The BFG – 4 out of 5
I am completely unfamiliar with the Roald Dahl book that The BFG is based on so when I hear the title, my mind instantly goes to that specific weapon in Doom. Now, the title means Big Friendly Giant so when some people hear the acronym BFG, they might think Big F#@king Giant. Anyway, when I saw the trailer for this Steven Spielberg directed feature, I was blown away with the promise it held and I thought it looked like a nice, heartwarming feature. Well, I finally got around to seeing it and it definitely delivers.
|Plot Twist: The giant is normal size and the girl is really small!|
Little Sophie (Ruby Barnhill) is an orphan in England that one night accidentally sees a giant (Mark Rylance) walking the streets. The giant, scared she’ll tell the world of his existence, kidnaps her and takes her to Giant Country. Despite her pleas, the giant refuses to let her leave because there are ones outside that are far bigger than him lead by one called Fleshlumpeater (Jemaine Clement) who will eat her up in one bite. Sophie soon learns that the giant has no malice in his heart for her and the two quickly become friends—she even nicknames him BFG for Big Friendly Giant. BFG shows her a world of wonder but the threat from Fleshlumpeater is never far behind and it’s not long before these two unlikely friends have to come up with a plan to stop these evil giants once and for all.
|This is art, my friends. Airbrush that on the side of a van!|
|Just when you thought the fart joke had run its|
Disney’s The BFG (or would it be Disney’s Roald Dahl’s The BFG?) is an incredibly sweet, heartwarming movie. The story has the right blend of being charming, amusing, sweet, and it even throws in a dash of dark with the threat the larger giants hold. It combines all these elements under a cohesive tone that never feels like it is jumping from one element to the next. The only issue I had with the story is the fact the conflict within it is resolved just a wee bit too easily for my tastes but, at its core, this is a children’s film so this really isn’t a complaint that killed the film’s entire entertainment value.
|Fleshlumpeater looks like he might have a Dropkick Murphys cover band.|
Another element that really struck me was the performances. Mark Rylance is incredibly endearing as BFG and it was really hard to not be completely charmed by his naïve worldview. Additionally, Jermaine Clement does a fantastic job providing the voice for the main giant antagonist but the strongest performance in the whole film for me was Ruby Barnhill. From the very first moment we see Sophie in action, we see that Barnhill has some real acting chops and she really captured the independent and fiery spirit of the character. Even more impressive is how she is acting effortlessly among computer generated creations—a feat even some more seasoned actors have problems with.
|I hope she has a fruitful career.|
The final thing about this film that I really enjoyed—was actually quite blown away by, I should say—is the special effects. For starters, the sense of scale the movie creates is quite awesome but the motion-capture and animation used to bring the giants to life was completely amazing. The design of them looked fantastic but the life-like body and facial movements were next level stuff that really helped sell the reality of the film. This combination also allowed for the actors’ performances to shine through and it helped showcase the charm and warmth that Rylance projected as BFG.
|Or maybe computers had nothing to do with this and Mark Rylance just|
went through some crazy operations to make him a giant. I don't know.
As I mentioned earlier, the only drawback I had for The BFG is that the conflict is resolved stupidly easy but, beyond that, the film is a fairly pleasant one. The cast is fantastic, the special effects are incredible, the humor is good natured, and the story is sweet and fun. It has all the makings of a film that’s perfect for families to watch on movie night.
|For you Doctor Who fans, you might recognize Penelope Wilton as the Queen.|
She went from being the Prime Minister to Queen. Not too shabby.