Critics continually give Mr. Spielberg’s work an A when some of them deserve a C+. Need I say more?
It’s not that Steven Spielberg’s The BFG is a bad movie, it’s just not a terribly good one. Forgive the comparison, but it’s as if a great short story has been made into a rather laborious, lengthy novel. Some great books simply don’t make great films.
While there are some wonderful moments, you get the feeling that Ruby Barnhill’s young Sophie frequently repeats herself to fill in the dead spaces. Sophie is an orphan who is grabbed from her bed one night by a big friendly giant. The BFG is played with warmth by Mark Rylance, who is just coming off his Oscar for best supporting actor in Mr. Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies.
Sophie is then taken to the land of giants, where she learns that their favorite food is human children, a/k/a beans. Fortunately, the BFG is a vegetarian.
Though other hungry giants soon become aware of her presence, her warm relationship with her vegetarian friend serves to protect her. He continually is forced to keep her out of danger, and the special effects involved serve as the real strength of the entire film.
The BFG has a private lab next to his home where he has found a way to bottle people’s dreams. Though it is obviously an interesting topic centered on BFG’s butchering of the English language, the film weakens materially as you are forced to watch him fool around with his projects.
In any event, giants get very mad and Sophie decides that the best way to seek help is to invade the dreams of the Queen of England (Penelope Wilton) and seek her support. Though the scenes at Westminster Abbey are rather forced and foolish, I can only encourage you to watch the outrageous results when the Queen and her aides drink a specially brewed concoction (Frobscottle)brought by the friendly giant. Having just watched human farting becoming a centerpiece of Swiss Army Man, it is fascinating that even Mr. Spielberg now finds the golden opportunity to address that topic known here as Whizzpops.
I have not read Roald Dahl’s classic book, and I don’t mean to disparage it by this review. However, while this film has an interesting beginning and a moving ending, it proceeds to largely ignore the danger posed to London children from marauding, ravenous giants. It spends far too much time reminding everyone how cute and lovable are Sophie and her giant friend.
The film is dying at the box office for a very obvious reason.