, I think they could have cut about 15/ 20 minutes out and it would have made it more enjoyable for me.

Verdict

I was surprised for this film. I didn’t want to go see it and had fairly poo expectations for it but I had no choice since there was a whole group of my family going so I was forced to watch it and I can say that I enjoyed it. There’s a good sub-plot thrown in there which added more development to the reasons things were done and it had an ending which I wasn’t so sure about but can’t talk about as it would ruin the film… But it did have some great fart jokes in there right? Probably the best done fart joke I’ve ever seen on film! The second time anyway, the first time it’s just confusing and like “da fuq”!

The BFG (2016) – 2.75/5

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