The BFG (2016) ★★☆☆☆

Not so ‘giant’ after all… 

Set at an Orphanage, in the middle of the night, young Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) hears a peculiar noise outside her bedroom window and spots a giant (Mark Rylance). Fearing his existence could become known, the giant snatches Sophie, taking her to Giant Country. He may be the Big Friendly Giant (BFG), but the other giants aren’t half as friendly.

While aesthetically pleasing, the sincerity of Spielberg’s narrative doesn’t compare, stretching just under 2 hours of painfully monotonous minutes. Humour, as an element, isn’t frequent enough to keep us entertained. Though, the final act is a visual treat. Solid voice talent includes Mark Rylance as The BFG– but even he brings little delight to this mechanical affair. While Rylance’s soft tones would appear to be well-suited for the large protagonist, the delivery lacks an undertone of empathy that would have made for a more likeable character. Newcomer, Ruby Barnhill plays Sophie in her first feature film debut. And this could perhaps be her last. Boy, if this is what you’re leading with Spielberg, then you really don’t have much to sell. Much of The BFG focuses on the two characters forming a bond, even though the odds are stacked against them. But lacking in soul, and the lead lady’s performance falling nothing short of mediocre, the film undoubtedly falls flat and isn’t so ‘giant’ after all. Which only leads to a confirmation that we just didn’t need a Hollywood extravagant of Roald Dahl’s The BFG. Some things are better left plain and simple.

As appetising as a snozzcumber, The BFG misses the mark not just in originality, but to be something every animated film should be; entertaining. When you take a look at Spielberg’s filmography, The BFG feels all the more underwhelming. It’s a tired old statement but this really is one that small, undemanding children will enjoy, much more than their parents. It’s OK, but has been executed better.

16 thoughts on “The BFG (2016) ★★☆☆☆

  1. Thanks for your comment Georgina! Your experience of the film was indeed quite different. I think the biggest difference in opinion is about Rylance and Ruby Barnhill’s performances. I actually agree with you that Barnhill was unimpressive, but I suspec that has something to do with the script.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I wanted more from The BFG, simply because it’s Spielberg. But the humor is what kept it from being great. A fine one-time watch, but nothing more. Excellent work here, Georgina!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have such a professional writing style, I’m immensely jealous hahaha
    Great review, a real shame about BFG, haven’t had a chance to see it but missing the mark with so much potential really can leave a bad taste in the mouth!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just as I was expecting from the trailer unfortunately. I really hope Spielberg gets the magic back soon. It’s been a while since he’s done something memorable. Great review as always!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My own view of the movie, including the performances, is a bit more supportive than this, but it’s not something I’d jump at the chance to see again, and this review gives me an idea of how much I would have enjoyed it had my expectations been higher.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Top Ten: Worst Films of 2016 | Film Reviews

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